An ancient method of
reflecting on Scripture
prayerfully and devotionally
Introduction to Collatio: Reading Scripture devotionally
Collatio may be used alone, or to guide reflection about Scripture with two or more people. The use of a journal can be helpful to your reflection, and over time provide a collection of faithful reflections. References to journaling can be replaced with spoken sharing if this is done in a group setting.
When practicing collatio, select a verse or entire passage of scripture. Use one of the selections from the Sunday readings, the 50 Days of Prayer outline, the Daily Lectionary, or from another source.
Open your journal and write the date. Then, write a few words about what’s going on in your life, in your heart, in the world around you right now. Ask God’s blessings on these words and on the realities to which they point.
Open your Bible and read the scripture passage a first time and allow time for silent reflection.
Read the passage a second time and allow ONE WORD from the passage to rise up and speak to you, a word that resonates. Write that word in your journal. Allow time for silent reflection.
Read the passage a third time and allow AN IMAGE, A PHRASE, OR AN ENTIRE VERSE to rise up and speak to you. That resonating image, phrase, or verse – write it down. Allow for time for silent reflection.
Now, reflect on everything you have written so far – about your day and your world, and the resonating words and images from Scripture. Ask God’s Spirit to guide you. Write any additional words or images or thoughts that connect what you’ve written.
Read the passage a fourth time, allow time for silent reflection, and pray.