Experimenting with Prayer – Media Divina

I spent the last two days conducting a retreat/workshop on social media for the principals of the Diocese of Belleville. For the opening prayer on Wednesday I decided to experiment with a variation of lectio divina  that used the parable of the sower and the seed (Matthew 13:3-23) across various  media.

I began with reading the parable from Sacred Scripture, asking the participants to listen for a word or phrase that spoke to them. We meditated for a few minutes, then went around the room and shared our word or phrase.

Next I showed this video version of the parable:

I asked the participants to focus on a visual image from the video that spoke to them in a special way, or on how their understanding of the parable was deepened by the video. We again spent a few minutes in meditation and then shared.

Finally I played the song “Thistle & Weeds” by Mumford & Sons. (I also projected the lyrics so the group could follow along) and asked them to listen for God’s call or invitation to action. We again meditated on what we had heard and shared. We then closed with a short prayer.

I think this prayer experience was a success; the group seemed to appeciate the multi-sensory nature of the prayer and they did an excellent job of drawing out meaning from the text. (And most of them weren’t previosly familiar with lectio divina.) I will definitely be using this form of prayer for future events.

(I also put together a PowerPoint for praying the Angelus with the group; I’ve posted it on my Handouts page for anyone to use.)