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Reading with God: Lectio Divina Paperback – 22 Dec 2005


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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Continuum (22 Dec. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826460844
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826460844
  • Product Dimensions: 12.3 x 1.6 x 20.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

David Foster's book is a welcome aid in praying with scripture. Foster's book on Lectio Divina or 'godly reading' offers the reader a way of coming to terms with reading and praying the Bible. It is a handbook that offers a practical guide for grounding one's life on the Bible....Foster's gradual introduction to reading scriptuer is ideal for the beginner. The book should prove useful to seminarians and students of theology. Their inital encounter with scripture in the breviary and in study can be quite overwhelming. This book ought to allow one to appreciate and to be pastorally challenged by the Word of God. Finally, pastors may find this book useful as a basic text for instructing people on reading scripture.' The Furrow, Martin Whelan, October 2006,Mentioned title in The Tablet, 2008.,'intelligent, well-written spirituality in the Catholic tradition...It is a work that will help Christians of all traditions to use scripture to deepen their relationship with God',Quotes from author about title, in The Tablet, 18 Feb 2006 --The Furrow, Martin Whelan, October 2006

About the Author

Dom David Foster OSB is a Monk of Downside Abbey. He was the editor and compiler of The Catholic Prayer Book from Downside Abbey.

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219 of 221 people found the following review helpful By M. Howard on 10 Dec. 2006
Format: Paperback
I never thought that monastaries held anything relevant for the modern spiritual life, yet David Foster proved me wrong.

In an engaging written style that does not assume you are an oxford university professor, Foster brings to the reader a precious spiritual discipline that has helped me draw closer to God.

He explains, in essence, that reading the Bible should not be the same process as reading any other book. The Bible is God's letter to us, and can therefore bring deep change in our hearts and lives. Lectio Divina is an ancient practice still used in monastries today. Basically, it is 'reading with God'; you let God talk to you through scripture, and then you talk back.

It isn't some strange, mystical practice that we should be weary of. In fact, its something that you begin to hope will be used more widely in the church. It can be done by anyone in any place. All you need is a bible.

This book is a solid introduction to lection divina and is really all you need in order to learn how to do it.
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Nobody Famous on 6 Aug. 2010
Format: Paperback
It might be strange for someone like me to read and find this book helpful. I'm not especially religious and had never heard of Lectio Divina until recently.

I wanted to read the Bible, as a cultural reference as much as a religious guide. I found it very hard going in places, both factually and morally, and I struggled to understand how much of it could be viewed as a guide to living a good and proper life. I tried Bible study guides and founf them largely useless because for me they were very restrictive: they told me what to read and what to think about it.

But then I came across Reading with God completely by accident when a friend of mine left a copy lying around. I read a few pages and realised it could help so I bought a copy and it is very helpful indeed. It explains Lectio Divina very clearly and simply, what it is and how to practise it, what the difficulties and benefits are. The most important feature of the process for me being that Lectio Divina doesn't tell you what to think. It gives you the freedom to contemplate and reach your own conclusions.

Reading the Bible in this way has transformed, at least for me, a difficult process into something that is genuinely interesting and uplifting. As I said at the beginning, I'm not especially religious but I do now understand and appreciate the wisdom contained in the Bible much better than I did before, and much more than any study guides have been able to do.

I'd like to think this book will become much more popular with Bible readers, and to be honest, although Lectio Divina is obviously a practice designed for Christian reflection, there is no practical reason why the same idea can't be applied to any text requiring contemplation and reflection.
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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Mr. S. L. Bailham on 30 May 2009
Format: Paperback
Reading with God is a brilliant book for those who have never done Lectio Divina before and want to start. Rather than just attempting to describe Lectio Divina it actually takes you through the motions giving you a helping hand with extracts of scripture. Step by step Dom David walks with you and how the meditation on scripture can deepen our faith and appreciation and understanding of scripture. Dom David is a very kind and gentle man in person and it is reflected in this fantastic book. Can't recommend it more!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By E. L. Wisty TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 1 May 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The pratice of lectio divina consists of four parts: lectio, the initial reading (which may involve reading aloud, copying the text, reading the same passage again and again and so on); meditatio, the thinking and ruminating upon the text; oratio, the prayer as dialog with God; and finally contemplatio, the silent contemplation of God. The process need not necessarily be linear.

David Foster's book is a largely example driven work, with plenty of sample passages. The four parts are renamed by him in the chapter headings "Hearing the Word", "Receiving the Word", "Praying the Word" and "Wondering at the Word". He adds two further chapters on "Doing the Word", for those of us who do not live in monasteries, and "Living by the Word", discussing what we may become as a result of practising lectio divina.

The book provides a good starting point, but for myself I think I would have liked a little more "theory" if you like. I also thought that the chapter on prayer was slightly weak in its content, and could do with being fleshed out a bit more. I note however that Foster has written a follow up Deep Calls to Deep: Going Further in Prayer, which may be of assistance here.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By M. Bairsto on 3 Jun. 2010
Format: Paperback
I bought this book on recommendation. I have not finished it yet, but if you are interested in having a closer relationship with God, this is a great book. It teaches you how to read the Bible as the Word of God, meditate on it, absorb it, and hopefully live it. This is the key to a powerful and Godly life.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Andy Bugden on 25 Dec. 2010
Format: Paperback
The Bible is inspired by God and so is Dom David's Book. He shows us how the Bible can be read simply and how to find and respond to God. Every page is a delight and although I like to read books quickly, I found that I was unable to do this because I was challenged on every page. I have also put some of it to use with my teenage RE charges. So often we say the Our Father without fully reflecting on it's meaning and letting it settle into our hearts. Remember Claudius "my words fly up my thoughts remain below; words without thoughts never to heaven go".

This is truly an important book. I have just purchased a few of them for our church here. My wife has had to endure the fact that I have been unable to put it down.
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