Visio divina (translated as divine or sacred seeing) is a spiritual practice that invites us to listen to God as we contemplate a photograph, picture, or other piece of art. It is similar to lectio divina in that it fosters connection to God, others, ourselves, and even all living things.
In preparation, choose an image or piece of art to spend some time with. We have provided two two pieces of artwork by Minnesota artist, He Qi: The Good Samaritan and Ruth and Naomi. We purchased digital copies of his paintings so you can complete this visio divina. The pictures are below.
We have created this audio guide for you as you contemplate your chosen image.
Now find a comfortable and quiet place to complete your visio divina. You may want to light a candle or place a particular memento nearby in order to ritualize this space and time. In some ways, this will train your mind to calm itself when you return to this space again.
- Look at the image and keep your eyes on the first thing that you see. Pay attention to this one part of the image that first catches your eye. Notice the colors, people, places, use of light and lines, and so forth. Breathe deeply and let yourself gaze at this one part of the image for 1-2 minutes.
- Take a second fuller look. Gaze at the whole image. Where is there movement? What relationships do you see? Let your imagination be free: Where are you in the artwork? What do you see from that perspective? What deeper meaning emerges?
- Take a third reflective look. Consider these questions:
What feelings are evoked in you?
What does the image stir up in you, bring forth in you?
Does this image lead you into an attitude of prayer? If so, let these prayers take form in you. Write them down if you desire.
- Sit in silence and offer a final prayer to God based on whatever came up for you in this process.