Imaginative Contemplation Exercises

A black and white illustration of a woman reaching out her hand

Try these imaginative contemplation exercises from Pray as you go. 

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.

Imaginative contemplation is best suited to the gospels, and so the first set of reflections we'll be looking at are Jesus and Zacchaeus, Jesus and the woman with a haemorrhage, and Jesus and Bartimaeus. 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.

Listen to today's Pray as you go session.

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