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In case you missed first week's post, which explains Visio Divina in more detail, you can find it here.

Take some time to contemplate today's image titled "The Angel Appearing to the Shepherds" by Govert Flinck.

A painting from 1639 in the style of Rembrandt. Shepherds react in astonishment to angels appearing in the sky. Cheeky cherubs hide in the Angel's robes, and the shepherds and their animals are painted in dark brown tones showing sharp contrast with the bright whites yellows and blues of the angels above.

1. Divine Seeing: gaze at the whole image. Notice your breathing; take a deep breath. Take in the image, giving space and time for it to speak to you.

2. Reflection: notice what the image brings forward for you, or how it connects with the theme of Joy. Notice the difference in tone between the shepherds below and the Angel above, the cheeky cherubs hiding in the angel's robes, the expressions on everyone's faces. A few questions you could use to reflect: How do you feel looking at the image? Where is your eye drawn? If you were in the image, where would you place yourself? Does a name for God arise for you from this image?

3. Prayer: with or without words, move your thoughts to a conversation with God.

4. Rest: return to your breathing. Pause, rest, and receive.

5. Expression & Action: journal, speak out loud, or share with a friend what has come up for you through this practice. What action might come out of your time with this image?