Chris Smith at the Englewood Review of Books has featured Lectio Divina–The Sacred Art: Transforming Words & Images into Heart-Centered Prayer this month! I am very honored by his review, here is an excerpt:
What distinguishes Paintner’s work from a host of other recent books on lectio divina is its focus on beauty. Paintner is an artist and has reflected at length on the role of the arts in spiritual formation (for instance in her book Awakening the Creative Spirit, co-written with Betsey Beckman, which we reviewed here). Part of what is lost in the ever-increasing pace of Western culture, is the joy of the beautiful, and Paintner, deeply aware of this loss, presents lectio divina in a way that draws the reader in and compels her to immerse herself in the beauty of engaging slowly, intentionally and personally with the biblical text. Lectio divina is presented here in language that clearly explains what it is and how it could be practiced in a variety of contexts, but so in a way that is full of life and joy.
In the past, I have often recommended Tony Jones’s book on lectio divina, Divine Intervention, which also is a simple and thoughtful introduction to the practice. Paintner’s treatment here, however, although it covers roughly similar ground, does so more eloquently, and takes a broader view that spurs our imaginations to consider lectio divina as a way of being, a practice that helps us slow our lives in a world that is speeding out of control. . .
I have been excited in recent years to see a rising tide of interest in slower, more attentive expressions of Christian faith. Christine Paintner’s Lectio Divina, The Sacred Art is a lovely apologetic for recovering an historical practice of reading scripture that is not only a way of appreciating and engaging scripture that befits our times, but also a practical way of orienting our lives toward becoming a slower people, a contrast community that proclaims in our life together the good news of a caring and more meaning-full life!