Images: Visio Divina
You may have heard of lectio divina (sacred reading): it’s not Bible study but is about pondering on the word to enable prayer. Stages comprise reading just a verse or a short passage two or three times (lectio); then meditation, taking a particular word or phrase that ‘spoke to you’ and ruminating upon it (meditatio); leading into prayer, open, honest conversation with God (oratio); and then resting in God, the silent prayer of contemplation (contemplatio).
This same four stage approach can also be used in visio divina (sacred seeing) using an image instead of words. Like with lectio, visio divina is not about studying the image as if it was a piece of art. But about using the image to encounter God more deeply: a window for prayer perhaps.
Richard has put these and other photos on Instagram that you might like to reflect on in this way. Each is accompanied by a Bible verse or simple thought to aide leading into prayer and listening to God.
A smaller number are also available on Pinterest, where they are grouped under the themes:
On Earth as it is in Heaven – A Reflection for Ascension Day
In comparison to Christmas, Holy Week and Easter, Ascension Day can often just pass us by. We go all out to commemorate the first day of Jesus’ life on earth at Christmas and yet we can totally overlook this, the last day of his earthly ministry. This film explores the meaning of the Ascension and its relevance for our lives today. As a way of understanding the Ascension, the film considers some other, seemingly ‘impossible’ events that also took place in Jesus’ life and compare them with our experience, knowledge and understanding and how they might help us know more about just who he was. Click here to watch.
Come, Holy Spirit – A Reflection for Pentecost
Pentecost is the time when we remember the coming of the Holy Spirit to the disciples. But what of us, moving through all the post-Easter weeks & finding ourselves at Pentecost once again? In this film we’ll explore some aspects of the person of the Holy Spirit and the role of the Spirit in our lives as Christians today. Click here to watch.
Faith Seeking Understanding – A Reflection on the Trinity
This film is about the Trinity, an often misunderstood and at times rather confusing aspect of our Christian belief. In this film we will reflect on the Trinity and how God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit individually and together play an important part in our life and faith as Christians. Click here to watch.
Reflections on Mental Health
Taking the theme of what we can learn from Jesus and some of the people he met, these three films consider different aspects of mental health and mental ill health. They were first made available to coincide with the annual World Mental Health Day on 10 October.
- A Life Regained – learning from the Man from The Gerasenes
- A Life Lost – learning from the impact that the death of Judas Iscariot had upon those closest to him.
- A Life Lived Well – learning from how Jesus lived and how we can look after our own mental wellbeing.
Finding Stability in Times of Change
These three films explore how as we listen to God we become increasingly aware that in order to change, stability is needed; and in order to be stable, we are also to change. The suggestion is to watch each film in order, leaving time for silent reflection in-between. The first film also contains some suggestions on using silence and an introduction to Benedictine spirituality.
You may like to use the films as the structure for a personal quiet day with periods of silence inbetween or perhaps watching one a day/week/month. It’s up to you. Whatever deepens your faith and trust in God at these times.
Life with St Benedict
A series of films for Lent, Holy Week & Easter. Click here for more details.