Jul 6, 2013

Eyes of the Heart, A Review



Christine Valters Painter in her book, Eyes of the Heart: Photograhy as Christian Contemplative Practice, is a photographic journey into visio divina, sacred seeing, using the camera to focus attention and heart on the beauty of God's presence around us in the everyday life.  Visio divina is based on lectio divina, sacred reading, which is a way of coming to the text of the Bible with the intent to commune with the Living God through His Living Words by seeing Jesus in each reading through the four steps of reading, meditating, praying, and contemplating/reflecting on Jesus.  Christine Valters Painter is a spiritual director and Benedictine oblate whom uses six themes to connect the art of photography and Christian spirituality.  The camera takes pictures, but the human receives the images and through visio divina is able to see with "the eyes of the heart" as it says in Ephesians 1,18.

I really liked Christine's photography scattered throughout the book.  It brought the words to life, and opened my mind and heart.  I also liked the adaptation of the lectio divina to a visual medium, not just a verbal one.  We are visual creatures and are stunned by images of breathtaking vistas.  I can see myself taking my smartphone on my next walk, snapping a few images of beauty that I pass by in a blur most days, and feel the slowness and stillness of God in my heart and soul.

This was a spectacular introduction to lectio/visio divina and to photography as a method to slow down and come into a stillness within your soul.

I gave this book 5/5 stars for the wonderful images, insights, and inspiration.

I received my copy of this book through the NetGalley Review Program from the publisher Ave Maria Press in exchange for my honest opinion.