What is Visio Devina?
Visio Devina is "holy seeing". It is a form of prayer in which you use an image to meditate on and focus your prayers. It is a way of praying that allows God to speak to you through an image.
I came across Visio Devina a few years ago, although I didn't know that that was what it was called at the time. I just knew that God used it to speak to me in a very personal and powerful way. I was at a workshop, and we were told to choose one image that resonated with us, out of a vast array of images spread out in the room. I picked one, and as I spent time with it, God used it to speak very specifically and lovingly to my heart. It was a holy moment.
I didn't initially put that experience together with my own photography work, but I did find myself gravitating towards taking images that held symbolism or a deeper meaning of some sort. Some time later, when I was asked to co-lead a women's retreat, I decided to lead the women through an exercise similar to the one I had done at the workshop. I went through my photographs to see what I had that would be appropriate, and was amazed at how many I had that could be used in an exercise like this. It was a turning point for me.
Since then, I have continued to gather images that speak to my soul, and I hope that through Lectio Devina, they will speak to yours as well.
So how does it work?
- Choose an image that resonates with you in some way.
- Spend time with that image. Sit with it. Linger.
- Ask God what He wants to say to you through this image. What is He speaking to your heart? Don't rush this process.
- Journal what you hear God saying. Feel free to ask Him questions about what you are hearing. It is a conversation between you and Him!
- Don't worry if you don't hear anything. You may not hear God speak every time. Just sit in His presence and enjoy soaking in His love. Know that He loves you regardless of whether you hear Him speak or not.
Some images to try visio devina with...
Pick one of these images. Follow the steps above and try it out.
This can be done as often as you wish. I believe God can speak to us very powerfully through art. Art touches our hearts and souls in a very experiential way that can be deeply personal, meaningful and transformational. So come meet with God through a photograph today!
I have started posting Visio Devina images on my Instagram account: deepsoulphotographyfaith, and I am also putting together a new contemplative prayer book full of Visio Devina images. (I will keep you posted on that!)