I’ve been doing a lot of bible journaling lately and it has been amazing. Quite a learning experience on all levels. It is a beautiful meditative practice, but also hands on and very creative, engaging in this complex way.
My artwork has been always inspired by Christian philosophy and Byzantine art. When I first discovered Bible Journaling it went straight to my core and for months this was the only art I was inspired and moved to do. It truly spoke straight to my heart and my heart could speak out loud through this medium: the joy, the draw to praise unceasingly God’s amazing work, the struggles and needed reminders of God’s love… His Word is truly alive and I can feel it at work every time I handle His word through bible journaling. The approach, through visual elements, and the required pondering over the words of the bible, in order to illustrate it, along with the intimate aspect of journaling drive me deeper into understanding and absorb on multiple levels His word.
It is a beautiful, meditative technique which very strongly resembles “Lectio Divina” – a Latin term which means “divine reading” – a traditional Benedictine practice of scriptural reading, meditation and prayer intended to promote communion with God and to increase the knowledge of God’s Word. It does not treat Scripture as texts to be studied, but as the Living Word. Bible Journaling practically follows the same stages as Lectio Divina:
1. The first stage is lectio (reading) where we read the Word of God, slowly and reflectively so that it sinks into us. Any passage of Scripture can be used for this way of prayer but the passage should not be too long.
2. The second stage is meditatio (reflection) where we think about the text we have chosen and ruminate upon it so that we take from it what God wants to give us.
3. The third stage is oratio (response/prayer) where we leave our thinking aside and simply let our hearts speak to God. This response is inspired by our reflection on the Word of God. The response in this case is art and illustration, as well as journaling.
4. The final stage of Lectio Divina is contemplatio (rest) , which seems to extend beyond the Journaling session – where we let go not only of our own ideas, plans and meditations but also of our holy words and thoughts. We simply rest in the Word of God. We listen at the deepest level of our being to God who speaks within us with a still small voice. As we listen, we are gradually transformed from within. Obviously this transformation will have a profound effect on the way we actually live and the way we live is the test of the authenticity of our prayer. We must take what we read in the Word of God into our daily lives.
For more bible journaling images and upcoming workshops please visit my web site.
The information source and more regarding Lectio Divina can be found http://ocarm.org/en/content/lectio/what-lectio-divina