I know, it’s a bit early for Nativity scenes, but let me explain 🙂 Use of our imagination is a key component of Ignatian Spirituality. It’s funny, as we get older most of us don’t daydream like we used to. Remember when you were a kid, and you could close your eyes and instantly transport yourself to some epic event, with you playing a key role? I’m not sure how it happens, but it seems to me that we become so focused on the reality of our lives that we stop dreaming.
But St. Ignatius and his spiritual exercises can be a great tool to recapturing our ability to dream. Ignatian spirituality fosters the use of our imagination in prayer. He offers us a path to God and reminds us that in our imagination, we can not only find Jesus, but identify ourselves with him. We become part of the scene, one of the players in the events of Jesus’ life.
Entering into the Gospel story through the use of our imagination is Ignatius’ way of coming to know Jesus. Knowing Christ, so that we can love him more intimately, in order to follow him more closely is what our life is all about.
If your imagination is a bit rusty, try this exercise. It comes from the third week of the Exercises (#110).
First, read the Gospel story of the Nativity (Luke 2:1-14)). Then, imagine yourself in the scene. What do you see, smell, hear? Observe everything with a keen and sensitive heart to all that is going on. You might even insert yourself as a participant, not just a spectator into the scene, into the mystery that is unfolding.
If you’re having difficulty, read the passage again, reflect on the icon above, painted by Fra Angelico.
At the end of each one of these moments of contemplation, St. Ignatius asks us to be bold enough to have a dialogue with the Lord. He calls it a “colloquy”. Ask God what He wanted you to get from reflecting on this fundamental event in Christ’s life. End your time of prayer with an Our Father.
If this was a good experience for you, check out some of the resources at the bottom of my St. Ignatius tab to the right.
As I told you yesterday, this Feast of St. Robert Bellarmine marks the one year anniversary of my beginning the Spiritual Exercises. The experience was a life-changer for me. This blog, making all things new, is an outcome of the wonderful consolations that came my way through getting to know St. Ignatius and his spiritual gift to us.
St. Robert Bellarmine, pray for us!