Practice: Lectio Divina with A Love Supreme by John Coltrane
Richard Rohr writes :
Contemplate the soulful music of saxophonist John Coltrane’s composition “Psalm” from his album A Love Supreme. In “Psalm,” John Coltrane plays the “words” of his poem that was included in the original liner notes. He put this handwritten poem/prayer on the music stand in front of him, and “played” it as if it were music. Practicing Lectio Divina with this song may deepen your sense of prayer and add possible ways to pray. If you enjoy the practice with “Psalm,” we encourage you to try praying with other music. That is one of the beauties of Lectio Divina: it encourages us to “pray always.”
- Before listening to John Coltrane’s “Psalm,” settle your body and begin with silence, asking God to be present in your listening.
- Listen to “Psalm” and read along with the words from the poem that appear on the screen. Listen more than once. As you listen again, notice if any image, word, emotion, or memory is called forth in you.
- When you settle on an image, word, emotion, or memory, sit silently with it and bring your attention back to it when your attention strays.
- Ask God to reveal what this image, word, phrase, or emotion might have to say about your life today.? How is it connected to your spiritual journey?
- Rest silently with your image, word, phrase, or emotion. Offer it to God. Wait patiently on God.
- What would you like to express to God about the experience of praying with this piece of music? Take some time to journal about your experience.
Here are the opening lines of “Psalm”:
I will do all I can to be worthy
of Thee O Lord.
It All has to do with it.
Thank You God.
There is none other.
God is. It is so beautiful.
Thank You God. God is All.