Holy Spirit places on his lips the words which he
could not find by himself ”.
Spiritual reading
152. There is one particular way of listening to
what the Lord wishes to tell us in his word and of
letting ourselves be transformed by the Spirit. It
is what we call
lectio divina
. It consists of reading
God’s word in a moment of prayer and allow-
ing it to enlighten and renew us. This prayerful
reading of the Bible is not something separate
from the study undertaken by the preacher to as-
certain the central message of the text; on the
contrary, it should begin with that study and
then go on to discern how that same message
speaks to his own life. The spiritual reading of
a text must start with its literal sense. Otherwise
we can easily make the text say what we think is
convenient, useful for confirming us in our pre-
vious decisions, suited to our own patterns of
thought. Ultimately this would be tantamount to
using something sacred for our own benefit and
then passing on this confusion to God’s people.
We must never forget that sometimes “even Sa-
tan disguises himself as an angel of light” (
2 Cor
153. In the presence of God, during a recol-
lected reading of the text, it is good to ask, for
 Ibid., 75: AAS 68 (1976), 65.
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