kelly wahlquist

Catholic Evangelist & Speaker

Kelly Wahlquist is a dynamic and inspiring Catholic speaker whose gift of weaving personal stories and Scripture together with practical advice allows her audience to enter more fully into what Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict have called us into - to be witnesses of our faith and part of the New Evangelization.

Filtering by Category: Visio Divina


The Sinner

THEME: Individual sin

FOCUS OF THE MEDITATION: The following meditation will help us to own our role in the world's brokenness. We have inherited a broken world, yet sometimes we add to the repugnance that exists around and within us. Destructive behavior keeps us from knowing the full love of our heavenly Father. Here we will attempt to become more aware of ourselves in relation to the world's plan.

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Michelangelo Buonarroti

Sistine Chapel altar wall

Circa 1536

"It is never particularly enjoyable to meditate on the reality of sin, yet we reap bountiful fruit in our souls when we regard ourselves in the light of God."

"The only figure in The Last Judgement scene that breaks the visual plane and looks out at the viewer is the penseroso (contemplative man)."

"Still, this character remains a mystery, both removed and yet staring intimately at every individual viewer, inviting us to understand this important reality that will be for all. He is depicted in a moment of realization, with toned muscles clenched in fear. This is the moment of judgment, the moment when we become fully aware of ourselves as sinner's in Christ's light."

"No pay heed to the grayish figure who wraps his strong arms around the shins of the sinner, keeping him from walking freely. The action here can be likened to the temptations offered by the world. Recall the parable from the Gospel of Matthew that compares us to seeds sown in the ground. The seed of God is sown in the world, but often the world houses other plans that arise and choke our growth toward virtue."

"By choosing sin in our lives, we deviate from our true end—God."

"Though God always desires to move in our souls, our choices can deter God's action. We must repent, ask God's pardon, open ourselves to the Lord's aid, and freely receive from the fount of mercy that is being extended to us by our Lord Jesus Christ." 



Matthew 13:24-30; 37-42

 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field.

But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away.

When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

“The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’

“‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.

“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’

“‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them.

Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”

He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man.

The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.

“As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age.

The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil.

They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.



"A simple definition of sin is a refusal to love. Even in our weaknesses, our refusal to love is the root cause of our fall. Recall your struggles and weaknesses today, asking God to ignite your heart with love for others so you might stop separating yourself from the people of God."


The comments above are taken from Meditations on Vatican Art by Fr. Mark Haydu. To truly enter into this Visio Divina, I suggest purchasing the book as each masterpiece comes with a complete description, prayer and reflection, and spiritual exercise.

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The Way of Beauty

Day 1: Vision of St. Helena

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On January 11, I am beginning my New Year's resolution. Ok, yes, I realize I will already be eleven days into the New Year, but my resolution was to incorporate Visio Divina into my prayer life on SATURDAYS. Ok, yes, I realize I already missed the first Saturday of the New Year, but in my defense my book Meditations on Vatican Art buy Fr. Mark Haydu had not yet arrived. So, alas, I shall begin this Saturday, January 11th! (Taking into account my "cup 1/2 full" perspective, this is like beginning a diet on Tuesday —and we ALL know starting a diet on Tuesday is always more successful than beginning on a Monday!)

If you want to join me as I travel down this prayerful path that the ancients called The Way of Beauty (Via Pulchritduinis) and work to deepen my prayer life by being more aware of God's beauty that surrounds me, I encourage you to by Fr. Haydu's book.

Each Saturday I will post an art piece from one of the 12 museums that make up the Vatican Museums. I will follow the order of Fr. Haydu's book and I will post the theme and Scripture verse that accompanies the painting to meditate on as well. But truth be told, to get the fullness of the prayerful meditations, you'll want to buy Father's book. The book offers insightful summaries on each painting, prayer and guided reflections for each meditation and each chapter culminates in a magnificent spiritual exercise. (Please note: I am not making any commission on selling this book…. though I imagine my reward will be great in heaven if praying with the beauty of Vatican art deepens my relationship with Christ... and yours too!)

I'm doing this because, let's face it, I could use a little depth in my prayer life. I'm also intrigued with Visio Divina. While I was in Rome with my daughter in 2010, I spent many hours in awe of the beauty that surrounded me. How great to be able to now pray with it! To give thanks to God! To rejoice in the beauty of His creation! As always, I invite you to join me on my adventure. It would be wonderful to create some discussion around our Visio Divina experience, so please don't be shy to leave a comment on my Saturday blog posts.

Today I'm giving you a sneak peak at this Saturday's reflection, Vision of St. Helena. The theme is "Treasures that last" and I couldn't think of a better way to begin my new year than to allow God to divert my attention from the treasures of this world to treasures that never parish.

I'd love for you join me for the next 28 Saturdays as I journey along The Way of Beauty!

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