Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Ian VanHeusen

7/15/2014 (10 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Imagination and Prayer

The imagination is powerful. It can either be a friend that helps us to imagine and explore the possibilities of a fruitful life, or it can be devastating enemy that keeps us ensnared in a tangled web of illusions, fears, and anxieties.


Through prayer our imaginations can be healed and elevated by the work of the Holy Spirit

Through prayer our imaginations can be healed and elevated by the work of the Holy Spirit

Highlights

By Deacon Ian VanHeusen

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/15/2014 (10 months ago)

Published in Blog

Keywords: imaginative prayer, Ignatian spirituality, healing, God, faith, prayer,


ELIZABETH CITY, NC - Growing in intimacy with Jesus Christ is not about ignoring or eliminating our imaginations in favor of some kind of esoteric state, but rather is about letting our imagination be one of the means by which we enter into relationship with God.

Let all aspects of our created nature, our imagination needs to be healed, purified, and directed by the light of the Gospel. In our contemporary culture, often our imaginations are bombarded by violent and sexual images that prevent us from experiencing the inner stillness of the Spirit. Instead of harmony existing within our interior lives, confusion and disordered attachments keep us from authentic happiness.

Prayer is powerful, light your virtual candle now.

The answer is to let our imaginations be healed and elevated through the work of the Holy Spirit. One way that this healing can take place is by using our imagination for meditation. The master of this kind of prayer is St. Ignatius of Loyola. In the context of giving retreats, he developed insights into how our imaginations work and how they can help foster intimacy with Jesus Christ. His retreats walk participants through a series of scenarios, each of which are designed to bring participants closer to Christ.

But that does not mean that we should only use our imagination for prayer during an Ignatian retreat. Our imaginations are an important tool that can help us day in and day out. As we experience reality and filter it through our interior dialogue, we must take time to explore our experience in the context of an on-going relationship with Jesus Christ. This exploration involves two interconnected avenues of discovery. First, we discover who God is and how he has worked in our lives and in the world. This in turn leads us to discover our true identity which can only be understood in the purifying light of the Gospel.

This exploration opens us to the promptings of the Spirit and leads us to the fruits of communion. Our lives begin to become marked by greater peace and happiness in the midst of our daily struggles. This does not mean that our troubles disappear, but rather we receive the nourishment and strength to participate in Christ's unconditional love in the midst of our suffering. Our imaginations thus give us the freedom to explore this unconditional love and experience the consolation of the Spirit.   

To integrate imaginative prayer into your routine, there are a variety of excellent sources. In particular, I recommend the work of Fr. Timothy Gallagher. I have also posted a short guide to imaginative meditation on my website (http://www.contemplatio.us/a-guide-to-imaginative-prayer/). Hopefully, this can be some small suggestions that get you started. 

Deacon Ian VanHeusen is studying to be a Catholic priest of the Diocese of Raleigh, NC. He writes regularly on his blog www.contemplatio.us.

Through Prayer & Action you can do good in this world.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2015
Universal:
That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
Evangelization: That Mary's intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Blog

If You Want An Excuse, You'll Find One

Image of Your body is a temple. It's the place that God dwells within, so make it a house worthy for Him to dwell.

By Jackie Stammen

'Your body is a temple.' This phrase began to caress my thoughts and fuse it's way into my life until finally I had to face the truth of those words.  NASHVILLE, TN - I was tired - tired of feeling lazy and gluttonous. I was tired of my jeans being way too snug. ... continue reading


Why Christians Cannot Practice Transcendental Meditation Watch

Image of When we rest quietly in God's presence, we engage in contemplation. In contemplation we spend time with God in wordless silence, aware that he is with us.

By Rev. Mr. Ian VanHeusen

Before you think that this article is another stereotypical condemnation of Transcendental Meditation and other forms of East Asian meditation practices, I ask you to think again. Christians are not able to practice Transcendental Meditation not because it is immoral ... continue reading


Monday Musings - So What's The Rush?

Image of We should continue a silent and prolonged interaction with Him after Mass instead of joining the stampede out of the pews.

By Michael Seagriff

Many professing to be Catholic - even among those who attend Sunday Mass regularly - have lost the sense of the Sacred and their belief in the Real Presence of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. CANASTOTA, NY - The many reasons for this are beyond the scope of this ... continue reading


The Masterpiece of Living

Image of Life is like a spider web. Beautiful at first sight and looks simple to create but in comparison to the world around it, is actually more elaborate than it seems. In one swift movement, it can be taken apart, ripped to shreds, but that's when, with God's love, you learn to build up the strength to rebuild it and go on.

Have faith in God. Trust God with your life and with your future. Let go of fear. God is faithful and will in all things sustain and keep you. Do not be afraid. Only believe.

By Tara K. E. Brelinsky

I guess that's why I spent part of my Sunday Mass distracted by them. Not because they were a distraction in the negative sense, but because they were a living picture of what it means to be faithful and faith-filled.  ZEBULON, NC - Without a word, he ... continue reading


Christians Must Get in the Game and Testify to Truth Watch

Image of Ignatius of Loyola was a Spanish knight from a local Basque noble family, hermit, priest since 1537, and theologian, who founded the Society of Jesus or Jesuits and, on 19 April 1541, became its first Superior General.

By by Tara K. E. Brelinsky

Chaos is at an all time high for sure in the midst of this on-going battle between good and evil. Before the age of internet, it took time to respond to a differing view. A letter to the editor or a phone call to your representative required you to invest real ... continue reading


This Beautiful Prayer is For You

Image of Never underestimate the power of prayer.

By Jackie Stammen

Years ago after a retreat I attended, the Lord gave me a prayer which I've since remembered, which is kind of amazing because if there's anything I'm not so great at it's memorizing things word for word. Thank God it's a short prayer and that He knows my shortcomings ... continue reading


Through Suffering You Can Find God

Image of By God's grace, no cross He sends will ever be too heavy.

By Michael Seagriff

Let me repeat some obvious truths. God is more powerful than any of us. He draws each of us to Himself. He wants to excite our hearts. He longs to fill our minds and souls with the Truth. He desires that we yield ourselves totally to His will. CANASTOTA, NY - We are ... continue reading


11 Reasons why Eggs are the Healthiest Food on Earth. Watch

Image of One little egg is packed with several vitamins essential to your health!

By Wendy RN., BA, MBA

Eggs contain small amounts of almost every vitamin and mineral required by the human body. including calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, manganese, Vitamin E, Folate and many more.One large egg contains (1):Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin): 9% of the RDA.Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): ... continue reading


Thank you God for gifting me your relentless love.

Image of Domino Effect:  a situation in which one event causes a series of similar events to happen one after another.

By Jackie Stammen

There are consequences to every decision we make. With the decisions we make that are not pleasing to God, our loving Father tries to hold back the wrath that we bring upon ourselves as a result from those sins. However, as we sin more and more and as the sin goes ... continue reading


My Mangy Cat and Me

Image of Cats have a way of making their way deep into our hearts.

By Tara K. E. Brelinsky

My heart leaped as I raced barefooted across the cold mudroom floor. Pulling the door open, I found our little old mangy cat sitting just on the opposite side. Bending down to run my hands across her dirty winter coat, she rewarded me with a deep satisfied purr. ... continue reading


All Blog News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Sirach 42:15-25
15 Next, I shall remind you of the works of the Lord, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 33:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
2 Give thanks to Yahweh on the lyre, play for him on ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 10:46-52
46 They reached Jericho; and as he left Jericho with ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 28th, 2015 Image

Bl. Margaret Pole
May 28: Martyr of England. She was born Margaret Plantagenet, the niece ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter