August 2012 enews bulletin

shadow of the heart image from Diane Walker
image courtesy of Diane Walker

“We tend to read Scriptures as if they were just another book to be consumed.  Lectio [Divina] is just the opposite.  It is the savoring of the text, a leisurely lingering in divine revelation ... The Spirit who wrote the Scriptures is within us and enlightens us as to what the Scriptures are saying to us.  The word is ultimately addressed to our inmost being.  It starts with what is most outward and works toward what is most inward to awaken us to the abiding presence of God."
Thomas Keating, "The Process of Lectio Divina", Intimacy with God


Q&A with Fr. Carl Arico

Fr. Carl Arico
Q: I have been advised to NOT do Centering Prayer in conjunction with Lectio Divina. Individually and in a group setting I have practiced doing Lectio immediately before Centering Prayer and found that often the CP time was enriched by the preceding Lectio. Conversely, I have done CP and then Lectio and found that Lectio was enhanced. This is not surprising since both tend to open us to God's presence and thus the second of the two seems likely to be deeper given our readiness bestowed by the first. So, why is there a recommendation to not combine these practices?

A:   Read Fr. Carl’s response.

See the archive of previous Q&A’s

Please submit your questions about contemplative practices, the spiritual journey and the contemplative life to Fr. Carl by emailing Pamela Begeman.


New on the Website:  Lectio Divina Resources

Reading the Bible
New and updated FAQs about Lectio Divina (scroll down)
* A video with Sr. Maria Tasto and a slide presentation (scroll down)

In the News

While we're on the subject of Lectio Divina, read this new blog article from America Magazine on the history of this ancient contemplative practice.  Here's an excerpt:  "Lectio Divina, as a distinct form of Christian prayer, dates from Origen in the third century who spoke of 'scripture as a sacrament'. Origen thought the Logos, the Word, Christ was incarnate in the scriptures and, thus, could immediately touch and teach readers and hearers. For Origen, Christ is 'the interpretive key' which unlocks the message in scriptural texts."  Copy and paste this link into your browser (clicking from here won't work):

Voices of the Community

holy stone
Holy Stone, by Robert Brown.  
On a visit to Ireland in June 2012, my wife and I visited Dingle, County Kerry.  This Holy Stone, one of many on the Emerald Isle, sits in the street in front of a home. Read more.

His Silent Valley, by R.H. Burke.  It is another day in the Lord.
    I step from my room into the silence of the valley –
    an almost audible silence that is the language of God. Read more.
Please email reflections about your spiritual journey, contemplative life, or daily practice to Pamela Begeman for consideration; 700 words or less.
See the archive of previous articles

Online course now available in on-demand format

Practicing the Presence of God online courseIf you missed the live version of this online course in June, the good news is you can now take this course on your own time, at your own pace.  This online retreat explores the contemplative prayer practice of living in the present moment with attention and intention and uses the examples of three Christian contemplative mentors:  Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection, St. Therese of Lisieux and Jean-Pierre De Caussade.  Go here for more information or to register for the Practicing the Presence of God on demand course.

 ** Browse our other online, on-demand courses here. **

In the Store

The Thomas Keating Reader (Selected Writings from the Contemplative Outreach Newsletter).  The Thomas Keating Reader gathers for the first time 30 newsletter articles (some never published elsewhere) to offer a valuable overview of some of the main strands of Fr. Thomas' thinking and practice on Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina, and interreligious dialogue.  $20 USD.

Too Deep for Words, by Sr. Thelma Hall.  Rediscovering Lectio Divina with 500 Scripture texts for prayer.  $9.95 USD.

St. Therese of Lisieux, A Transformation in Christ, by Thomas Keating.  Commentaries on the spiritual life as seen through six parables of Jesus and insights from the life of St. Thérèse.  $10 USD.

Registration closes soon for two Special Retreats

Embodying the Presence of God (register by Sept 1)
Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler & David Frenette with Hadley Morris
September 7-11, 2012
St. Mary’s Sewanee
Sewanee, TN
Read more and register.

Death & Dying on the Contemplative Christian Journey (register by Sept 7)
Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler, Fr. Carl Arico & Mary Anne Best
September 14 - 20, 2012 (two options:  weekend & immersion retreat)
Garrison Institute
Garrison, NY
Featuring new teachings and a DVD series by Thomas Keating, The Gift of Life: Death & Dying, Life & Living.  Read more and register.

Visit our easy-to-use online calendar for full listings of retreats, workshops and special events.  You'll find retreats on the Welcoming Prayer, Lectio Divina, Heartfulness, Forgiveness and more.  New events are added each week.   


For more information on events, retreats, local Centering Prayer contacts, an online store and teachings from Contemplative Outreach, go to our website.

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