Meditating with Icons

Beverly Lanzetta Meditations, Practice

Visual beauty evokes the spirit and draws the one who sees into another dimension of reality. Icons—that is, images of saints and divine figures—are a special type of religious art, designed to be doors between this world and the spiritual world, and serve as a means of connecting us to the Divine. Gazing at an …

Exercises for Your Spiritual Path

Beverly Lanzetta Meditations, Study

Over the last weeks, I have been talking about the interlocking perspectives of kataphatic and apophatic language in relation to one’s spiritual journey. The following spiritual exercises can be used to aid in examining some of your experiences with this new lens of types of religious language. It might be helpful to review the June …

St. Francis: Integration

Beverly Lanzetta Meditations, Study

Western spiritualities and sacred texts place more emphasis on the kataphatic path, even though, for example, in Christianity one of the central teachings is the radical self-emptying of Jesus on the Cross. Christ is described in Philippians 2 as voluntarily undergoing kenosis, a Greek word that means, “to empty,” of his divinity for the sake …

Spiritual Paths: Via Positiva & Via Negativa

Beverly Lanzetta Meditations, Study

The two broad categories of language mentioned in my last post—kataphatic and apophatic—are reflected in the spiritual journey. The path of affirmation or via positiva ascribes to the divine the highest attribute that one can conceive. Thus, if love is the highest form of expression, the seeker finds meaning following the way of love as …

Spiritual Languages: Kataphatic & Apophatic

Beverly Lanzetta Meditations, Study

In the world’s mystical texts, two related and intertwined spiritual languages or orientations are distinguished: affirmative and negative. In Christianity, these languages are termed “apophatic” and “kataphatic,” derived from Greek words—apophasis, to move away from speech or “unsaying;” and kataphasis, to move toward speech or “saying.”   These categories of affirmative and negative speech are …