Carmelite Scripture Reflection Goes Online
"Lectio Divina" Directed by Biblical Scholar
[Reported by Zenit.org]
Rome, December 21
Pope John Paul II called the Carmelite spirituality a treasure for the whole Christian community. Mindful of that, Carmelite leaders have found a way to put their charism online.The Carmelite Order launched a three-language Internet site with Scripture meditations for each Sunday of the liturgical year, in Cycles A-C.
Father Anthony Cilia directs the site. He told ZENIT, "Conscious of the fact that 'Carmel is a treasure for the entire Christian community,' as John Paul II stated, 'lectio divina' online was born ultimately to answer the question: How can we communicate our Carmelite charism through the Internet, and at the same time evangelize people?"
In September 2001, the order celebrated its general chapter and chose Father Carlos Mesters as general director. Father Mesters is well known as a biblical scholar.
Father Cilia decided to avail of the superior's knowledge and proposed the idea of "lectio divina" online. Father Mesters accepted the idea, and with the collaboration of many other Carmelites, the initiative was launched.
During the first three years, the reflections were uploaded every two weeks, and, in the following three years, the remaining Sunday texts, including the solemnities, were uploaded. With Year C of 2006-2007, the Sunday reflections were completed.
"Driven by the signs of the times, the thirst for the word of God, and the urging of the new prior general, beginning with this Advent we began the daily edition of 'lectio divina online,' using the daily Gospel," Father Cilia explained. "It is difficult to say where this reaches and how many people use our 'lectio,' since the word of God can be accessed quickly on the Internet, silently and without barriers."
Electronic counters say almost 4,000 users visit the site weekly to pray or to download the reflections. The Carmelite publishing house is considering publishing all the texts. That way, Father Cilia explained, "Any person without Internet access, or who prefers to assimilate the word of God in another way, can make use of this wealth Carmel offers."
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The link for "Lectio Divina Online" is part of a Carmelite website.