Lectio Divina: July 2008 Archives


But do thou continue in the things that thou hast learned and that have been entrusted to thee, knowing of whom thou hast learned them. For from thy infancy thou hast known the Sacred Writings, which are able to instruct thee unto salvation by the faith which is in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 3:14-15)

Lectio Divina?

Growing up, my younger brother Danny and I shared the same bedroom without sharing quite the same interests. We had twin beds. Mine was the second one in; between my bed and the outside windowed wall of the room was a narrow space, perhaps twenty inches wide. It became my little hermitage.

How I used to love going to my room when my brother was out. I would close the door and, crouching in that little space between the bed and the wall, I would read Saint Paul from a New Testament belonging to my father. Dad must have given it to me at some point because, when I came across it while packing the other day, I remarked that I had stamped my name inside the front cover when I was probably ten or eleven years old.

How I Met Saint Paul

I'm attached to that particular New Testament. It represents a bond between my father and me. I think Dad bought it during a parish mission. It is the 1941 revision of the Challoner-Rheims version, published by St. Anthony Guild Press in Paterson, New Jersey. There is a prayer to the Holy Spirit on the same page as the Nihil Obstat and the Imprimatur. I'm digressing. My point is that I met Saint Paul at a relatively early age by reading his Epistles in the solitude between my bed and the wall. I remember the sweetness I experienced, and the peace that came from reading the Apostle.

Caves and Deserts

Children need spaces of solitude as much as they need playgrounds and baseball diamonds. Children are capable of silence. Nothing is more intriguing to a small boy than stories of hermits living in caves or braving the desert. Improvised and imaginary hermitages can be places of grace for a child. God has been known to speak between a little boy's bed and the wall.

About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

Donations for Silverstream Priory