Imagine, for a moment, that by some magic or technological genius, you could travel back in time to meet Jesus face to face, walking with him along the roads, fields, and seashores of ancient Palestine. You could see him work miracles and hear him preach with your own eyes and ears. You might even talk to him, ask him questions, or seek his healing touch.
What would that be like? Would you jump at the chance, full of excitement…or would you hesitate, a little nervous? We’re talking about the Son of God, after all!
Sadly, time machines don’t exist. But there is another way to “meet” Jesus that is better than any time machine: Ignatian contemplation, also known as imaginative prayer.
How to try imaginative prayer in 4 easy steps
People have used their imaginations in prayer forever, but the method of imaginative prayer you’ll try in this mission was popularized by a sixteenth-century Spaniard named Iñigo Lopez de Oñaz y Loyola, better known today as St. Ignatius of Loyola.
St. Ignatius believed that God created human imagination for the purpose of drawing us closer to him. He knew that the imagination can just as easily separate us from God, of course. But imaginative prayer is different from idle daydreaming. It is always anchored in two things:
- Our prayerful invitation for the Holy Spirit to use our imagination to draw us closer to God.
- A story from the Gospels.
The same Holy Spirit who inspired the authors of the Gospels also “inspires” our imaginations to draw us closer to Christ. Imaginative prayer creates a space for that encounter. The heart of imaginative prayer, then, is to “meet” God, usually through Jesus, in a personal way.
Here’s what to do….
Publisher: Gracewatch Media
Format: PDF Digital Download
Publication date: March 26, 2020