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April 20, 2016

Book: Transformed by God's Word: Discovering the Power of Lectio and Visio Divina
Author: Stephen J. Binz
Ave Maria Press. Notre Dame, IN. 2015. Pp. 210

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

Stephen J. Binz offers the first book to combine the ancient Western practice of lectio divina (sacred reading) with the lesser-known Eastern Orthodox tradition of visio divina (sacred seeing). Binz suggests a life-changing way to pray through twenty gospel readings --- starting with the Annunciation and ending with Pentecost --- paired with beautiful, never-before published contemporary icons.

Binz walks you through six stepts --- reading, seeing, meditating, praying, contemplating, and acting --- and also provides simple suggestion s for self-reflection that can lead to practical changes in your everyday life.

An Excerpt from the Book:

Icons have been described as theology in line and color. They are the visual language of Eastern Christianity. The Byzantine world in which icons were produced and first viewed was one in which everyone had knowledge of the biblical literature. So icons do not take the place of scripture for the uneducated; rather they are expressions and interpretations of the sacred texts. They are viewed in the context of scripture and its proclamation in the Church's liturgy. Icons express and interpret the Word of God in a way similar to the preaching and writing of the early patristic theologians. So the Byzantine viewer gazing at an icon absorbs the imagery in light of their prior textual knowledge. For this reason, our listening and reflecting on scripture is complemented by our gazing and meditating on sacred images.

Table of Contents:

The ancient tradition of Lectio Divina
Experiencing God's Word through icons
The formative experience of Lectio and Visio Divina

The Annunciation
Nativity of Christ
Presentation in the Temple
Jesus is found in the Temple
Baptism of Jesus
Wedding at Cana
Proclamation of God's Kingdom
Transfiguration of Jesus Christ
Last supper
Agony of Jesus
Flagellation of Christ
Here is the Man
Carrying the Cross
Dormition of Mary
Coronation of Mary