God as Divine Guide and Companion: Reading Life as Sacred Text

Oblate School of Theology

Originally Published on OST.EDU

Wednesdays, September 6 – 27, 2023 | IN-PERSON AND ONLINE OPTIONS AVAILABLE Oblate School of Theology

When and where

Date and time

September 6 · 9:30am – September 27 · 11:30am CDT



Refund Policy

Refunds up to 7 days before eventEventbrite’s fee is nonrefundable.

About this event

  • 21 days 2 hours
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God as Divine Guide and Companion: Reading Life as Sacred Text

“I am always with you.” (Matt. 28:20)

“No more walking this path alone. No more carrying weight you were not intended to bear. It’s time for you to enjoy the presence of the Holy Spirit and experience the vigorous life God offers.” (M. Lucado)

This course explores an idea echoed in Jesus’ parables as well as in the writings and teaching of mystics through the years: the idea of reading our life’s events, circumstances and experiences as sacred text reflective of God’s divine presence and guidance every minute of every day.

The first week’s session—Return to the Garden— invites participants to reflect on a statement made by Thomas Merton: “Here is the unspeakable secret: paradise is all around us and we do not understand.” Two questions will be addressed: What if the Garden of Eden—paradise— is somehow still here, all around us, if only we dare to believe its possibility? What if God continues to walk and talk with us, if only we would not hide?

The second week’s session—Reading the Divine—focuses on the actual act of reading life’s events, circumstances and experiences as sacred text. A simple 5-step practice for becoming attentive to and discerning the divine nudges and whispers these events, circumstances and experiences may carry will be explored.

During the third week’s session—Messages of Love, Hope, and Faith—participants will be encouraged to look for specific messages in their daily circumstances, events, people, and interactions. Three questions in particular will be considered: What messages of cherishment and protection am I being given through today’s events, circumstances and experiences? What messages that all is well and I have nothing to fear am I being given through today’s events, circumstances and experiences? What messages that there is a bigger and providential reality around me am I being given through today’s events, circumstances and experiences?

Finally, the fourth week’s session—Engaging with God as Divine Companion and Guide—will examine the reciprocal and dynamic nature of reading life as sacred text. Participants will be asked to consider not only the reception of God’s presence and guidance but also their responses to God’s presence and guidance. The challenge of remaining aware of life as sacred text amidst all that seems to indicate otherwise will be addressed.

Course discussions and reflections are guided by both participants’ and presenter’s experiences of perceiving life as sacred text.

Portions of each class session will be recorded and made available to registered participants through October 11, 2023. Please note that periods of participants’ sharing in small and large group settings will not be recorded. An automated follow-up email will be sent on September 28 that will include instructions on how to re-watch.

Class Schedule

All classes will take place on Wednesday mornings, 9:30 am to 11:30 am Central Time, ONLINE via Zoom Meeting and IN-PERSON on campus.

The in-person and online classrooms will be open at 9:00 am, if you would like to get settled in and/or join early to get your audio and video situated (and chat with fellow students).

Week 1 September 6, 2023 Return to the Garden

Week 2 September 13, 2023 Reading the Divine

Week 3 September 20, 2023 Messages of Love, Hope and Faith

Week 4 September 27, 2023 Engaging with God as Divine Companion and Guide

Suggested (BUT NOT REQUIRED) Readings

Unwrapping Beloved’s Gifts, Co-Creating Soul’s Song. I. Barrera. (This book describes my own journey as I began to explore reading my life as sacred text.)

Other books I found helpful in developing course content:

God Walk: Moving at the Speed of Your Soul. Mark Batterson.

Parables of Sunlight. Margaret Dulaney.

Listen to Your Day: The Life Changing Practice of Paying Attention. Paul Angone.

Practically Divine. Becca Stevens.

Seeing God: Ten Life-Changing Lesson of the Kabbalah. Aaron, Rabbi D.


Isaura Barrera, Ph.D., MA (Spirituality), is a lifelong spiritual seeker. She retired after being a professor at the University of New Mexico for 20 years and returned to San Antonio. There she enrolled in and completed the Master of Spirituality program at Oblate School of Theology (OST). She has taught several courses for Continuing Education at OST and has published three books: Beloved’s Gift: Following Soul’s Song into Love, Hope and Faith and Unwrapping Beloved’s Gift, Co-Creating Soul’s Song: Way Stations on the Path to Awakening Deep Love, Hope and Faith, and Sustaining Heaven on Earth: Keys Forged By and For Love.

Registration Fee: $30

Individuals can register to participate either online (via Zoom Meeting), or in-person (on the OST campus). Fee includes cost for entire 4-week series.

For those participating online: We will send you login instructions via an automated email approximately one week before the series begins.

For information or to register by phone, contact Victoria Rodriguez, Associate Registrar, at vrodriguez@ost.edu or (210) 341-1366 EXT 240.