V is for VISIO

In “U is for Unknowable,” I threw out the challenge that God, in the end is, unknowable. This caused a bit of a stir, so I thought I’d keep the conversation going.

Now, it isn’t that God wants to be unknowable, the limitation lies in me! Hard as I may try, I can never “think” as He does, never see things as He does, never understand things He as does.

He is without beginning or end. He exists outside of time and space. I’m a weak, broken creature, constrained by time. My understanding of everything is affected by this reality. I’m made in His image, but I contain within myself only a small remnant of knowing what that means. God is not my equal, He is my creator.

Isaiah gets it, as he speaks on behalf of God,

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts. (55:8-9)

It is because of this inability to really understand God, that Christ became a man and lived among us. By His words and actions, Christ attempted to show us who God is, how He thinks, and what is important to Him.

But God’s effort to reach us didn’t end with Christ. We have the example of those who have journeyed before us, we have the traditions of our faith, and Sacred texts. Yes, I said texts – plural.

At a retreat, I once heard a monk say,

“There are three Sacred texts; the Text of Holy Scripture, the Text of the Inner Self, and the Text of God revealed in Nature.”

The first one is obvious, The Sacred Texts of Scripture, the inspired Word of God. The Text of the Inner Self, well that’s really fascinating, and I’ll save that for another post. In this piece, I want to focus on the third text: The Text of God revealed in Nature.

In nature, there are hints of God, everywhere. I’m not only talking about the deep beauty found in nature, I’m talking about the way our physical world points us to a greater understanding God.

CS Lewis touches on this a bit in his autobiographical work, “Surprised by Joy.” He says, “All images and sensations say, in the last resort, ‘It is not I. I am only a reminder. Look! Look! What do I remind you of?’”

As a Spiritual Director, I often hear, “Lisa, I want God to speak to me.” I get it, I was there too. I wanted the big, booming voice, to speak loudly and without hesitation. But I’ve learned that God is speaking to me – all the time, it just took me a little practice to “hear” Him.

Through the years, I’ve taken several exercises designed to help with listening, and created a worksheet which shifts this listening into seeing. It’s called “Visio Divina,” or Sacred Seeing. If you use this worksheet a few times, you’ll be off to a new way of “hearing” God in everything you see around you. Even if you’ve never thought it was possible for you.

Share your email with me and I send you off a copy:

 

My Spiritual Director once told me, “God has no rigid ‘plan,’ that must be kept at all costs. It is the rule of love, that God is always about the business of seeking and finding us in new and creative ways.”

Visio Divina is a tool that will help you let God find you in a new and creative way. I hope you’ll give it a try. Once you do, drop me an email and let me know how it went.

 

2 thoughts on “V is for VISIO

  1. Have you ever done Imago Divina? Or do you have any place where I might get….I mean buy……religious small posters or pictures to laminate….we down sized and I parted with all of my wonderful art books as we no longer have the book space. Thanks….Louise Fox

    1. I have done a type of Imago Divina. I was on retreat and we had several icons, and pieces of religious sculpture to contemplate. I really enjoyed the exercise. I also did an outdoor stations of the cross as a visio divina. FASCINATING to walk the stations without any paper or booklets to aid in my contemplation … just the art work of the station. I love when the Spirit meets us in ways we don’t anticipate!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *