God speaks to us in many ways–through relationships, our experiences, sacred texts such as the Bible and many more. Visio divina, Latin for divine seeing, is praying with images to listen to God’s words. Like lectio divina, Latin for divine reading, Visio divina has four steps:
1. Read the text (in this case art) slowly, taking a first glance noting the colors, people, places and things. Remain with the image for one to two minutes. If you would like, jot down a few words about the image.
2. Take a second, deeper, look. Where is there movement? What relationships do you see? Engage your imagination. Where are you in the artwork? What do you see from that perspective? What deeper meaning emerges?
3. Respond to the image with prayer. Did the image remind you of an experience, person or issue for which you’d like to offer thanksgiving or intercession? Offer that prayer to God.
4. Find your quiet center. Breathe deeply. Relax your shoulders, arms and legs. Rest in this quiet. Let God pray in you. God prays beyond words.
Think of Visio divina like this–putting on God-glasses to see how an image illuminates Christ for you. On this we’ll offer images with which to pray. Check back for new images during each month. If you would like to write your prayer, please submit one below.