Saint Ignatius believed that God could speak to us just as clearly in our imagination as through our thoughts and our memories.
In his Spiritual Exercises he writes of contemplation as a very active way of engaging your feelings, emotions, and senses to place yourself in the scene described.
Contemplation isn’t about trying to place yourself in a historic setting, like dreaming you were back in the Middle Ages, it’s about trying to encounter Jesus in a personal and unique way.
Through the contemplation, the Holy Spirit makes present the mystery of Christ found in the particular passage, and helps you to explore things in a way you might not find possible through our normal podcasts.
While these reflections are much longer than our normal podcasts, you shouldn’t feel constrained by the time of the track. Go at your own pace; God is in no rush.
Let the events of Jesus’ life described in these reflections be present to you right now.
Visualize the event as if you were making a movie. Pay attention to the details: sights, sounds, tastes, smells, and feelings of the event.
Lose yourself in the story; don’t worry if your imagination is running too wild.
At some point, place yourself in the scene and meet Jesus there.
- Pray with Your Imagination by David L. Fleming, SJ
- How Do We Pray with Our Imagination? at Creighton Online Ministries
- Examples of Ignatian Imaginative Contemplation at Creighton Online Ministries
- Imaginative Contemplation Exercises from Pray as you go
- Seven Ways to Use the Imagination in Prayer
Marina McCoy suggests approaches to praying with imagination.
Listening for God Through Our Imaginations
Becky Eldredge outlines the steps of imaginative prayer.
Jim Manney talks about his experience learning to pray with the imagination.