Video Practice: Visio Divina: The Peaceable Kingdom

Hicks, Edward, 1780-1849. Peaceable Kingdom, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=53085

By Kathy Keary

Today I will walk you through a prayer practice known as Visio Divina or Sacred Seeing. Visio Divina dates back to ancient times and continues to be a powerful method of meditation. Art becomes the sacrament (with a small s) that opens our hearts to the indwelling Spirit of God. The visible, art, makes the invisible, the Divine, present in a palpable way. It’s important to view the art not only with our eyes, but more importantly, with our hearts.

Last week we reflected on the first few verses of Isaiah 11. Today we will meditate on artwork depicting the final verses of Isaiah 11 which describes the utopia that the Messiah will usher in known as “The Peaceable Kingdom.”

The steps of Visio Divina are quite similar to Lectio Divina, which we explored last week. The main difference is that art is the subject of reflection in the practice of Visio Divina; whereas, Scripture is the typical focus of Lectio Divina.

Religious artwork fills museums in Europe capturing the attention of people of all faiths and connecting the faithful to the Divine. Not only can we encounter God through art, art serves as an effective means for God to communicate with us.

Visio Divina sets our interior stage for a soulful connection with our Maker where intimate communion is possible. It encourages the practice of viewing all of life through a sacred lens uncovering the messages hidden within creation. All of life then becomes hallowed ground.

We refer you to our article, “Contemplative Prayer, the Five Steps of Visio Divina” for more information on this prayer practice.

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Kathy Keary, spiritual director, holds a bachelor’s degree in education, a master’s degree in theological studies, and completed Sophia Center’s Souljourners Program, an intense study of spirituality and spiritual direction. Kathy believes that the Divine is present and active in all of life and encourages others to be awakened to the God in all including the Divine within. She enjoys accompanying others on their journey to wholeness discovering the person they were created to be.

Edward Hicks – Peaceable Kingdom [c.1834]” by Gandalf’s Gallery is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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