Sunday, January 18, 2015

Join me and my colleague Steve Standiford for a silent weekend retreat February 6 - 8th at the Garrison Institute overlooking the Hudson River one hour from New York by train.  We will explore two contemplative practices, Centering Prayer, a form of silent meditation, and Lectio Divina, an ancient way of listening to sacred texts.  This retreat has been changed from a five day to a two day retreat, which we hope will make it accessible to more people.  For more information or to register, visit the Garrison Institute website.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

This five day silent retreat offers immersion in two contemplative practices from the Christian tradition: Centering Prayer, a form of silent meditation, and Lectio Divina, a way of listening to sacred texts with the ear of the heart.  As long-time meditators know, the best way to integrate contemplative prayer into our daily lives is through practice and silence. This retreat, suitable for beginners or experienced practitioners, will emphasize time spent in practice.  We will experience Lectio Divina in many different formats, as individuals and in groups.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Lectio Divina Online replaced with News of the World Lectio Divina

I've recently begun creating a series of daily videos called News of the World Lectio Divina, which are inspired by Lectio Divina and which have come to replace the Lectio Divina Online postings.  They combine chanting of the New York Times and the psalms and provide a way of entering into prayer for the world as if attending a very brief prayer service, one to three minutes long.

The ancient prayers of the psalms ask many of the same questions that we might be asking as we listen to the troubling events described in the news: Where is God while all this is happening?  Will God do anything if I pray?  Why is the world so lost?  

Both the news and the psalms are full of material that may evoke difficult feelings in the listener.  It’s all right to hear the words of prayer that are being chanted and not agree with them.  Prayer does not demand that we stop questioning, doubting, thinking, or struggling to find our own voice.  These prayers invite you to be with your thoughts and feelings about what is happening in the world and go deeper, whatever that may mean for you. 

If you are interested, these videos can be found on Youtube and Facebook and there is more information about them on my website.  I would love to hear your comments and suggestions.  

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Lectio Divina 157

Luke 10:38 - 42

Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Lectio Divina 156

Marilynne Robinson, Gilead.  New York: Picador, 2004, p. 179.

So my advice is this – don’t look for proofs.  Don’t bother with them at all.  They are never sufficient to the question, and they’re always a little impertinent, I think, because they claim for God a place within our conceptual grasp.  And they will likely sound wrong to you even if you convince someone else with them.  That is very unsettling over the long term.  “Let your works so shine before men,” etc.  It was Coleridge who said Christianity is a life, not a doctrine, words to that effect.  I’m not saying never doubt or question.  The Lord gave you a mind so that you would make honest use of it.  I’m saying you must be sure that the doubts and questions are your own, not, so to speak, the mustache and walking stick that happen to be the fashion of any particular moment.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Lectio Divina 155

Saul Bellow, quoted in The New Yorker, July 22, 2013

When you open a novel – and I mean of course the real thing – you enter into a state of intimacy with its writer.  You hear a voice or, more significantly, an individual tone under the words.  This tone you, the reader, will identify not so much by a name, the name of the author, as by a distinct and unique human quality.  It seems to issue from the bosom, from a place beneath the breastbone.  It is more musical than verbal, and it is the characteristic signature of a person, of a soul.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Lectio Divina 154

Teresa of Avila

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks with
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.