I have used the spiritual practice of lectio divina – praying deeply with the word of God – for many years but haven’t ventured very much into visio divina – praying deeply with the eyes of your heart, while gazing at art and other visual images. Until this week. NASA just released new photographs taken with its Chandra X-Ray Observatory Space Telescope. Along with the U.N’s declaration that the year 2015 is the International Year of Light, these photos invited me into the awe of our Creator and I couldn’t contain my praise as I danced in his wonder. Come and be dazzled with me in the Lord’s light: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” John 8: 12 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. Genesis 1:3 It is you who light my lamp; the Lord, my God, lights up my darkness. Psalm 18:28 The sun shall no longer be your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give … [Read more...]
Search Results for: Spiritual Practice of Visio Divina
Pondering the Pillars of a Healthy Spirituality – Be Awake!
What are the pillars of a healthy spirituality? In 2023 I plan to explore different building blocks, components, the essential nutrients that support a vibrant strong life with God. I hope to learn, study, and share thoughts about these various aspects and hope they bring fresh insights to all of our earthly journeys as God continues to shape our souls. This week I am pondering being awake. Being awake “Just being awake, alert, attentive is no easy matter. I think it is the greatest spiritual challenge that we face.” Diana L. Eck Anthony DeMello tells this story:“A group of tourists sits in a bus that is passing through gorgeously beautiful country; lakes and mountains and green fields and rivers. But the shades of the bus are pulled down. They do not have the slightest idea of what lies beyond the windows of the bus. And all the time of their journey is spent in squabbling over who will have the seat of honor in the bus, who will be applauded, who will be well … [Read more...]
Visio Divina – The Practice and Resources
Visio Divina deepened my time with the Lord at my recent silent retreat. This a slow contemplative prayer practice similar to Lectio Divina or sacred reading. Visio Divina is Latin for divine seeing and involves praying with art and allowing God to speak to us through the use of an image. Prayerful consideration of and interaction with a photograph in the magazine, icon, piece of art, or other visual representation invites us to experience the divine in a unique and powerful way. This is the statue from my recent retreat that brought me closer and loved deeply by God. This practice enhanced my time with the Lord as I listened with the eyes of my heart, soaking in his love and gazing at this art piece. Meeting God Through Art: Visio Divina Meeting God Through Art: Visio Divina. – A Guided Prayer Journal with Images from the Metropolitan Museum of Art is a new book by my friend. Therese Kay. This book accompanied me on my retreat and inspired me to explore various art and … [Read more...]
How Does Art Enhance Prayer?
How does art enhance prayer? I miss being creative. With my head dug deep into a graduate course this past 6 months, my spirit is dry. Time to brush off the creative juices and find joy in my life, especially in my prayers. This will be a major goal of mine in 2019 - to be more creative. I am so excited to share the words today from a wonderful creative and friend - Therese Kay. Therese is a writer and photographer, and lover of God. She recently collaborated on a visual devotional featuring her photography called Messages from God: An Illuminated Devotional. You can read her blog here: https://therese-kay.blogspot.com/p/home.html and see more of her photography here: https://theresekayphotography.zenfolio.com/ Welcome, Theresa! Art and prayer have shared an intimate relationship since God appointed the skilled craftsmen, Bezalel and Oholiab, to create the artistic designs for the Tabernacle in Exodus 31:1-6. As humans, we were created and formed in God’s image – and … [Read more...]
2018 – The Year Ahead
Welcome to 2018! The year ahead lies before us – like new chapters of a book, waiting for the words to emerge magically on the page. Don’t you just wonder what the next 365 days will bring? I love this change from one year to another. All the possibilities energize me. Pondering my hopes and dream and yes, I am a goal setter showers me with hope. I have spent hours reviewing what worked and didn’t work in 2017 in my speaking and writing ministry. One of the best gifts is reopening the surprises God gave me throughout the year – ones in January 2017 I had no idea were coming. Yes I shed a few tears in this yearly review too – lamenting heartaches, disappointments, and strange situations that left me bewildered, stunned, and powerless. But I choose to celebrate the gift of life from 2017 and with hope and gratefulness turn my eyes onto 2018. 2018 – The Year Ahead for this Blog What is coming up in 2018 for this blog? Year of Prayer Our Bishop has named 2018 the Year … [Read more...]
Imagine God Smiling at You
I saw this photo from the Hubble space telescope last week and just couldn’t get over it. My, doesn’t God have a sense of humor. Visio divina is a practice I have mentioned previously here and here on this blog: when we gaze prayerfully over a photo/painting/icon and allow the image to invite us into a conversation with God. I centered on this newly discovered space photo as my prayer practice this past weekend. One of my most favorite quotes – one that is display on my desk so I can easily see it as I write is from Anthony deMello: “Look at God Looking at you… And smiling…” Like a loving parent beholding at their sleeping infant. Watching us with consuming compassion and mercy. Picking us up, drying our tears and holding us as we sob. Smiling, not at us, but with us, tenderly knowing the depth of our emotions. What love we drink in as children of God. This photo brought me to several Bible verses to ponder and journal about: Why are you down in the dumps, … [Read more...]
Weekend Word of Power
The spiritual practice of sacred reading of the scriptures is called Lectio Divina - a holy reading of the Bible slowly, savoring it, and enjoying it with the Lord. The intention is not to learn or gain information but to deepen our relationship with God. St Benedict encourages us to “to listen with the ear of our hearts.”Join me once a week for Lectio Divina. I will share a verse and a word that spoke to my heart. Read and listen to the verses here. And gently ask God for a word or phrase that speaks to your heart for that day – that is what lectio means. Once we find that gift, we hold it, meditate, and savor its meaning. This step is called meditation.Then offer that word back to God in prayer or the third step of oratio. In prayer we allow our real selves to be touched and changed by the word of God.Finally, we simply rest in the presence of the One who has used His word as a means of inviting us to accept His transforming embrace. No one who has ever been in love needs to be … [Read more...]