“If anyone loves me, he will keep my word,
@@and my Father will love him,
@@@@and we will come to him and make our home with him." John 14:23

 

Lectio Divina with teenagers

It is impossible to set out a script for lectio divina for use with teenagers appropriate for the whole span from age 13 through to 19, however, the example to the side is one which works. The script could be printed and put onto acetate and projected. Alternatively, you could write it onto flipchart paper. Otherwise photocopy one for each teenager.

Besides this method, teenagers really enjoy doing lectio divina in pairs so have a look at the script for that sort of session.

At every lectio divina session (especially if these sessions are not regular) there needs to be an explanation of lectio divina adequate to the understanding of the teenagers in question. The onus really is on the leader of the session to prepare a few words to say which incorporate at least one of the important aspects of lectio divina. You must consider how much they already know and how long it is since their last session. One way of explaining lectio divina for teenagers is written in this leaflet.

You could do a question and answer session about it first just to let them sort out their questions before you start. To give yourself confidence, re-read WHAT IS LECTIO DIVINA?

Before speaking directly about lectio divina it is important to say a few words first about the basis of getting together with the teenagers for lectio divina.

For teenagers, through the whole of this age group, i.e. 13 to 19, the vital foundations are the building of a relationship of trust and love with them. The base of lectio divina is the manifestation of love for another. Lectio Divina has love as its base because its material is Sacred Scripture which is the story of God’s love for humanity. In the spirit of loving welcome you can guide them to personally discover Jesus Christ present in the Scripture.

In order to foster this, it is helpful to be part of a close community: it helps to form you as a leader of a lectio divina group because it teaches you to share, to correct, to see the best in things, to persevere and to find your own limitations. Finding out your own limitations is good because it helps you to love: true love is to discover the limitations (and the gifts) of another and go on loving them in the dimension of the Passion and Crucifixion of Christ.

For this reason try to keep the ten commandments of lectio divina with teenagers which are given below.

It is plain that such an experience of community will be somewhat different from the experience of being taught in a class. It would be best described as a school of the Lord's Service (RB Prol, 45).

The Ten Commandments for lectio divina with teenagers

1. Know the teenagers and their world.
2. Concern yourself for them when they are ill or having problems.
3. Seek the counsel of other lectio divina group leaders.
4. Pray for each one of the teenagers in your group.
5. Be organised and prepare in advance each meeting with the teenagers.
6. Take time with the teenagers of the group outside of the meetings.
7. Show by your actions that you live by what you teach.
8. Always have your Bible to hand and always have it open at the meetings.
9. Choose readings and give explanations appropriate to their understanding.
10. Never forget that you are working for the Kingdom of God.

Example of a teenage lectio divina group meeting

We start with the sign of the Cross:
In the name of the Father,
and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.


Leader:
Let us all pray now to the Holy Spirit to help us to listen and understand

Everyone says:
Come Holy Spirit, fill our hearts, and set us alight with the fire of your love
so that, in our own way we may renew our own part of the world.
Amen.

Leader:
Let us look at ourselves and consider when we have hurt anyone this week or not
been good to someone who needed to be loved, knowing that God is infinitely forgiving if
we will return to him… Let us ask God to forgive us:
Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy.
Christ have mercy, Christ have mercy.
Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy.
May Almighty God have mercy on us,
forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

Leader:
Now we listen to the reading from the Bible. We read it slowly so that we can work
out what is happening in this story.

Reading

Leader:
First we try to understand what the story really says.
We try to get a picture of it in our mind's eye.

...

Leader:
Now we try to work out what God is saying to me in this story.

...

Leader:

We bring our prayer to a close giving glory to God for this moment of peace and for the opportunity to listen and to pray:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now and forever shall be, world without end.
Amen.

We finish with the sign of the Cross:
In the name of the Father,
and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

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Page last updated on 16 February, 2015