Lectio Divina and Visio Divina [follow the link for an explanation] are Latin phrases meaning “divine reading” and “divine seeing“. They are ways of helping us enter into the biblical text and into images that may draw us deeper into what God is doing and saying.
A few times each week, we will walk through a modified version of Lectio Divina, an ancient practice that can help us slowly and prayerfully attend and respond to the Word of God.
The process has four steps:
- Request, and
The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the decrees of the Lord are sure, making wise the simple. ~Psalm 19:7
At the beginning of each practice, we will read that day’s Scripture passage and identify a word or phrase that jumps out at us.
Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked or take the path that sinners tread or sit in the seat of scoffers, but their delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law they meditate day and night. ~Psalm 1:1-2
After reading or listening to the passage, we will reflect on it using a series of questions as a guide.
If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you. ~James 1:5
Next, we will ask or request understanding and wisdom of God. We could make this request at any point in this practice, but we want to ask God how the truth in this passage applies to our present circumstances.
But be doers of the word and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like. But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act—they will be blessed in their doing. ~James 1:22-25
Finally, we will decide on one action or attitude to adopt in light of what we sense God inviting us to do or be in today’s passage.
On Fridays, we invite you to engage in a practice called Visio Divina. Sharing its roots with the ancient practice of Lectio Divina, Visio Divina, or “divine seeing,” focuses on images. We will invite you to encounter God as you prayerfully consider and interact with a work of art.
You’ll engage in a four-step process:
- Request, and
At the start of the practice, we will look at the image and let our eyes stay on the very first thing that captures our attention. We will try to keep our eyes from wandering to other parts of the image.
After looking intently at the image for a few minutes, we will reflect on it using a series of questions.
Next, we will ask God for wisdom and insight as we reflect on the image
We will conclude by responding to God. This could look like deciding on one specific attitude or action we can adopt that day in response to what we’ve experienced.