Lectio Divina: The Sacred Art of Reading the World
A companion retreat to the book
Registration Fee: $120 USD
In ancient times, wise men and women fled out into the desert to find a place where they could be fully present to God and to their own inner struggles at work within them. They sought out radical silence, solitude, and continuous prayer. Many people followed these ammas and abbas, seeking their wisdom and guidance for a meaningful life. One tradition was to ask for a word – this word or phrase would be something on which to chew, ponder, meditate, and engage with in holy curiosity for many days, weeks, months, or sometimes a whole lifetime. This practice is one of the roots of lectio divina, where we approach the sacred texts with the same request: "Give me a word" we ask the scriptures – something to nourish me, challenge me, a word I can wrestle with and grow into – something to transform my heart.
Words can illuminate our hearts; they contain seeds of invitation to cross a new threshold. Words ripen within us. We can receive a word and not realize its full impact for our lives for a long while until one day we suddenly see things differently. Lectio divina is an ancient practice of listening deeply to the voice of God shimmering in sacred texts. Lectio cultivates in us the ability to be fully present to the holy call which emerges from words.
Lectio divina is a practice of being present to each moment in a heart-centered way. We are often taught in churches to think through our prayers – reciting words and formulas which are valuable elements of our shared traditions, but only one window into God’s presence. In lectio we invite God to speak to us in an unmediated way. Our memories, images, and feelings become an important context for experiencing God’s voice active in us and we discover it when we pray in a heart-centered way. Those words moving through us break open God’s invitation to us in this moment of our lives and calls us to respond in some way.
Are you longing for a transformative journey to deeper intimacy with God through an ancient practice? Would you like to cultivate a contemplative way of being with scripture and the world? Would you like to have a guide supporting you through regular reflections and guided meditation practices?
Six days each week you will receive an email with a link to the day's content. The 7th day is a time for rest and integration.
Day 1: Introduction to the week from Christine Valters Paintner (text)
Day 2: Scripture reflection from John Valters Paintner (text)
Day 3: Recording of a webinar session with Christine Valters Paintner (audio)
Day 4: Recording of meditation with Christine Valters Paintner (audio)
Day 5: Invitation to write a poem (text)
Day 6: A poem to close the week (text)
Day 7: Sabbath rest and integration
You may move through the material at your own pace. The content is in written and audio formats which you can read and listen to at any time. You have forever access to the materials in the course.
- 6 weekly audio recordings of previously recorded live sessions** from Christine Valters Paintner on the practice of lectio divina
- 6 weekly written reflections from John Valters Paintner on gospel passages
- 6 audio recordings of guided meditations
- A poem to close out each week.
- Suggestions for weekly reading from Lectio Divina: The Sacred Art–Transforming Words and Images into Heart-Centered Prayer (book not included, must be purchased separately)
**The recordings of the live session were offered in a previous community offering of the retreat. Please disregard references to the season of Lent and to sharing in the forum as this is the self-study version of the program.
The Gates We Enter, The Thresholds We Cross
All stories have gates that the reader enters alongside the protagonist. The gate leads to a threshold that once crossed, initiates a series of challenges and invitations for the protagonist and for us. We find the Selkie within us.
Your Guides for the Journey
Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, REACE
Christine is the director of AbbeyoftheArts.com, a virtual monastery exploring contemplative practice, creative expression, and ways to nourish an earth-cherishing consciousness. She is a spiritual director, teacher, pilgrimage guide, and author of nine books on spirituality and the arts. Her deepest belief is that the earth is the original monastery–a wisdom guide and mentor in living a soulful and vibrant life. Visit the "About Christine" page for more information.
John Valters Paintner, MTS
Praise for the Course
Terms and Conditions
Please consider your purchase carefully and review the many free materials we have on our website to make sure the program will be a good fit or get in touch with any questions.
We ask that you honor our work by not sharing the program materials with others who are not enrolled.
Please contact us for permission to quote in settings beyond the program
Some self-study retreats include video or audio recordings of sessions that were recorded in a live community offering of the retreat and may make reference to forums or other modes of sharing. Please disregard these as self-study retreats do not have these available.
If you choose a payment plan and stop payment before fulfilling the commitment without contacting us to make other arrangements, your access to the program will be removed.