Imagine, for a moment, what the Apostle John may have experienced at the end of the Last Supper when Jesus invited him to sit and rest his head against his chest.
What went through John’s mind as he relaxed next to Jesus? Could he feel Jesus’ heart beat? Did he hear the whisper of Jesus’ breath flowing in and out of his lungs? Did John feel safe, loved, embraced?
Through the gift of our imaginations, we can experience the same emotions John felt. We can experience being embraced by God.
The Practice of Imaginative Prayer
In Meeting God through Your Imagination, Christine Warner reminds us it’s okay to use the gift of our creative minds to draw closer to God. St. Ignatius, she writes, invites us to engage our imaginations and senses to experience divine presence.
For Ignatius, meditation is not only about freeing our minds; it’s also about drawing us into an ever-deepening relationship with the Creator through images, metaphors, storytelling, and sensation.
God gifted us with imagination. Therefore, we can explore this divine gift to tap into an intimate experience of the Creator’s loving relationship with us.
Letting the Word Become Our Flesh
One way to enter into imaginative prayer is to take a Gospel story and place yourself in it. First, figure out who is present. Then, select one character and pretend you’re that person. What does it feel like to be there in the flesh, as a character in the story?
As you enter into this meditation practice, engage all five senses—sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. Immerse yourself in the story. Where, exactly, are you? What do you see? What do you smell? What do you hear? Is it hot, cold, windy? What emotions do you experience?
Continue to experience the scene, going deeper in your imagination.
This exercise places us in the divine narrative of the Gospel as it becomes our story.
Embraced—a Meditation Practice
If you’d like to experience the gift of imaginative prayer, click on the link below and listen to the two minute meditation. Allow yourself to be embraced by God.
Embraced–A Meditation for You. Click here to experience this two minute mediation.
Savor the emotions you experience and take them with you into your day.
—brian j plachta