Part III of a IV Part Series
by Jim Batson
How it Started
Being a convert to Catholicism, I have been on a spiritual journey most of my adult life. Some parts of the journey have been less spiritually involved than others, and there has certainly been a build-up in depth and breadth of faith experiences and relationships as time has passed. You might say I’ve been “catching up,” and I am not embarrassed to admit to a new experience that others may have been practicing for a long time. Over the years the Holy Spirit has guided me along this path while cultivating a spiritual awareness to listen carefully for new things that lead me back to scripture. Sometimes patterns or repeated references are made apparent. These gain most of my attention. God speaks to us in His own way and continuously calls everyone. He allows us to hear His voice when we are ready, meeting us where we are when the time is right.
Charlie Brown’s Teacher
Since early 2022, I have heard Fr. Paul and Fr. Jamin speak about Lectio Divina, praying with scripture. The first time I heard of this prayer form, I thought that I was already doing it. After all, I am reading scripture and that’s good enough, right? In Persona Christi the Holy Spirit led me to realize that I was taking shortcuts, thinking that my meditation and understanding of scripture were thorough. If not blessed at the right time to hear His call, Fr. Paul and Fr. Jamin would have sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher in those old Peanuts cartoons.
Pumping Things Up
This past Lent the Holy Spirit again graced me with ideas that would “spiritually supercharge” my Lectio Divina experience and change my life. Why not do a little Lectio Divina research in preparation AND enter into this spiritual experience in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament at Adoration! With some research, Fr. Paul’s and Fr. Jamin’s Lectio Divina instructions were reinforced, and I was ready for Lent.
Be Careful What You Think Out Loud
After a handful of amazing experiences and nearing the end of Lent, I mentioned to Fr. Paul that Lectio Divina really works!!! He must have been thinking, “That’s what I’ve been saying!” I went on to “think out loud” and say that parishioners may further benefit from hearing real-life experiences from others whom they sit next to on Sunday or sit next to having a signature cocktail at Theology in a Bottle, than the same old “Wha-Wa-Wa Wha-Wa-Wa” we hear from our religious brothers and sisters. Together we can help one another as a community of faith. Together we can share the “gems” and “pearls” found or given to us in scripture during these most intimate spiritual moments. So, here it goes! Note, this writing focuses more on what happens to me and less on how I arrive at that moment