The spiritual life moves back-and-forth between the subjective and the objective. Without the objective, the subjective becomes subjectivism. We must have the objective dimension in our formation. The Christian tradition refers to this as lectio divina.
We will say more about this practice as we move along. But as we are making our beginning into spiritual formation as Nouwen described it, we must now emphasize the essential place that a prayerful reading and reflection upon a text has in our development. Our primary text is always the Bible.
Nouwen writes of this and says, “To read the Bible in this way means therefore to read ‘on my knees’–reverently, attentively, and with deep faith that God has a word for me in my own unique situation” (p. xxiii).
We see here the meeting point between our story and The Story—the intersection between reading our lives and reading the text. When the two come together, there is “fire!”