April 17, 2022 Lectionary Texts — Year C
Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24
I Corinthians 15:19-26 or Acts 10:34-43
John 20:1-18 or Luke 24:1-12
It feels a bit special to me to be posting my first Visio Divina celebrating Easter. As I have been sitting with the texts for today and thinking about this whole Visio Divina adventure/commitment, I find myself thinking many wide ranging thoughts about seeing, vision and the sense of sight.
John gives us the tender account of Mary Magdalene’s experience at the tomb. In her grief and distress, she doesn’t recognize Jesus until he calls her by name. At that moment, she sees.
Our eyes, the sense of sight, are such extraordinary gifts. John O’Donahue writes with such beauty and wisdom in Anam Cara about vision. I wanted to share a few of his insights on the connection between seeing and love. These are thoughts I find appropriate for Easter — a day when the Light of the World opens to us new ways of seeing.
To the loving eye, everything is real.
Love is the light in which we see light. Love is the light in which we see each thing in this true origin, nature, and destiny. If we could look at the world in a loving way, then the world would rise up before us full of invitation, possibility, and depth.
The loving eye can even coax pain, hurt, and violence toward transfiguration and renewal…It rises above the pathetic arithmetic of blame and judgment and engages experience at the level of its origin, structure and destiny. The loving eye sees through and beyond image and effects the deepest change.
Vision is central to your presence and creativity. To recognize how you see things can bring you self-knowledge and enable you to glimpse the wonderful treasures your life secretly holds. — John O’Donohue
Practicing Visio Divina:
- View the artwork
What do you see?
Note shapes – color – style – movement
What stands out for you?
What are you curious about?
What questions do you have?
Hold back any feelings – judgments – opinions
- Read the accompanying scripture and look over the artwork again
What connections do you make?
Between the image and text?
What is coming to mind from your own experience?
What feelings are rising in you?
Are you uncomfortable with something?
There are no right or wrong answers
- Read the scripture again and explore the artwork a third time
What do you hear?
What is God saying to you?
What do you wish to speak to God?
What blessing or prayer is rising in you?
Eternal One: Now look here! I am creating new heavens and a new earth. The weary and painful past will be as if it never happened. No one will talk or even think about it anymore. So take joy and celebrate with unending gladness on account of what I am creating. Look carefully! I am making this place I’ve chosen, this Jerusalem, a city of joy. I’m making her citizens, My people, a people of gladness. This Jerusalem, My pride and joy, and her people will be a delight to Me. Though you listen at every corner, You will never hear crying, never hear despair or grief. — Isaiah 65:17-19
Artist Statement — Resurrection: A Lectionary Journey:
I do not remember which came to me first — an early morning vision of a great dark moth adorned in shimmery dots or my learning the moth was a symbol of resurrection among early Celtic Christians. Regardless, I let the curiosity of exploring moth as symbol guide my artistic and spiritual seeking in this Lenten season.
The moth, just as butterfly, undergoes a death and resurrection. Unlike the sun-seeking butterfly, the moth emerges in the light of moon. As a metaphor for Christ, a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief,* the moth’s association with night allows space for exploring discomfort, suffering and death. In contemplating this creature of night, there is invitation to converse with darkness and befriend mystery. And still the moth’s metamorphosis is reason to marvel.
A collection of design elements and motifs rising from ancient Egyptian inspiration bring the Triune God to life. While Christ appears as moth, Spirit is present in a golden halo form and Divine Parent through the creation elements of bud, blossom and palm. Without this Divine fullness of presence and action, resurrection is only a dream. But this is no fantasy. This is the fullness of Divine hope in the darkness. Here is the fullness of Divine hope amidst all my discomfort and sorrow.
Here too is the portrait of a creature undeterred by the fading light, the fading of laughter and smiles… the One accustomed to doubt’s cold kiss and betrayal’s nocturnal whispers… the One who speaks my name even when I am weeping at dawn in the garden… the One I have found.