Bulletin Prayer Post
Imaginative Prayer: 3/27/16-5/8/16
Sunday March 27:
Through his many years of directing others, St. Ignatius (founder of the Society of Jesus) discovered how useful the imagination could be in fostering a deeper relationship with God. Imaginative prayer is recognized as one of the hallmarks of Ignatian spirituality. Imaginative prayer makes the Jesus of the Gospels our Jesus. It helps us develop a unique and personal relationship with him. We watch Jesus’ face. We listen to the way he speaks. We notice how people respond to him. These imaginative details bring us to know Jesus as more than a name or a historical figure in a book. He is a living person. We say what the villagers in John’s Gospel told the Samaritan woman: “We have come to know him ourselves, and not just from your report.” (David Fleming S.J. www.ignatianspirituality.com)
Pray with this Sunday's Gospel: John 20:1-9
Sunday April 3:
Following Jesus is the business of our lives. To follow him we must know him, and we get to know him through our imagination. Imaginative Ignatian prayer teaches us things about Jesus that we would not learn through scripture study or theological reflection. It allows the person of Christ to penetrate into places that the intellect does not touch. It brings Jesus into our hearts. It engages our feelings. It enflames us with ideals of generous service.
Pray with this Sunday's Gospel: John 20: 19-31
Sunday April 10:
Imaginative prayer makes the Jesus of the Gospels our Jesus. It helps us develop a unique and personal relationship with him. We watch Jesus’ face. We listen to the way he speaks. We notice how people respond to him. These imaginative details bring us to know Jesus as more than a name or a historical figure in a book. He is a living person. We say what the villagers in John’s Gospel told the Samaritan woman: “We have come to know him ourselves, and not just from your report.”
Pray with this Sunday's Gospel: John 21:1-19
Sunday April 17:
Steps to Praying Imaginative Prayer:
1. Find a place where you won’t be distracted; have your bible, pen and notebook
2. Consciously bring yourself before the Lord and think about how He loves you. Ask him to bless your prayer time.
3. Read the scripture passage that you are focusing on a few times.
4. Ask the Lord to put you in the story. With your imagination, let the scene unfold in your mind. Notice what you smell, hear, who else is there, what is said, how you FEEL during it all.
5. Noticing your feelings, speak to the Lord about them. If you experience fear or restlessness, talk to the Lord about it.
6. At the end of your prayer time, write in your journal what you felt, experienced and what the Lord seemed to say to you. (Don’t write during the meditation, wait until the end.)
7. End with an Our Father or other prayer of Thanksgiving
Pray with this Sunday's Readings: Acts of the Apostles 13: 14, 43-52
Sunday April 24:
St. Ignatius presents two ways of imagining during prayer. The first way is demonstrated in a meditation on the mystery of the Incarnation. He asks us to “enter into the vision of God.” God is looking down on our turbulent world. We imagine God’s concern for the world. We see God intervening by sending Jesus into the maelstrom of life. This type of imagining helps us see things from God’s perspective and take on God’s qualities of love, compassion, and understanding.
Pray with this Sunday's Readings: Acts of the Apostles 14: 21-27
Sunday May 1:
The second method of imagining is to place ourselves fully within a story from the Gospels. We become onlooker-participants and give full rein to our imagination. Jesus is speaking to a blind man at the side of the road. We feel the hot Mediterranean sun beating down. We smell the dust kicked up by the passersby. We feel the itchy clothing we’re wearing, the sweat rolling down our brow, a rumble of hunger. We see the desperation in the blind man’s face and hear the wail of hope in his words. We note the irritation of the disciples. Above all we watch Jesus—the way he walks, his gestures, the look in his eyes, the expression on his face. We hear him speak the words that are recorded in the Gospel. We go on to imagine other words he might have spoken and other deeds he might have done
Pray with this Ascension Thursday's Readings: Acts of the Apostles 1:1-11 or Luke 24:46-53
Sunday May 8:
When using imaginative prayer, Ignatius chooses scenes of Jesus acting rather than Jesus teaching or telling parables. He wants us to see Jesus interacting with others, Jesus making decisions, Jesus moving about, Jesus ministering. Ignatius doesn’t want us to think about Jesus. He wants us to experience him. He wants Jesus to fill our senses. He wants us to meet him. Following Jesus is the business of our lives.
Pray with this Sunday's Readings: Acts of the Apostles 7:55-60