What is lectio divina and how can we use this ancient monastic practice in leading our students to truth. Ashley Woleben is on the show today to answer that question and so much more.
Pam: This is your morning basket, where we help you bring truth, goodness, and beauty to your homeschool day. Hi everyone. And welcome to episode 42 of the, your morning basket podcast. I’m Pam Barnhill, your host, and I’m so happy that you’re joining me here today. Well, today we are talking all about the practice of Lectio Divina.
Now this is an ancient practice that scholastics used as early as the fifth century to dig deeper into all kinds of subject matter. And today we have Ashley Woleben here on the podcast, and she’s going to talk to us about how we can use this in our morning time and why we should use it in our morning time. Even with some of our youngest kids, it’s a fun conversation steeped in the classical tradition, and I hope you enjoy listening to it right after this word from our sponsor. This episode of the podcast is brought to you by meremotherhood.com. It was back in the 1980s when Cindy Rollins, then a new mom in search of the best ways to teach her young son first heard about homeschooling. 30 years and nine children later Cindy has become a popular blogger podcaster, and award-winning teacher a journey that she has documented in her memoir mere motherhood, morning times, nursery rhymes, and my journey towards sanctification published by the CiRCE Institute.
Mere motherhood is the story of boy hood shenanigans cross-country moves and all the heartbreaks enjoys that accompany motherhood head over to meremotherhood.com to learn why Sarah Makenzie calls this a book that is written with grace and humility, packed with insight and perspective. Only a thoughtful experienced homeschooling. Mama can give the kind of book you’ll borrow from a friend and never want to give back. And I’ll tell you you’re not getting my copy. This was one of my absolute favorite reads of the past year. I was so inspired by Cindy’s work. So use the code Pam, when you check out to save 10% on your purchase, and don’t forget to look up Cindy Charlotte Mason themed podcast, the Mason jar, wherever you get your podcasts, you can find it all meremotherhood.com. And now on with the show.
Ashley Woleben is a Catholic wife and mom who writes about classical education, liturgy and virtue at her blog between the linens, with a degree in liberal arts, as well as CiRCE atrium training Ashley loves to grapple with the meaty ideas behind classical Christian education and encourage parents to reclaim and continue their own education in pursuit of the good, true, and beautiful. She is the co-host of the classical homeschool podcast, and she uses the podcast to bring some of these big ideas down to a practical level for the homeschooling family. Ashley joins us on this episode to introduce us to the idea of Lectio Divina and explore how this practice can be used during morning time.
Ashley, welcome to the program.
Hi, I’m glad to be here.
Well, start off by telling me a little bit about your family and what morning time looks like at your house right now.
Well, it’s kind of chaotic right now. We just had a new baby. So we have five children ages eight to seven weeks. So we have quite an age range. My oldest is eight and then I have a daughter who is seven. My oldest is a boy. And then Bella, and then Bubba is four and Tybee is three. And now we had the baby seven weeks.
Okay. I’m not aware what sex is the little baby.
Odysseus is a boy.
Oh, and Odysseus. I love that name.
This is awesome. Okay. All right. Well, what does morning time usually look like in your home? Because we’re totally going to give you the whole morning time pass if you’re not doing it right. Oh, we totally are. That was actually one thing I didn’t. I had kind of fallen on when I was pregnant, but for some reason we were able to pick it back up and with the baby, he just kind of goes along with it for the most part. So we opened with a Psalm and right now we’re reading different ones to get through. Hopefully get through all 150 of them to expose us. Cause I had them memorizing Psalm 95. Well, they got bored. They already know it. So they say that one before they come downstairs now for the morning.
So we say our Psalm of the day, we say the Canticle of Zachariah, which is the Benedictus and it starts the divine liturgy. And then we have our memory work with classical Catholic memory, and then I do an intensive. So it’s, we focus on one area of our memory work and enter that more deeply each day of the week kind like loop schedule.
And then we read from my book house. That was the one thing my children requested that we always do in morning. Time was read from my book house and we have a family read aloud right now we’re doing children in the new forest and for the moon meets the mountain, which is a new favorite for us. And then we just do a simple patron prayer as soon as we listen to our music, our composer in that time just depends on how much time we have, because our morning time takes about an hour and a half to two hours. So everyone’s getting kind of choppy. I just kind of say, okay, we’ll move composer to the end of the day or because we have an evening time too, so,
Okay. So you have five kids, eight and under, and you’re able to get sometimes an hour and a half out of these guys in morning time.
Oh yeah. And usually We usually go hour and a half if we don’t it’s because someone’s had a serious meltdown or I’m having a meltdown, but nine times out of 10, we can get about an hour and a half done. Yeah.
So do you think it’s the fact that they’ve been doing this for most of their lives that you’re able to do that? Yes. And that, and I really am big on my kids being independent. So Bubba and Tybee, I usually don’t see them the four and three-year-old, I don’t usually see them until lunchtime. So they are allowed to go play, do what they want.
Okay. So you don’t require that the four year old and the three-year-old actually sit in on the entire?
No, not really. They come and go. Bubba will have to, when she goes into kindergarten, which would be in January when she’s like maybe five, we’ll try it and see, because she knows how to read. She taught herself how to read. So I was surprised one day when she was just reading from the prayer book. And so she’s been asking to do school, so maybe I’ll make her sit down when she turns five and we’ll see how she does. I’ve never had a problem with five. I feel like five is a good age for my kids to sit down and pay attention.
Okay. That sounds awesome. Oh, and there was something else she said that I wanted to come back to as well. You’ve just floored me here. You floored me with the whole, we’re doing it an hour and a half. They’re all eight, none under. And the five-year-old just taught herself how to read. It was a complete shock. I was like, what do you mean you had to read? So I’m just, I’m just completely floored over here. I’m like, man, I’m never going to live up to all of this. And my youngest is almost eight. Well, I think the main thing I don’t want Ashley is for people to listen to that and go, Oh my gosh, we just going to quit right now because it’s never going to be like that.
Oh don’t This was something that, I didn’t even know what morning time was until like, four years ago. It became like a name thing I had never heard of Cindy Rollins or any of this. I was just really kind of throwing things together. And my husband was deployed for his either gone or deployed for most of our marriage. So really that’s what I did with the kids.
Cause I was bored. I would sit down with them and the playroom even when they were babies and couldn’t do anything, but sit there and look at me and drool and read them the Odyssey. I was so alone and so tired. And so my oldest didn’t sleep for like 20 minutes at a time for like three and a half years. So I would just sit there and read the classics from college that I missed.
I missed my career and I missed being part of the academic world. So I would just pick up my books and I would just read to them. And so I think it’s become part of our family culture. And because I am somebody who is not, maybe not as motherly or nurturing as most women are, it’s a way for me to love my kids.
It’s I love to sit down and read with them more than anything. I get no joy from wiping their butts, no joy from the newborn smell, but I love to sit there and read together in a messy stack of books. And it’s something that I didn’t have growing up either.
That’s funny because we’ve already commented once in this conversation, before we started recording about our awkward INTJ small talk that we were doing.
And you’re absolutely right though. It is one of the ways doing something like reading extensively to your kids or, you know, sharing that great literature that you love is one of the ways you know, that you appreciate being with them. So yeah, we can touch base on it. I feel like I’m sharing myself, but not too vulnerable. Of course.
Oh yeah. That’s funny. But it does really sound like that you’ve been doing this for so long. It is absolutely part of what they’ve grown up with and they really don’t know any different than that. Yeah. I wouldn’t say they did. I think they think everyone does it. I’m pretty sure.
Yeah. That’s amazing. Okay. Well, we actually have you on here to talk about Lectio Divina.
So let’s talk a little bit about what exactly is Lectio Divina. When we say, you know, when we talk about that, Oh
Yeah. Lectio Divina, hell, I’m going say Lexio just because that’s the classical way of say it, but there’s two different ways. You can say it either way. Both are right or Lectio. There’s a ecclesiastical and classical.
And so I’m gonna just say that, so you’re not wrong. Okay. Oh, because someone yelled at me and I was like, I’m just saying it the way I was told. So it’s so it basically, it was a process that was named by Pope Gregory the first in the five hundreds. And I guess it had been around a while and he put the name to the steps that I’m going to tell you about.
So St. Benedict is the one who developed it for the mind, the body and the soul of a person. So he really took the idea and applied it to the Benedictine monasteries. He’s kind of credited with it in practical use. So Pope Gregory named these three steps and the three steps were Lectio, Meditatio and Compisiti. Now there is a all talk about this in a minute.
There’s another one that people use would be contemplatio, but that wasn’t popular until the 12 hundreds that translation of it. Okay. And they are different. And that they did set Lectio Divina in a different way. So basically this process is really a liturgy. It’s a way to glorify God by realizing the innate structure of the world of recognizing truth. And this was a big thing in the middle ages with forming the moral imagination.
It comes from Neoplatonism where they believe that the world was imbued with truth everywhere they look there was hidden signs of truth. And that man, his whole job was to learn how to recognize them. So the more they could gather, the more they could learn the signs, the more they could become whole people. Okay. Does that make sense?
It does make sense, but I want you to translate and break down the steps.
Okay. So Lectio is the first step it means to read or to gather Mary Carruthers. She does the famous bee example, right? It’s where we get the idea of the making honey. And so this would be the metaphor of gathering the pollen and the nectar. This would be the bees, you know, like your mind palace reaching out for new information. So this would be a reading your books, doing a math problem and watching a TV show nowadays, or a documentary, hearing a conversation, hearing the radio show, any kind of area where you’re going to pick up information gathering. And so this is Ravi Jain and the liberal arts tradition, they give a good example of it kind of being limited, like the idea of grammar. So the study of grammar where you’re really learning everything you need to know to translate a script, a manuscript, it’s kind of like Lectio, it’s kind of like the first step. You’re just getting all the pieces together. Okay. And we should point out that grammar in that context is not nouns, verbs and pronouns. Right? Any kind of gathering of information. It’s the classical definition of grammar. Yes. Sorry. Yes. Yes it is.
And then you go into meditatio and this is more like the dialectic. I like to call it the bee vomit stage. Lovely. Cause you’re just vomiting back this information. This is where your narrative near narrations would be.
This is where you’re going to wrestle with the information you’re going to compare and contrast. You’re going to defend or acquiesce to another opinion. This is where you’re really regurgitating and kind of going through. Does it make sense? Does it not? This is more of a community step. You would do it with hopefully with people in community because this should never be separate from community.
Okay. And then the third step originally it was called compiziti and this is probably more apt for education. And what more after what actual Lectio Divina was made for by St. Gregory and St. Benedict, they wanted, so this is the original word. And it relates to turning thought into action, taking a moral stand. This is more like rhetoric.
When we’re doing rhetoric. We’re not just trying to persuade other people, pretty opinions. We’re not Sophos. We are trying to morally put out good things and persuade people to do good things. So this is more of where that reconciliation of man comes in. We’re trying to align our souls, our mind, our body to God’s immutable law. And this is what compiziti means.
It means to create, to take action. And so this is the honey and hopefully the honey is good, honey, it’s not turned or bad or has contaminants in it. Right? So by the process of meditatio you can go through and make good honey in the 12th century, though, it was changed by a Carthusian monk who called it contemplatio. And unfortunately, what that did was it created a divide between secular and sacred. And so in the beginning, St. Benedict, nothing was separate from the sacred word. The Bible and science were the same thing. You could read Shakespeare in the Bible and it’d be the same thing. These were all supposed to be forming things of moral opinion and virtue. There wasn’t a separate, you know, Andrew Kern talks about this. He’s got a Christ centered curriculum talk and he really hones in on that, that it’s not, there’s not secular versus sacred. Everything can be used, has to be thought of as coming from God, if it is the truth, Right? So you, what they’re saying about this is everything points back towards God and everything comes from God.
Even if it’s not, you know, quote unquote, Holy or spiritual in nature, it still comes from God because he is the creator of the universe, right? The logos is the incarnate word of God. And if we believe that, then that means all truth is God. So what compiziti means is that you were literally recreating yourself in a moral stance.
You are recreating the man you were supposed to be contemplatio is means you’re contemplating. You’re thinking about becoming you’re not quite becoming. And so it was a really a misunderstanding that goes back to the Carthusian order and how they perceive knowledge because all of these monasteries have a different way of understanding knowledge, and probably in classical education, the most compatible would be Saint Benedict.
You know, we want to combine work and school and leisure, and he really had a more practical world. Homeschooling mom could do that. You can’t really, as a Carthusian lock yourself in your bedroom and only study. I mean, that’s not going to work for homeschool. Right. So, and then you have to understand that too, when that changed, the world was changing. And there was a lot of tension between sacred and secular in the mindset of a Carthusians. So at that point we’re heading like into like pre enlightenment in Renaissance kind of period, and things like that. And unfortunately, the Carthusians, you know, they felt a lot of tension in history just because they were Hermitage. So they saw things as threats, a lot more than people who were already out there kind of dealing with them already. Right. Right. There is a fourth step sometimes. Okay. Added by St. Clare of Assisi. She edited oratio, which means to pray. And this kind of comes from, again, the differences in the monasteries. So a Franciscan mindset was not one about education.
They were more about going out there and just being with people. So they, education was very low. You know, there’s a great thing about St. Francis who asked was the need for books. He didn’t see the need for it. He thought that it would lead people to bad opinions. They wouldn’t have enough dialectic. They would start forming their own opinions and go their own way.
He thought the way of education was really amongst other people. So she added oratio. So that way people could pray about what they were reading and, you know, use it as a way to order the knowledge a little bit better. Okay. So you use the prayer as a way to order the knowledge. Yeah. And she would put that between Metatatio and contemplatio
And about when did she add that extra step? What time period? Around the 1200’s. So again, again, that pre-enlightenment, she was in Italy. So she was feeling that tension of the humanism coming up and that separation from authority, for sure.
Okay. Very, very interesting. So what is the purpose of going through this process with any kind of information?
And we’re going to talk in a minute about how to practically apply some of these steps to pieces of information that we come across as a homeschool mom and with our kids in a situation like morning time, but w what is the purpose of going through these steps? No, it seems, I don’t know. It seems like such a big process. He really does.
It’s so basically Lectia Divina was just restoring the broken nature of the mind, body and soul from the fall in the garden, into alignment with God’s law. So you really wanted to reconcile the broken world to man that into God. So you wanted to become whole human beings. They believe that, especially in the middle ages, you had this idea that things were, there was truth, hidden everywhere. They were realists. They believed that, you know, there were signs and symbols of God’s truth, but man was clouded because of concupiscence, which is the want to sin and original sin. So they couldn’t see things. Clearly their imagination was not thought of how we think of it. So imagination would have been a way to elevate the mind up to heaven.
And so it wasn’t as useful as maybe we would term it today. We wouldn’t call it creative. It was more of a, a way to go outside the box, but it had to be ordered. And so if the mind and body and soul were working together, the imagination could lift them up to God. And the imagination worked off of things, signs and symbols that they could recognize. So if you were doing Lexia Davinia, you were training your imagination with good symbols and learning to see the truth and not maybe the untruths present in the world. And that was supposed to bring you closer to God. Yes. Because you would then create yourself a new with composite to you were taking new steps to becoming a whole person.
Okay. All right. So did traditionally, did that Lectio Divina apply to reading and meditating on scripture only? No, that was not the original. I, like I said, Benedict the monks never separated things like that. It wasn’t until later that they started to, they were searching for any and all knowledge. I mean, they were the great translators of scripts.
They were the ones who took Arabic books and made them applicable for people in Latin, in Greek, they were store houses of knowledge, any parchments they could get their hands on. Now that is not to say that they weren’t maybe censored at some levels. Like if your superior felt that you could not handle this truth, or you could not see it properly, they had the right to not let you read that book, but that would have been under their term of obedience. So, no, they, in fact, I think it’s more of a more recent thing that we would separate, sacred and secular script. They did not see any distinction between science, math, anything. It was all the same. It was all truth.
Okay. That is really interesting. So this didn’t start out as a kind of scripture study, which, you know, you were both Catholic and as a Catholic, a lot of times we, I think so one of the perceptions we get of this, these days through the church, no, not necessarily the church, but through, you know, evangelization efforts is that Lectio Divina is some kind of scripture study,
but that’s yeah. That’s what I mean, it was kind of sad that contemplatio took a hold because that’s exactly what it did. It relegated the only scripture. Oh, this is very interesting. Okay. So you’re saying that this is a practice that could actually be done with any reading. It should be done. Yeah. Any reading should be done with this.
And that’s really what the classical education is about. It’s about getting rid of divisions of knowledge. Okay. Expand on that one. Foreman. What do you mean When you say that? Well, you know, subjects don’t actually exist. You know, I think as you’re currently, I think we’ve all heard Andrew Corunna get really mad about this. When people do subjects,
grammar is these are arts and these are skills. The liberal arts teach us skills, which we can apply to science. So science is a skill and practice. So if we want to move on from the liberal arts, we have to do the skills. So math, isn’t a skill. It is, is a skill, but it’s not like a segment has skill.
You still need it for everything. Everything kind of comes together. It’s all truth. So it all has one going back to point and that’s God. So the more you divide things, the less truth you can see, right? You can’t see the whole picture. So the skill of, you know, the quadri on the skills and then the fourfold path lead us to a different side of God,
different facet of God. And then you have the liberal arts. And so you’re seeing another side of God and what the idea is, you’re going to come together. And then that’s what natural history is, right? It’s a coming together to see all these different things. You need both the liberal art, the Trivium, and the quadrivium to come together in the natural sciences in order to truly see what to order,
what you’re seeing and to make sense of it. Does that make sense? It does make sense. One of my big things is I try to take femmes that I hear and, and translate it and say it more plainly. And I’m struggling with you, Ashley. I know, I’m sorry. I’m struggling. Cause I said math, isn’t that skill I’m like,
but it is. Yeah, it is. It is. But it’s all, it’s not just a skill. It’s more than a skill. And so I think a lot of what happens in modern education is we reduce it to the skill only. And we leave out the other parts of it. You know, mathematics is also a truth. We were reading and I’m going to get this wrong.
But we were reading in science the other day and I think it was Aristotle, but it might’ve been Plato who, you know, basically said their mathematics is truth. It’s there, it’s a natural thing. And man just discovers it. Man, didn’t actually fit these mathematical truth, man is just there to remember our discover these mathematical truths. And so sure there are skills involved that you have to learn in order to be able to realize these things,
but it’s so much bigger than that. And oftentimes modern education just reduces it to the skill In the practical. You know, what is when I think of math, especially in a, in our homeschool, it’s the face of God. So when we’re going through the mathematical timetables, that’s like learning the beginning stages of God’s language. So, you know,
when we go through many declensions in Latin, it’s the same thing as going through your times tables, you’re learning a little bit of the language at a time. So all of this stuff has mimicked amongst the truth. And so you have things like grammar where you have this giant, you know, if it really think about what the skill of grammar is,
if it, I do like the liberal arts tradition, Ravi Jain, and I Scott Clark’s definition of that. Everything you need to translate a manuscript as grammar because it just, it is a basic study in everything. And then the dialectic takes that basic study and makes you wrestle with it. And then the rhetoric makes you act on it. And then you have in the culture,
medium, you have different ways that you’re learning God’s language. So like I said, arithmetic, you’re learning basics of how to talk with God of how he created creation. You are learning the song of creation and then you have John laundry. You’re learning how he spaced this on the creation out. It’s kind of like watching as lamb. I mean, you literally,
you could put yourself in the shoes and watch Azlan create as you’re doing math problems. I mean, that’s what you’re doing. Okay. I have never thought about math that way, but I’m going to go with it. I’m going to go with it. Okay. So back to using this with other readings during morning time, can you give me some examples of you have an eight year old is your oldest.
You’re saying we should be doing this with everything in our morning time. So what would it look like with you and that eight year old in that six year old practicing Lectio Divina in your morning time? So we always it’s about intention. I think that’s a large part of it. It has to do with me starting in the right head space. And that is really hard because I have to be in the mind space to recognize that what I’m doing is conversing with God and one of his children.
And so I usually start by picking something that I know will have something that I’m comfortable talking with and something that I think they really need. So like with children of the new forest, it’s about children learning how to be self dependent and self-reliant and learning how to gauge correct risk assessment. And so I see the parallels of that in the Bible. So we might read that and we’re going to read it and we’ll,
you know, I’ll ask them their favorite quote or maybe something that struck them, ask them for their narration back, and then I’ll ask them, Hey, can you continue to think about this? And then I’ll ask them, you know, maybe later in the day, Hey, what could you take away? Or what actions can you do to be like Edward?
Or I forget the little girl’s name, you know? So I think it’s starts with being in the mindset that you’re trying to teach truth and how to recognize truth first. And then you have to kind of work backwards and ask yourself what truth do I want my children to see? Cause they could find any truth and you could totally do that. I’ve done that.
I totally winged it and said, what truth did you find? And that came back to bite me, right? Because I was not prepared for the truth they found. Cause I was like, they’re not going to think about that. Okay, Hold on. And let’s break this down into the steps. So the first step where you’re actually reading the passage to them,
that is the Alexia Alexia step. Okay. And then the part where you ask them to narrate back and you said something else in there. Yeah. To wrestle with it. I ask them to think about it during the day. Okay. Okay. That is the second step. Yeah. That’s the bee vomit stage. Okay. And then the third step was where you come back and you ask them again,
what did you realize from this? And do you call it con or no? You know, I’m sorry, I’m going to correct myself. It was where you ask them, how could you be like them? Okay. And you actually do it as D in your home instead of contemplate to you. Okay. Because I want them to take action. Classical education is about,
you know, our actions meeting our thoughts and virtue. So we have to take steps to actually do that. So maybe when they’re in trouble, like, you know, every child has their vices that they struggle with. And so my son has his favorite fable, which is the donkey jumping off the cliff. And so we constantly have to remind them,
do you want to be the donkey? That is something that we have to constantly ask. And he’s like, no, you know, and then that Lexia really, you can see a change in him. He takes that on. He doesn’t want to make that choice. I think it’s really hard as parents, especially in today’s world to make children face the consequences of their actions,
true natural consequences in watching them fail and be disappointed. I think society kind of, especially, I felt that way as growing up, I watched kids who just never had consequences and then they grew up and it’s like, Holy cow, they’re struggling. And I didn’t want that for my kids. And so I decided to kind of create a situation where they would always have to pick themselves back up.
And so I figured stories for the best way to do that. And then I had a priest tell me about Lexia Ravinia. And I was like, Oh yeah, that’s so much better than what I’m doing because I could tie it to Jesus. It never occurred to me. I don’t know I was young. Okay. So those are the particular three steps and that is how you move through them.
Do you ever add that fourth step in there? Because we say so many prayers throughout our day. I schedule my day like a monastery, so they always hear the divine office. So I feel like even when they’re thinking about, they’re probably praying about it even without knowing it. Okay. So let’s talk about this for just a second. And the monastery,
would the steps of Lectio Divina be done together in community or was it more a time of solitary study and reflection? So that would depend on the order and they’re always going to be some aspects done in community for sure. But it is a process that happens both internally and externally. So each monastic order would have a different approach, like I said, based on their mission.
So for instance, the Benedictines and Dominican’s would have an individual study time, as well as large group destruction, distractions. Ashley, Does it sound like morning time, right? Distract everything. They really do. They distract ideas, I guess if it fits right, they would have these giant group discussions and the Dominican’s were big on, you know, fighting heresy.
So they were big debaters. So they were obviously into the art of rhetoric. So they would have had very, very outward community discussions, but then you had the Carthusians, they were completely solitary. They only had like an hour or two a week with their community. I mean, they got one book to read for the entire year and they would talk about it in that two hours that they had on Sunday out of their cells.
So I feel like homeschooling, obviously we’re more like the Benedictines in Dominican, right? Depending on your family. Yeah. I would prefer And method, but no one’s taken me up on that. We apparently all have to be together all the time. So well, so what is your order? I mean, you know, which ones kind of strive for?
I would say we’re a nice mixture between the better teams in, Dominican’s probably more on the Dominican side, just because I love to read for Jesus. So that’s my love language is books, but I will say the work aspect of the Benedictines is, has helped me through transitioning to be a stay at home mom and a homeschool mom. So how does that,
does that translate at all to Lectio Divina, that work aspect? Yeah. I think What work allows you to do physical labor allows you to participate in the community and to take care of the community. David Hicks has a beautiful sentiment in the introduction about knowing your place and medieval man was happy to toil in the farm plans next to the angels. And that’s what I want to do.
I want to plow my land next to the angels. I want to, I want to be there. I want to be ordered. And so I feel like a manual work is humbling. You know, you hear about Jose Maria Escobar and Opus DEI, and they have a beautiful concept of work that I think fits in to Lexia Divina. Cause they’re taking everything they’re gathering and they’re meditating it while they’re working.
And they’re striving to be a hundred percent present in what they’re doing. And really what we’re talking about is Scollay this process of Lexia. Divina is really a metaphor for Scalia. It’s setting you up for experiencing skull lay on a deeper level. Okay. And when you refer to the introduction, you referring to the introduction of norms and nobility, right? Yes ma’am.
Okay. I just wanted to make that clear for everybody. I knew what it was because that’s the only part of that book I’ve managed to make it. It’s my favorite part of that book. It’s a slow read for me over here. I still go back and I’m like, ah, Dave, I don’t know, shock them out. Okay.
So what are some of the challenges of actually, well, okay. I want to back up a little bit. Why do you think this is so important to strive to do this with our kids? I think it’s important. Somebody thinks Alexia Ravinia is a, is one of those important things that you can do because it’s a modeling. So not only are you showing your children how to encounter new ideas to be open-minded without accepting all new dogma,
but you yourself are, Oh, you can’t help, but be transformed when you’re constantly putting yourself in a place of understanding of humility. So I really believe Lexia. Divina is the key. If we really want to experience Scola cause it is a state of being, it’s a choice. And if you want to know what real wonder is, it’s not a fun activity.
It’s, it’s a choice you can choose to be in wonder. And you can only do that. If you can recognize the truth in front of you. If you can see that the, the nines times tables are opening yourself up to God, he created this entire world. Just so you could be at this moment, learning how to speak the language of creation.
That’s the most important thing you can be doing. There’s no way you can’t have a spiritual revelation when you are participating in Lexia Damania with an open and honest intention of getting towards God. So are you just constantly trying to convince yourself that or your kids, that this is what’s going on because my kids are gonna look at me and go, mom, you’re crazy.
It’s funny. I have, my, my oldest is completely St. Material. Like he is. He is like, I don’t know, super mystic boy. And then I have my daughter who doesn’t know what planet she’s on. And so we always have these conversations, but I’ve always approached anything like that. So I’ll tell my kids, you know,
we’re having a really hard day and no one can remember anything. And everyone’s pretty sure that, you know, Charles Martel was in 2010 that we can either choose to pray our memory work, or we can go to bed because if we can’t choose to be in wonder of what God’s created for us, there’s no way we can possibly accept what we’re going to learn today.
Anyways. Cause I don’t, I don’t want their lives to be about the practical nature of math because that’s going to burn them out at some point. And they do that. They come along for the ride. Well, they are, they go to bed. I mean they can spend all day in bed. That’s their choice. I mean, honestly I have no problem with them staying in bed.
Cause it’s, they have a special meal when they go to bed, everything. So, So I have my five-year-old above the nose, Bubba and tidy both. They know if they can participate in our family, they can go to bed. Okay. So this is part of what We’re doing, right? Everyone’s going to approach that differently in our house.
Really what ends up happening is when they go to bed, they realize they do want to be part of something. And that means they have to choose. Okay. They can choose to be a part of the family and choose to be a good person and have a good attitude because no one really wants to do most of the work. I’m honest with them.
I’m like, listen, I don’t want to change diapers. I don’t want to get up at 6:00 AM and get everyone’s breakfast ready or, you know, set it up for you guys to do, but I have to do it. And that’s just something we live by as we ought to do things. And with that comes great love and sacrifice. And that’s where we find the will to continue.
she’s really going to have to baby step her way into level of expectation, right? Oh yeah. Cause you know, I didn’t start this way. I took me, you know, PI you know, it was probably really until Leo was six. My oldest was six that I got the flow of what I really wanted and you’re going to have to fail.
So I have to go to bed. That’s embarrassing and it’s not fun. And so I don’t have that attitude anymore. And so maybe the first step I would say it would be to learn how to choose, to be in wonder yourself first. And the more you show that to them, the more they’re going to show, notice that difference and want to be there with you.
Awesome. Okay. So what I’m hearing you say, cause I had a bunch of questions written down about like contemplation and meditation and we’re not talking about something that is this silent, you know, thing that’s going on, you’re reading the material, you’re having this discussion about it and helping them wrestle through it. You’re asking them to think more about it.
And I think there’s a place for quiet time and I think the children do that. So naturally I think when they were playing trucks, you know, their minds are working quietly. It’s not like an adult where we’ve learned to shut down and we have to things quiet and we’re gonna focus, focus on this one topic because we have to, I found with the more you do Lexia,
you know, one of our desires as a parent is that they’re going to kind of subconsciously do this when they come in contact with new ideas and new reading and new things like that in the future that they’re not going to need mom to walk them through the steps of this. They’re going to take every piece of information that they come across and kind of subconsciously move through this process because you’ve taught them how to do it over the years.
I mean, that’s hard, but I think if enough practice in the safety of your home, children learn how to do that. And that’s really what the world needs right now is learn how not to be offended. So, you know, we have to learn how to say, I am over here. This has happening over there and I can meet that person and I can sit with them and know that there’s something going on,
You know, Leo and Bella are so close, they’re all in like I think like 10 or 12 months apart. So, or another one that is 15 months apart. So they’re 15 months apart. And so they just nag at each other. But what we’ve been able to do is they understand they’re both different and they’re processing things differently because we’ve had to talk about,
being an authority figure. And so they can keep each other on track, especially morally. Okay. That’s interesting., you know, honestly I have two boys and they fight constantly. And for some reason it’s never occurred to me to take an approach where they actually sit down and consider what the other person, you know, cause as an I and TJ,
you know, how are they acting? What might this mean? And then being able to wrestle with that and decide what you should do based on that. I like that. I like that a lot so well, how can some of the practices that I might already be doing in morning time, like reading, living books or doing narration fit into this particular idea,
I love it. Be open to fail, try it anyway, because it’s only in the failing that we’re going to learn how to do it better. And failure is the only practical thing I can actually tell someone to do. I feel like everything else is practical. Cause I don’t know everyone’s family situation, but I know that we’re all gonna fail. And so I can,
Links and Resources from Today’s Show
- SPONSOR: Mere Motherhood
- Mere Motherhood: Morning Times, Nursery Rhymes, & My Journey Toward Sanctification
- The Mason Jar Podcast
- Ashley’s blog, Between the Linens
- The Classical Homeschool Podcast
- Classically Catholic Memory
- Children of the New Forest
- Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
Key Ideas about Seeking Truth
- Lectio Divina is a way of finding the truth in the world and recognize God in it. The goal is to become whole in our discovery of God in the world.
- There are 3 steps in the original process of Lectio Divina. It included Lectio, Meditatio, and Compisiti. In these three steps, the person gathers information, digests and reflects on it, and then aims at changing one’s life in response to what they have learned.
- The practice of Lectio Divina can really be done with all subjects not just religious texts. All truth comes from God and therefore we can find truth in all of our studies.
Find What you Want to Hear
- 2:40 meet Ashely Woleben
- 9:31 defining Lectio Divina
- 17:30 the purpose of Lectio Divina
- 25:05 using Lectio Divina in Morning Time with all subjects
- 32:30 reasons for using Lectio Divina
- 41:20 practical ways to use it in your homeschool
Leave a Rating or Review
Doing so helps me get the word out about the podcast. iTunes bases their search results on positive ratings, so it really is a blessing — and it’s easy!
- Click on this link to go to the podcast main page.
- Click on Listen on Apple Podcasts under the podcast name.
- Once your iTunes has launched and you are on the podcast page, click on Ratings and Review under the podcast name. There you can leave either or both!