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.
Contemplation can be a difficult word. The thought of practicing contemplation seems to conjure up images of the Church’s great mystics and holy people enraptured in some sort of other-worldly experience. However, the more I practice visio divina, I begin to get a sense of what it’s all about.
Most simply, I believe that contemplation is an awareness and acknowledgement of God’s presence and then simply resting in that presence. In visio divina, God is revealed to us in the previous four steps. First, we hear God’s word in scripture. We then reflect or meditate on a word or phrase where we particularly find God’s voice. As we then gaze upon an illumination of the scripture passage, the power of the artist’s work may help us to enter more deeply into the scripture or highlight an element we may not have noticed before. After hearing, meditating, and seeing; we move to prayer.
In moving through these steps, we can notice the many ways in which God has spoken to us. In contemplation, we focus less on these things, and more on the fact that God is simply with us. We can now quiet our mind, bodies, and spirits – simply resting and knowing that God is near. Contemplation is a secure, confident surrender. Let us take a few moments today and simply rest in the embrace of a God who loves us and knows us beyond our wildest imagining.
Chase M. Becker
©Ten Commandments, 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.