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.
This Wednesday the Seeing The Word team met for our own visio divina session, and we happened to use The Crucifixion Reflection Guide. It’s always a privilege to hear others speak of their spirituality, to have them say what they see in the Illumination and describe how they feel our group prayer intersects with their daily lives.
In the midst of this, I sometimes feel myself drifting away from the prayer experience of Seeing The Word and towards something much more self-focused, much more vain. “What clever insight can I draw from this Illumination? What is the best thing I can share with this group?” Asked in the right way, those questions are not too far off the right track. But I have to be careful not to make visio divina about proving my spiritual worth.
I have found a similar experience in all of my prayer, whether in a group or alone. Either I am focusing on how I appear to the group, or I am focusing on “praying the right way”.
The Contemplation step of visio divina is about quieting our minds. It’s a reminder, and an opportunity, to just be with God. Here we are invited to let go of our insights, our concerns, our fears, our worries, our efforts, and just rest in God. This, to me, is perhaps the most important part of the prayer experience.
© Crucifixion, Donald Jackson, 2002. 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.