Advent 2021

CHA is pleased to offer a Visio Divina reflection series to support its members through their Advent journey. Each week participants are invited to consider the hope, excitement, wonder and confusion of the story from a unique perspective. While perhaps not always given significant attention, these oft-overlooked characters of the Nativity story have much to contribute to the spiritual life. Built around five newly commissioned works of art, imaginative prayer and invitations to reflection, the series is offered digitally as well as in print. 

VISIO DIVINA

The prayer of Visio Divina, or "divine seeing," involves the contemplation of art in conversation with God. In a society that is evermore inundated with images, Visio Divina invites us to slow down and truly look. We open the eyes of our soul and see how God is illuminated for us in art. This practice does not require any special knowledge or appreciation of art, just a willingness to attend to and interact with the colors, textures, forms and overall impressions. As you gaze on the piece, taking in each detail and being attentive to the feelings that arise as you gaze, Visio Divina is an invitation to wonder. The image comes alive with personal meaning meant just for us at this point in our spiritual journey.

Audio Reflection | Describing the Process

Weekly Reflection Resources

The Angel Gabriel En Route to Mary
The Angel Gabriel En Route to Mary
WEEK 1
View the Reflection
Image and scripture
» Video  .mp4 | YouTube
» CC Video .mp4 | YouTube
» Beyond the Art Audio Reflection
The Annunciation and St. Ann
The Annunciation and St. Ann
WEEK 2
View the Reflection
Image and scripture
» Video .mp4 | YouTube
» CC Video .mp4 | YouTube
» Beyond the Art Audio Reflection
The Visitation and Zechariah
The Visitation and Zechariah
WEEK 3
View the Reflection
Image and scripture
» Video .mp4 | YouTube
» CC Video .mp4 | YouTube
» Beyond the Art Audio Reflection
The Nativity and The Midwives
The Nativity and The Midwives
CHRISTMAS
View the Reflection
Image and scripture
» Video .mp4 | YouTube
» CC Video .mp4 | YouTube
» Beyond the Art Audio Reflection

IMAGINATIVE PRAYER

Distinct from but related to Visio Divina, imaginative prayer involves the act of placing yourself in a particular scripture scene and imagining yourself an active participant in it. We play the story out in our mind's eye as though it were a movie, paying attention to the sights, sounds, smells and feelings of the event.

We connect with the characters: We feel what they feel, hear what they hear, smell what they smell and actively participate in the story. In short, we daydream as though we are there and let our imaginations run wild.

Through visualizing the story as though we are an active participant in it, and in this case, using art to support us in our prayer, we make present to ourselves the ways in which God is speaking to our current life's context. How do we relate in this present season to a story we already know? How does knowing the story but approaching it from a different perspective change or shift our experience of it? As you can imagine, using art and Visio Divina as a starting point for our prayer can be helpful in visualizing the scene so that, as we place ourselves there, we notice more readily that which God is calling us to notice. Indeed, we use our imaginations to dig into the story as it relates to our lived experience so that God can connect with us in a deeply personal way, and so that we might more intimately connect with God's desires for us.

Advent Notecard Set

Advent Card Layouts for Aptify_view-1

To extend the 2021 Advent images and corresponding Biblical scriptures, CHA is pleased to offer a set of notecards – each 5x7, folded – with the image on the front, the scripture on the back and the inside blank, for your use and sharing. Cards come in packs of 10, two of each of the weekly Advent reflections and the Christmas reflection.

Order in the store - To receive your hardcopy booklets before the start of Advent, orders must be placed by close of business on Nov. 17.

About the Artist

KIM A. RIVERA

Our artist for the 2021 Advent art, Kim A. Rivera, desires to create work that brings forth truth, conveys emotion and challenges the viewer to reflect on the art. "We live in an ever-evolving world filled with distractions, conflict and a need for efficiency. Our relationships and appreciation to the world continues to change and evolve with the culture that surrounds us."

Kim said she creates because art is universal, relational and evocative. "Art forces us to pause and contemplate what is immediately in front of us while guiding us to a deeper truth. Through art we can foster community, form a newfound appreciation of the world and people around us, and prompt change through beauty."

For more information about Kim and to explore more of her work, we invite you to check out her website at: www.kimarivera.com.

How It's Made

Screen printing is a stencil-based printmaking technique. Ink is pushed through unblocked sections of a fine mesh screen with a squeegee using different "stencil-based" methods. The primary method Kim prefers is photo emulsion. In this process, a screen is coated with a light-sensitive solution and stored in a dark room. Designs are either created digitally and printed, hand drawn on transparencies or stenciled using Rubylith or other light-blocking material. Once the screen is ready for light exposure, the designs get placed on an exposure unit with the mesh side of the screen on top. A vacuum seals the screen and designs in place and exposes light for a predetermined time. When complete, the unexposed areas of the screen are washed away with water leaving behind a stencil on the emulsion that allows ink to pass through. The prepared screen then gets secured to a printing station, the paper gets registered under the screen and ink gets pushed through the open sections of the screen. Finally, this process can be repeated to layer different colors on top of each other to compose the finished artwork.