Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, January 17, 2019
World of Imagination in Prayer
I love to imagine things. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve had an extremely active imagination. (Some might say an overactive imagination.) Perhaps that is why I love using Ignatian prayer. Using my senses and using my brain together in prayer seem to be a marvelous combination. Maybe not for everyone, but it is so for me.
As I get down to praying (in the Ignatian way), “the clarity that emerges is invaluable. It allows a solidly grounded use of these methods, with flexibility, as the Spirit draws us individually.”  Whether I imagine the heat and dust of an outdoor market where Jesus and His disciples are traveling, or whether the crowd presses against me as I wait and watch Jesus passing by, it does not matter. I may read the Psalms and be transported into the sadness and fear of the psalmist, and sometimes not be able to quickly separate myself from that experience.
Yes, I can readily intellectualize my Bible reading, to the point where the Bible becomes sterile and stuffy. However, I am saved from over-intellectualizing. Ignatian prayer saves me from that, and allows me to immerse myself (and my imagination) in the Bible reading of the day.
St. Ignatius loved to make use of the Gospels in Ignatian prayer—active, imaginative participation in these Biblical events. “Direct contact with his words opens for us the full richness and endless freshness of this teaching.” 
It has been about ten or eleven years since I made my way through the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. The richness of that experience only whetted my appetite all the more for Ignatian prayer. I am so looking forward to this how-to book on prayer. I hope and pray I can help a few others, in these brief articles.
Dear Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayers.
Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.
 Meditation and Contemplation: An Ignatian Guide to Praying with Scripture, Timothy M. Gallagher, OVM (United States of America: Crossroad Publishing, 2008), 10.
 Ibid, 11.