Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Sacred Reading: The Ancient Art of Lectio Divina” as Want to Read:
Sacred Reading: The Ancient Art of Lectio Divina
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Sacred Reading: The Ancient Art of Lectio Divina

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  197 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
Examines the Western tradition of lectio divina (a spiritual and prayerful approach to reading the sacred texts) in order to help readers expand their spiritual approach to living.

Paperback, 160 pages
Published September 24th 1997 by Liguori Publications (first published April 1996)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Sacred Reading, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Sacred Reading

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Another book I was perusing in preparation for my reading class. I'm going to create a secular lectio divina type exercise, so I wanted to read more about it! After reading about monks and their reading practices, the long history of the art of lectio divina in the church, I feel that more monkish practices may appear in my class. There is an underlying of personal reading as part of a shared reading community that I really like, and I'm mulling over ways of making that happen. Perhaps we shall ...more
Ian Callahan
Dec 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I picked up a copy at a short conference on Lectio Divina at St. Mary's Monastery in Petersham, MA. This is a book I will turn to again and again for the rest of my life.

First of all, it's an excellent introduction to the practice of Lectio Divina. But what I found really remarkable about it was the depth and wisdom of the author coming through, almost leaping, off the page. I'm not accustomed to being around older, spiritually mature men and women of faith and Michael Casey's ability to situat
May 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009
This book is about the traditional Catholic practice of lectio divina -- reading scripture meditatively in a prayerful spirit.

I requested it "blind" from PBS and was a little nervous because sometimes, unfortunately, Catholic spirituality can be mixed with relativism and over-homage to other religions to the point of diluting the richness of the deposit of faith. However, it turned out to be both solid and perceptive and scholarly. I am glad to have a book on lectio divina on my shelves.
Jan 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Excellent. Takes lectio a bit deeper than the intro books.
Andrew Doohan
Nov 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
The art of lectio divina, literally holy reading is a long-established practice in the Christian spiritual life, particularly in the various monastic traditions of the Christian Church, both east and west. The practice dates to the very beginning of Christianity, though it became intrinsic to the monastic tradition based on the Rule of St Benedict, becoming a daily practice of those within the monastery.

The practice of lectio divina has escaped the monastic enclosure and become increasingly popu
Dec 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
Probably the best book on Lectio Divina for the "systematically minded" modern person. Not to say it does not have its roots in experience, but the way it is written is very straight forward in order to give a person the best overall knowledge of what Lectio is and why it is so important to spiritual growth. With that said, it might be good to read it in conjunction with Mariano Magrassi's "Praying the Bible: An Introduction to Lectio Divina," or if short on time, Masini's short work on Lectio D ...more
Oct 21, 2012 rated it liked it
I was looking for some good "how to" material on the discipline of lectio divina. This book did a little bit of that but also laid a good foundation for the practice.

My thirst to know more about this spiritual practice was certainly increased by Casey's writing. Although it was perhaps a little more about history and theory, there was enough practical information to get me started.

He is definitely and engaging and thoughtful writer. I will be looking to read one of his earlier books, "Toward God
Aug 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
A very realistic approach to the topic. His down to earth acknowledgement of some of the difficulties one faces as we try to read, study and contemplate using methods from centuries ago.

His recognition of the value offered by the desert mystics was reassuring.

I found the book to be encouraging at my novice level in these pursuits.
Monte Rice
Oct 07, 2012 rated it liked it
“Lectio divina is a technique of prayer and a guide to living. It is a means of descending to the level of the heart and of finding God.” (vi) “My ambition is to describe lectio divina in such detail that those living outside monasteries and not in direct contact with the lived experience of monks and nuns can profit from their tradition in the living of the Gospel.” (viii)
Nancy Moffett
Aug 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
A lovely book, one I'll return to. Michael Casey respects scripture, expects discipline and commitment from readers, understands the desire to go deeper with God. Catholic based, but not narrow minded.
Dec 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian
This book is very useful if you are tired of re-reading the same elementary instructions on how to do lectio divina (sacred reading). Fr. Casey provides reading lists and tools for using texts other than the Scriptures, with an emphasis on the Fathers of the Church.
Good, but a bit liberal.
Jul 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: prayer
This really deepened my devotional life. Studying and praying scripture in this way is like having your very own aelethiometer (golden compass) that opens up your heart to the truth.
Jun 17, 2012 marked it as to-read
I registered a book at!
Carlos Quijano
May 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Probably the best introduction to lectio divina that I have come accross.
Damien Rappuhn
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books on Lectio Divina available.
DJ Dycus
A great resource for:
- the history of the practice of lectio divina
- a theological justification for its practice
- the history of the platonizing influence on the Church Fathers
- an overview of Patristics
- practical how-to instructions on the practice of lectio divina

Very well written.
Joshua Booher
Mar 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: EfM participants, Benedictine Oblates and Associates
Very interesting ideas relating to Lectio Divina. I don't agree with all of his assertions, but overall the book helped me understand Lectio Divina better. I would recommend for anyone wanting to engage long-term with Lectio Divina.
Tony Desantis
Nov 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
i bought this book because we use Lectio Divine in our prison ministry. It's an excellent guide to using Lectio Divina. I will keep it as a reference book.
Dec 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Excellent introduction into Lectio Divina. Michael Casey is an excellent writer and monk with deep knowledge of his subject matter.
Pamela Ann
Dec 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
A good straightforward introduction to the topic.
Jun 08, 2014 rated it it was ok
It prescribes a "one size fits all" approach. Bogged down in too much detail. The only book by Casey that I didn't like.
Jan 07, 2011 marked it as recommended
Recommended to booklady by: Wanda Reed
Thanks Wanda!
rated it really liked it
Sep 17, 2012
R. Geivett
rated it really liked it
Jul 07, 2008
Blake Chenoweth
rated it really liked it
Jul 06, 2015
Sister Edith
rated it it was amazing
Mar 19, 2016
rated it liked it
Dec 26, 2008
rated it really liked it
Jun 12, 2017
Johnny Mettlach
rated it really liked it
Oct 05, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Seeking God: The Way of St. Benedict
  • The Inner Experience: Notes on Contemplation
  • Opening to God: Lectio Divina and Life as Prayer
  • Gratefulness, The Heart Of Prayer: An Approach To Life In Fullness
  • Finding Sanctuary: Monastic Steps for Everyday Life
  • The Christian Tradition 3: The Growth of Medieval Theology 600-1300
  • The Rule of Benedict: Insights for the Ages
  • In Constant Prayer (The Ancient Practices)
  • Hymn of the Universe
  • The Love of Learning and the Desire God: A Study of Monastic Culture
  • The Splendor of Truth: Encyclical Letter of John Paul II
  • Prayer
  • Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives
  • Open Mind, Open Heart: The Contemplative Dimension of the Gospel
  • Centering Prayer: Renewing an Ancient Christian Prayer Form
  • The Wisdom Way of Knowing: Reclaiming an Ancient Tradition to Awaken the Heart
  • Radical Hospitality: Benedict's Way of Love
  • Walking With God: A Journey Through the Bible

Nonfiction Deals

  • Hope and Other Luxuries: A Mother's Life with a Daughter's Anorexia
    $19.99 $2.99
  • Manic: A Memoir
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Who Gets What — and Why: The New Economics of Matchmaking and Market Design
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures
    $19.99 $1.99
  • Without a Doubt
    $5.99 $2.49
  • The Trip to Echo Spring: On Writers and Drinking
    $9.99 $3.99
  • Paris Letters
    $14.99 $2.99
  • Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm
    $13.74 $1.99
  • My Cross to Bear
    $11.24 $1.99
  • The Warrior Ethos
    $6.99 $1.99
  • A Chance in this world
    $5.99 $0.99
  • It's Easier Than You Think: The Buddhist Way to Happiness
    $13.99 $1.99
  • A Deadly Game: The Untold Story of the Scott Peterson Investigation
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Everyday Zen
    $11.24 $1.99
  • In Harm's Way: The Sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Somebody Else's Kids
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Maude
    $2.99 $1.49
  • Here Is Where: Discovering America's Great Forgotten History
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food (Revised Edition)
    $13.99 $1.99
  • The Rational Optimist (P.S.)
    $14.49 $2.99
  • Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive & Creative Self
    $13.99 $2.99
  • Of Wolves and Men (Scribner Classics)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • God: A Story of Revelation
    $8.74 $1.99
  • Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book
    $10.95 $1.99
  • The Story of the Jews: Finding the Words, 1000 BC - 1492 AD
    $13.99 $2.99
  • I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen
    $11.74 $1.99
  • Unseen: The Gift of Being Hidden in a World That Loves to Be Noticed
    $9.99 $2.99
  • I'd Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had: My Year as a Rookie Teacher at Northeast High
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Imaginary Girlfriend
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Things I've Been Silent About
    $4.99 $1.99
  • GI Brides: The Wartime Girls Who Crossed the Atlantic for Love
    $8.49 $2.99
  • The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Dharma Punx: A Memoir
    $11.49 $1.99
  • Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories from History Without the Fairy-Tale Endings
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Queens Consort: England's Medieval Queens from Eleanor of Aquitaine to Elizabeth of York
    $9.99 $1.99