In monastic theology, lectio divina is not simply an intellectual exercise, but a communing with the living God who reveals himself to us through his Word. It is the occasion of a visit from the Lord, a reading with God, in his company, with his help, a reading that involves two.

This spiritual exercise is accompanied by a relish which, surpassing a mere notional knowledge, leads to a true religious experience suited to each individual. This light which comes from the inspired text or – it is important to note – on the occasion of the lectio, is received by the soul as a personal message, which is meant for it and serves to build up its faith.

The monk of the Middle Ages was not primarily interested in the letter of the text, as is the exegete of today, but in the profit he could draw from it for his spiritual life. The purpose of the lectio was to stimulate devotion.

The Monastic Theology of Aelred of Rievaulx

Amedee Hallier, OCSO