The Art and Discipline of Formative Reading: Revisiting Holy Scripture with Humble Receptivity

Muto, Susan
May 2012
Journal of Spiritual Formation & Soul Care;Spring2012, Vol. 5 Issue 1, p100
Academic Journal
This article will show that lectio divina or the formative reading of Holy Scripture goes beyond exegetical-critical methods and fosters in the heart of every reader a more personal-reflective approach. This approach serves as a directive source guiding our faith and formation journey. Formative readers by definition desire to grow in spiritual self-knowledge and to allow the communications they receive to touch and transform their lives, if God so wills. Two requirements for formative reading will be explained herein: its meditative or contemplative components and its applicative dimensions. Both facets of this discipline lead to a dynamic encounter with sacred words. We are to read the Bible and the literature of spirituality in such a way that the texts we imbibe will help us to tune into the inner life form or direction meant for us by God from eternity. Essential to this article is also a description of the difference between informational and formational reading. While there is a time and place for both, one way should not be substituted or forgotten in favor of the other. In short, the integration of head and heart, of inspiration and incarnation, is the hidden goal of formative reading.


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