Seeing The Word - Testimonials
Seeing the Word is exciting and full of life...The potential for a parish community and family is simply incredible. [This] practice of seeing sacred art with the eyes of faith...opens up the scriptures in vivid new ways. Using the Reflection Guides with small groups helps me prepare my Sunday homily because their meditation and prayer experiences give insight t o their daily lives...
Fr. Mark McCormick
Pastor, Our Lady of the Black Hills
Rapid City, South Dakota
The Seeing the Word materials are tremendously useful in facilitating a Bible Study based on the practice of lectio divina. First of all, the college students in my group love the illuminations from The Saint John’s Bible. The illuminations are not only beautiful works of art, but also spiritually rich windows through which we can see the Scriptures with new eyes. Whether or not one is familiar with lectio divina, The Saint John’s Bible brings the practice alive in a new and powerful way.
Campus Ministry, SJU
For my first use of the Transfiguration reading, I showed it to first graders. I read the verse, told them about the illumination, had them find things they liked in the illumination, then had them draw their own Transfiguration. The most surprising thing was probably the pictures that resulted. The second time I used it was with 11th graders…[who] came up with some great observations that I hadn’t seen or considered.
[Some things which came to mind and heart through this visio divina process] – God’s exaggerated love for us…God is full of delight...we are 'never to despair of God’s mercy'...new realization of God seeking us…each person is precious and special...our need to forgive others...[themes of] welcome and hospitality. We are very pleased with the entire format of Seeing the Word, and...we think it will be an excellent study for many small and varied groups.
Evelyn Gregory, OSB
With each gathering, new images and insights came out of the illumination. People were often quite moved, and the prayer was powerful.
[One participant told me] – 'This way of praying with Scripture made the passage seem new each time we read it!' Now that I have done it once, I can see how simple a process it really is.
[I was most surprised with] people's total willingness to enter into discussion, and their comfort with talking about the artwork. They said that when looking at [the illumination], they were not concerned about being correct or incorrect, like they would have been if discussing just the text.
[I was most surprised with] the increase in discussion, questioning and analysis. The group is highly verbal and participatory, and their individual responses flowed freely and thoughtfully.
...[I was also struck by] the enthusiasm of most participants in sharing what they saw in the illumination. I thought they might be more hesitant in revealing their interpretations. At first, some were reluctant to share, thinking there was a right or wrong [answer], but that seemed to no longer be a problem as we finished the session.
Mary Ann Baird
The [participants] were fascinated by the illustration and seemed to take it all in. We all seemed to stand in awe at the different symbolism in the illustration.
CURA Prayer Group Leader
Youth participation was high, including participating in the discussions. People were very comfortable with the process, which was pretty new for most.
I think the Reflection guides are superb, beautiful and useful, as well as simple.
Deacon Scott Dodge
Deacon and Director of Religious Education
I think someone being introduced to the whole lectio process will be helped by being able to "see" the Word as well as read it. This is the definite advantage of this program to me.
Sr. Chris Kean, OSB
Facilitator and Monastic House Coordinator