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Archbishop Collins Reveals Recipe for "Spiritual Lasagna"

March 8, 2011

Notre Dame, IN—In Pathway to Our Hearts, Archbishop Thomas Collins reinvigorates the ancient tradition of lectio divina, which he defines as “a prayerful encounter with the word of God,” with a fresh approach to praying the Sermon on the Mount. Drawn from the popular monthly talks given by Collins at St. Michael’s Cathedral in Toronto, Pathway invites readers to pray by listening, rather than only speaking, to God.

Collins provides readers with detailed instructions on how to practice lectio divina, along with his own meditations on verses from the Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew. Readers will find Pathway to be a refreshing and unique way to engage the Bible for meditation. The Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas, bishop of Tucson, writes, “The recent Synod on the Word of God emphasized the importance of lectio divina in deepening our spiritual lives. Pathway to Our Hearts is exactly what is needed to make this important approach to praying the scriptures something that is accessible to all.” Collins speaks to his readers as both friend and spiritual mentor as he encourages them to love God with their minds, hearts, and hands.

Collins describes his own approach to lectio divina as “spiritual lasagna: a layer of text, then a layer of my own reflections, ending with a question to consider regarding the personal application of the text.” He reveals his recipe in eight steps:

1. Find a time and place to be alone.

2. Begin with a period of quiet prayer, asking God to make a pathway to your heart.

3. Slowly read a Scripture passage of about ten to twenty verses, pausing to think about each verse. Reading aloud often helps.

4. Ask yourself how each verse tells you to use your mind, heart, and hands to serve the Lord.

5. After going through verse by verse, read the whole passage again.

6. Take another moment of silent meditation.

7. End with prayers such as the Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, and the Sign of the Cross.

8. Pray for God’s wisdom to illuminate the rest of your day.

Collins urges Catholics to go beyond studying scripture to truly digest its meaning and implications for their lives. Pathway to Our Hearts is both practical and inspiring, the ideal tool for those seeking a deeper connection with God’s word.

Sermon on the Mount, Lectio Divina with Archbishop Collins

About Cardinal Thomas Collins

Born and raised in Guelph, Ontario, Cardinal Thomas Collins was ordained a priest in 1973. Collins considered other paths, but was inspired by a high school English teacher who suggested he should consider the priesthood. He obtained undergraduate and master’s degrees in English, but later pursued theological training in Rome, where he specialized in the book of Revelation, while earning his licentiate in sacred scripture from the Pontifical Bible Institute. Collins earned a doctorate in theology from Gregorian University and was named bishop of St. Paul, Alberta, in 1997 and archbishop of Edmonton in 1999. Pope Benedict XVI appointed Collins the tenth archbishop of Toronto in December 2006. He was elevated to the College of Cardinals in 2012.

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