Pray By Putting Yourself in a Gospel Scene

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?

Follow Through

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.

More Resources

Video Resource

Fr. James Martin explains this method of prayer, which is often called Ignatian Contemplation.

Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina means “divine reading”. It is another way to pray with Scripture.

Prayer Before Reading the Bible

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.

By the power of the Holy Spirit, the Word of God has come to dwell among us and it desires to continue to dwell in our midst, in order to fulfill our expectations and to heal our wounds

Pope Francis

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