Lectio Divina--the Sacred Art : Transforming Words and Images into Heart-Centered Prayer

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-05-27
  • Publisher: Jewish Lights Pub
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Lectio divina, which means sacred reading, is an ancient contemplative practice of listening deeply to the voice of God in sacred texts. In recent years there has been a reclaiming of the riches of contemplative prayer forms of Western traditions. Through the practice of lectio divina you become present to each moment in a heart-centered way. Gradually, the practice of lectio expands your capacity to sense God¿s presence until all of life becomes a cascade of prayer. Drawing on her own experience as a monk in the world, Christine Valters Paintner breaks open the movements of this spiritual practice. She makes them accessible to the contemporary reader who longs for a more pervasive experience of the holy in the everyday but lives far away from the sanctuary of a monastery. She includes simple, engaging and meaningful prayer experiences that include: ¿ A simple, heart-centered practice to connect with the infinite Source of compassion already dwelling within you for those times when you long to cultivate more kindness toward yourself ¿ A series of contemplative practices to reclaim the lost art of savoring, to listen to what is stirring deeply within your heart and to receive the gifts of silence ¿ Expanding lectio divina beyond scriptural texts to include visual art, music, nature and life experience ¿ Suggestions for group experiences and times of retreat

Table of Contents

Introductionp. ix
Beginning Our Exploration of Lectio Divina
Sacred Reading Listening for a Sacred Wordp. 3
Invitation to Practice Lectio Divinap. 11
Suggested Texts for Lectio Divina: The Power of Wordsp. 13
For Reflectionp. 16
At the Heart of Lectio Divina: Benedictine Spirituality and Heart-Centered Prayerp. 17
Invitation to Practice: Heart-Centered Prayerp. 22
Suggested Texts for Lectio Divina: Heartp. 25
For Reflectionp. 27
The Role of Spiritual Practice Cultivating Ways of Being in the Worldp. 29
Invitation to Practice: Commitmentp. 40
Suggested Texts for Lectio Divina: Wisdomp. 44
For Reflectionp. 45
"Give Me a Word" Choosing Texts for Lectio Divinap. 47
Invitation to Practice: Varying Translationsp. 56
Invitation to Practice: Learn by Heartp. 58
Suggested Texts for Lectio Divina: Encountering the Sacredp. 58
For Reflectionp. 60
The Four Movements of Lectio Divina
Listening for God's Voice Lectio's Call to Awaken to the Divinep. 63
Invitation to Practice: Shimmeringp. 71
Further Possibilities for Practice Using a Mantrap. 75
Synchronicityp. 76
Writingp. 76
Poetry Exploration: Haikup. 76
Suggested Texts for Lectio Divina: Listeningp. 77
For Reflectionp. 79
Savoring Sacred Text Meditatio's Welcoming with All Sensesp. 81
Invitation to Practice: Savoring and Stirringp. 94
Further Possibilities for Practice Savoring Lifep. 96
Poetry Exploration: Cinquainp. 98
Suggested Texts for Lectio Divina: Praying with the Senses and with Sorrowp. 99
For Reflectionp. 101
Summoning Your True Self Hearing Oratio's Call of the Spiritp. 103
Invitation to Practice: Summoning and Servingp. 116
Further Possibilities for Practice Finding a Soul Friendp. 118
Poetry Exploration: The Acrostic Poemp. 119
Suggested Text for Lectio Continua: Invitationp. 120
For Reflectionp. 122
The Gift of Being: Resting in Contemplation Stillness and Silencep. 123
Invitation to Practice: Slowing and Stillingp. 136
Further Possibilities for Practice Poetry Exploration: 7-Line Poem p. 139
Suggested Texts for Lectio Divina: Silencep. 140
For Reflectionp. 142
Reading The World
Visio Divina: Praying with imagesp. 145
Invitation to Practice: Visio Divinap. 149
Further Possibilities for Practice Art Expioration: Collagep. 152
Art Exploration: Mandalap. 155
For Reflectionp. 156
Audio Divina: Praying with Soundp. 157
Invitation to Practice: Audio Divinap. 162
Further Possibilities for Practice Heartbeat of Lectiop. 164
Toningp. 165
Chantp. 165
For Reflectionp. 166
Nature as Sacred Textp. 167
Invitation to Practice: Lectio Divina with Naturep. 171
Further Possibilities for Practice Nature as Iconp. 173
For Reflectionp. 174
The Sacred Stories of Our Livesp. 175
Invitation to Practice: Lectio with Life Experiencep. 177
Further Possibilities for Practice Praying Lectio with the Bodyp. 180
Praying Lectio with Dreamsp. 180
Praying Lectio with the Newspaperp. 181
For Reflectionp. 182
Afterword: The Divine Presence Is Everywherep. 183
Acknowledgmentsp. 187
Retreat Experiencep. 188
Lectio Divina as a Small Group Experiencep. 191
Mandalap. 197
Notesp. 198
Suggested Resourcesp. 203
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