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January 28, 2021

Visio Divina for women: Thursday, Jan 28

By Denise Scott

Today we feature the multi talented Dr Debra Bartholomew for a second week. Debra belongs to two parishes St Mary’s and Assumption… She is an Ophthalmologist by day and artist by night. But among her many talents she is involved in music ministry and does liturgical dance in both her parishes.

This week’s piece is entitled Saving Grace. Debra felt that she needed to paint this piece because it tells part of the story of her relationship with Jesus and of what he has done in her life. In particular, the times when he has carried her through her trials, one of those times was when her family had to flee Libya ten years ago. “ Was it not for my faith and the faith of my entire family we would not have survived”. But the piece is also a tribute to her faith journey and how and putting her trust in Jesus led her to see her older son, who is also autistic son pass his SEA exams for QRC and has lived to see him reach sixth form… “So many times his grace has saved me”. We look forward to getting your feedback.

Visio Divina (Latin for “divine seeing”) is a method for praying with images. Through Visio Divina we invite you to see beyond first and second impressions, and even beyond your initial ideas, judgments, or understandings. Our hope is to create a connection to the divine through local art.

Saving Grace by Debra Bartholomew

So here is how we are going to do it.

1. Set aside 20 minutes in the day for the guided prayer experience

2. As you begin to prayer take a few minutes to open your heart and mind to God.

3. When you are ready, slowly look and notice the image, taking your time to let feelings and thoughts come to you as you take in forms, figures, colors, lines, textures, and shapes. What does it look like, or remind you of? What are your initial thoughts? What feelings are evoked?

4. Now, return to the image with an open heart and mind again. You may now experience new thoughts, meanings, and feelings. Start, exploring new meanings and feeling that come to you associated with the image. Be aware of any assumptions or expectations that you bring to the image. Regardless of your response to the image — delight, disgust, indifference, and confusion — contemplate prayerfully the reason for your response and what these responses might mean for and about you.

5. As you go deeper in this prayer, open yourself to what the image might reveal to you. What does the Spirit want to say, evoke, make known, or express to you in quiet meditation? What are your feelings, thoughts, desires, and meanings evoked by the image and how they are directly connected to your life?

6. Now, take the time to respond to God. Jot down in a journal the insights you want to remember, actions you are invited to take, wisdom you hope to embody, or any feelings or thoughts you wish to express. Bring your prayer to a close by resting in God’s grace and love.
Please email us as at on the impact this activity may have had on your day, and be sure to share the artist’s image on your social media feeds.

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