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Showing posts with the label Ignatian Contemplation

Keeping Watch with Jesus in Holy Week

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Prayer is the place where "heart speaks to heart," as John Henry Cardinal Newman says. Using Scripture, we can enter into Jesus' experience of Holy Week; we can place our hearts into his. We can read the Passion accounts of the Gospels and ask Jesus for the gift of compassion, of suffering with him in his agony. Jesus himself invites us to do this when, in the midst of his agony in the garden, he calls to his disciples and to us:

Remain here and keep watch with me. Matthew 26:38

St. Ignatius of Loyola proposes a deeply personal and imaginative way to remain with Jesus. A master strategist and student of the human soul, St. Ignatius articulated a process of praying with Scripture that allows us to encounter Jesus personally. This kind of imaginative prayer engages all the senses and has come to be known as Ignatian Contemplation. At the Apostleship of Prayer, we call it praying with the heart.

Join me at Praying with Grace for a mini-retreat in imaginative prayer!

Imaginative Prayer: Switching Up the Prayer Routine

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Does your summer bend the rules a bit? In our house, bedtimes become a little fuzzier, trips to the pool cut piano practicing short, and french fries count as a vegetable at cookouts. The ambling summer months feel expansive, and spending time outside on long sunny days gives one plenty of "scope for
imagination," as Anne of Green Gables would say.

Imagination is always available, of course, but sometimes the leisure of summertime reminds us how creative we can be. Slow days ease the rigidity of lock-step schedules, and imaginative play breathes life into our family activities. Suddenly that pile of leftover mulch becomes a human ant hill. A bucket of water becomes a stew, flavored with rock-onions, twig-carrots, and maple-leaf-spices. My brothers and I always pretended the cracks in our driveway were cavities in a giant's tooth, and we (newly appointed dentists) had to clean out all the gravel with sticks before the giant's anesthesia wore off. Ah, summer!

Call me cr…