"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.
Christine Valters Painter
Christine Valters Paintner is the online abbess for Abbey of the Arts, a virtual monastery offering classes and resources on contemplative practice and creative expression. She earned a doctorate in Christian spirituality from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, and achieved professional status as a registered expressive arts consultant and educator from the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association.
Paintner is the author of eight books on monasticism and creativity, including The Eyes of the Heart; Water, Wind, Earth, and Fire; The Artist’s Rule; and The Soul of a Pilgrim. She is a columnist for the progressive Christian portal at Patheos. She leads pilgrimages in Ireland, Austria, and Germany and online retreats at her website, abbeyofthearts.com, living out her commitment as a Benedictine Oblate in Galway, Ireland, with her husband, John.