Notice the transforming presence of God within you. Let go of words and images. Surrender all that is stirring, even if only briefly, and rest for a few minutes in God’s embrace.
Visio divina is a simple practice, but can often require hard spiritual work. It is such a challenge for me to take a step back from life, and to carve out a piece of time to spend focused on God. So much so, that I feel pressure to “get something out of it” when I do find time. Most of the time, I do. Whether it’s a new perspective on something that’s bothering me, a thought that hadn’t even occurred to me before, or a simple moment of peace, my visio divina prayer is almost always fruitful.
I want to get at that fruit of my labor, and oftentimes I am actively looking for it in my prayer. The beauty of the fifth movement, Contemplating, is that it reminds me to spend time with God simply for the sake of spending time with God. It involves letting go of my words, images, thoughts, and concerns. God’s love is perfect, and here I rest in that love. My own love is not always perfect, and here too I am slowly drawn into loving God more deeply.
I sometimes feel a certain resistance to the Contemplating movement. Yet more often than not, it is here that my “spiritual labor” is rewarded. My writings over the last few days have focused on the ever-present opportunity to step back and spend time with God. Visio divina, and Contemplating in particular, are perfect opportunities to do that. Our God is a God of relationship. Closing our eyes and resting more deeply in the love that fuels that relationship is not always easy. But it is always worth it.
© Abraham and Sarah, Donald Jackson, 2003. The Saint John’s Bible, Order of Saint Benedict, Collegeville, Minnesota. Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Catholic Edition, © 1993, 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.