How to Pray By Putting Yourself in a Gospel Scene
St. Ignatius of Loyola believed that God gave us our imaginations and could use this gift to speak to us. One method of praying in the tradition called Ignatian Contemplation, by putting yourself in a gospel scene and to see where that leads you.
Pick a Scene
Almost any gospel can be used for this method. This is a beautiful way to prepare for Sunday mass. Just pick the gospel for the day and pray with your imagination.
Who Will You Be?
The easiest way to begin is to pick a person from the gospel and become that person. Don’t start with the main characters. It might be easier to be a bystander than St. Peter.
Once you have chosen a character, think about how you are dressed. Who is with you? What do you hear? What do you smell? How do you feel?
Don’t Rush through the Scene
Then go through the gospel one or two sentences at a time. Continue to use your imagination and “senses” to experience it. Let your imagination run pretty free. It might take you somewhere you don’t expect.
If you do end up somewhere unexpected, delve into that a little more. What might God be trying to say to you? Do you see a familiar gospel in a new way?
If you are moved to do so, commit to change the way you are doing something or perhaps the way you see someone. This prayer method can lead you into unfamiliar territory. Be open to what the Holy Spirit might be saying to you.
Fr. James Martin explains this method of prayer, which is often called Ignatian Contemplation.
Lectio Divina means “divine reading”. It is another way to pray with Scripture.
This is a traditional Catholic prayer before reading the Bible. It asks God our Father to send His Holy Spirit to make us ready to hear Him.
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