Lectio on Injustice

by Beth A Richardson on August 28, 2013 · 38 comments

prison

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by injustices in the world. We hear about the suffering and we want to shut down, feeling that we can’t do anything that will help.

As we travel together through this challenging topic, you are invited to engage in a spiritual practice we are calling Lectio on Injustice. A form of Lectio Divina, this practice invites you to engage injustice in an attitude of prayer, listening for God’s word and God’s promptings. It is a way to process the story or experience in a prayerful way, letting God guide you and form you.

First, pick out the item you would like to use as the center of your prayer. This could be:

  • An article, prayer, or poem from this issue (or any issue) of the magazine.
  • A story from the news.
  • An experience of injustice that you have witnessed.

If you are using a current event, from the news or from your experience, write down a short summary that you can read or recall when you are prompted during the exercise. If it is easier for you, visualize the event as if you were watching a video.

You will read or remember the article (or poem, experience, story, etc.) three times, listening each time for a different insight.

Steps for Lectio on Injustice

  1. Clear away distractions and prepare the space around you for prayer. Light a candle or put on some reflective music. Pray this prayer: God of Justice, be present with me in this time of prayer. Open my eyes and ears that I might hear and see what you would show me. Be present, Loving God. I am yours.
    Amen.
  2. As you read or remember this first time, listen for the word, phrase, image, or sound that leaps out at you. What word, phrase, image, or sound calls to you or sticks in your memory? As you recall, gently take it into your heart, which is being held in the safe and compassionate heart of God. Silently recite or ponder what you have noticed during a minute of silent reflection.
  3. As you read the text or remember the experience this second time, meditate on the word, phrase, image, or sound that speaks to you. Let it interact with your thoughts, your hopes, your memories. Consider how the word, phrase, image, or sound is touching your life today. (Take a minute of silence for this reflection.)
  4. As you read the text or remember the experience this last time, consider how God is calling you forth into doing or being through these words or this experience. Allow God to touch you, to shape you in your life today. (Reflect on this during one minute of silence.)
  5. Take some time to reflect on what you have heard or experienced. Make a few notes in your journal or share your reflections with a spiritual friend. Spend some time in prayer, thanking God for the gift of presence. If you are feeling any anger, distress, or anxiety, offer those feelings to God and ask God to give you guidance on how you should respond.
  6. When you are finished, go in God’s peace and love. If you feel comfortable, share your experience with another person or with the community in the Daily Reflections area.

 
Photo Credit: © HEMERA/THINKSTOCK

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Jan May 25, 2015 at 12:19 pm

Many, many people in the U.S.—and in Vietnam—remember and suffer today (after 40 years) because of involvement in that war. Loss of children, brothers, spouses, parents, companions. Loss of beginning lives. Loss of day-to-day peace to physical pain and mental anguish. Nations don’t go into wars unaware of these heavy residues of war, because they have known previous wars. It is no wonder that Europeans awarded the Nobel Prize to someone they hoped would forfend one or more wars. Today we give much less credit to people to people who try to bend life away from war and warlike stances. We still put a lot more study into war than we do into peace. Surely that is not God’s justice.

Timothy Ross September 19, 2016 at 2:50 pm

Amen and Peace be with you. We can not cope with injustices of war but, Christ in us can. For I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. A Vietnam War Veteran and TET Offensive Survivor

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