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Intro to Contemplative Prayer: Lectio Divina & Visio Divina

February 4, 2022 @ 9:00 am11:00 am CST


Ever Ancient, Ever New: Encountering the Divine through words and art

Deep, contemplative reading is part of just about all traditions with written scriptures. Since most religions have revered texts, reading forms a very special form of devotion and provides an interesting background to explore the modes of contemplative engagement.

In the Christian tradition contemplative reading is known as lectio divina (“divine reading,” in Latin). Through a process of close, contemplative reading, the simple words on the page become clearer and more meaningful. It brings greater understanding and connection, something easily missed by a superficial, quick reading. In lectio divina we let go of more intellectual, studious, or effortful ways of reading the scripture and enter a state in which we are quiet and receptive to God’s word. We let go of our own words, and let God speak to us.

In this practice, the words of scripture become very alive and touch the heart in spontaneous ways that lead us more deeply into our relationship with God. As you learn this practice of sacred listening, you will feel into and move through the four senses of sacred text you read — the literal, the allegorical, the moral/behavioral, and the unitive – and eventually explore how the practice of Lectio Divina can be applied to deep listening to the presence of the Divine in your life.

We will also explore the “lectio of life,” seeing God everywhere — in us, between us, and surrounding us — in nature, in relationships, and in events and circumstances of our day-to-day lives. The presence of the Divine is with us and manifests in an ongoing relationship revealed at ever-deeper levels.

Visio Divina is translated as “divine seeing” and is one form of prayer using images – works of art, stained glass windows, icons, even images in nature.  It is related to the prayer form Lectio Divina (divine reading), but instead of Scripture, this form of prayer uses visual elements to help set your mind on prayer. It allows the Divine to speak into your heart through the image.

You will be introduced to these two practices and how to do them. You will have time to experience each practice with a guide and then on your own. You will have a chance to talk with a trained listener/spiritual director about what you noticed and what came up for you during the experience.

Participants will be assigned a private Quiet Pod to experience a personal time of stillness and silence.

Contemplative Prayer Mini-Retreats are typically offered on Fridays from 9-11 am. We can also make an appointment for a different day and time to meet your needs. You may choose another time or see all the Contemplative Prayer practices available.



Choose your preferred date when you register.

After you register, you will be asked about your preference for what type of sacred text you would prefer to use. There are many options to choose from including Christian scripture (traditional, modern, or inclusive), Hebrew scripture, secular or sacred poetry, writings from the mystics, etc.



February 4, 2022
9:00 am—11:00 am CST
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Soul Care Urban Retreat Center


Soul Care Urban Retreat Center
507 South Broadway Avenue
Urbana, IL 61801 United States
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