The mixed media artwork, Revelation 1:8, representing Christ Pantocrator, is one of my first standalone artworks (outside my journaling Bible), directly inspired from Bible journaling and containing elements and obvious visual references to a page from a journaling Bible. I am very happy, because it took many attempts and lots of soul searching to bring this into an artwork an not feel that is forced. The clustered fragments of pages with the beautiful tabs on the left add the sculptural dimension and direct reference to journaling with the intimate aspect of close relationship with God. Visually that’s exactly what I love about a journal spread.
If you are not familiar with Bible Journaling, in a few words, it is an amazing practice. Based on Lectio Divina – Divine Reading, it is a big part of monastic spirituality that was developed through centuries, a traditional Benedictine practice of scriptural reading, meditation and prayer intended to promote communion with God, to increase the knowledge of God’s Word and to experience one-on-one the work of the Holy Spirit. It does not treat Scripture as texts to be studied, but as the Living Word.
Bible Journaling practically follows the same steps 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. You will probably read it again and trying to visualize it and translated into visual elements. You can also try to not assign meaning but wait for the action of the Holy Spirit to illuminate the mind.
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 and prayer.
4.The final stage of Lectio Divina is contemplatio (rest) , which seems to extend beyond the Journaling session. Those powerful words will stay with you throughout the day.
It is truly a beautiful and powerful practice and my most treasured experience from all this is learning that the Word of God is truly Alive and Active. Just amazing!