Monday, December 17, 2007

Eat This Book by Eugene Peterson

I have just finished this book today and it was an amazing read. Hear these words from Peterson in the section dedicated to Lectio Divina. Get this book, read it, eat it.

Contemplation means submitting to the biblical revelation, taking it within ourselves, and then living in unpretentiously, without fanfare.. It doesn't mean (and these are the stereotyped misunderstanding) quiet, withdraw, secluded, serene, or benign. It has nothing to do with whether we spend our days as a grease monkey under an automobile or on our knees in a Benedictine choir. It doesn't mean "having it all together." It doesn't mean being emotionally and mentally well-balanced.
Contemplatives fly off the handle, make bad judgments, speak out mistakenly and regret their words, run stoplights an get speeding tickets. Contemplatives get depressed, get confused, get fat, get lost, and sometimes don't get it at all. "Contemplative" is not a term of achievement. It is not a badge of merit.
Contemplative is a designation that any one of us can accept for ourselves and one that we all should. We will never read and live the Bible rightly if we don't. Lectio divina anticipates and assumes contemplation. If it makes us feel better to attach the adjective "failed" I have no objection. Failed contemplative. All contemplatives are failed contemplatives. But the word itself, whether as adjective or noun, stands: contemplative.
Contemplation means living what we read, not wasting any of it or hoarding any of it. but using it up in living.

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