Praying with your eyes open – Visio Divina
Many of us were taught to close our eyes when we pray. Praying with religious art or icons is an ancient prayer practice that involves keeping our eyes wide open, taking into our heart what the image visually communicates. We focus not on what is seen in the icon or piece of art, but rather on what is seen through it — the love of God expressed through God’s creatures.
This is prayer without words, with a focus on being in God’s presence rather than performing in God’s presence.
It is a right-brain experience of touching and feeling what is holy — a divine mystery. Icons are not simply art; they are a way into contemplative prayer, and are therefore one way to let God speak to us.
They are doorways into stillness, into closeness with God. If we sit with them long enough, we too can enter into the stillness, into the communion . And if we listen to them closely enough, with our hearts, we just may discern the voice of God.