Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Ian VanHeusen

7/15/2014 (1 year 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 (1 year 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'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for June 2016
Universal:
Human Solidarity: That the aged, marginalized, and those who have no one may findeven within the huge cities of the worldopportunities for encounter and solidarity.
Evangelization: Seminarians and Novices: That seminarians and men and women entering religious life may have mentors who live the joy of the Gospel and prepare them wisely for their mission.



Comments


More Blog

Are You The Anchor?

Image of

By Jackie Stammen

Hi there! Remember me? I'm sorry I've been neglecting this little blog space where I get to intersect with your life even if just for a little while several times a month. I'm sorry it's been a month and a half since I've last posted anything. The thing is, I have been ... continue reading


Orlando: Finding Peace in Tragedy Watch

Image of

By Chaplain Adele M. Gill

It is hard to be at peace watching the news these days, especially after seeing the coverage of the Orlando Shooting that just killed 50 innocent people and injured 53 more. As the world seems to be spinning out of control with mayhem, hatred, evil, and increased ... continue reading


Citizenship Begins at Conception Watch

Image of

By Chaplain Adele M. Gill, RN, BSN, CPC

Today, Hillary Clinton won the Democratic votes necessary to be the nominee for her party. A legendary and outspoken supporter of abortion, I am dismayed at the thought that Hillary could be president for a myriad of reasons, but especially her cold-blooded stance on ... continue reading


Abort! Abort! Watch

Image of

By Michaela Daphne

I was saying goodbye to a friend the other day - a friend who isn't from my Christian circles - and two little words tumbled out of my mouth before I could gather them up again:""God bless!"The thoughts that followed in my head went something like this:"Did I really ... continue reading


The idea of female ordination offends me Watch

Image of Not so fast!

By Michaela Daphne

My Uncle said that one day I'll be Pope. I'd like to point out at this point that I am female. He was joking of course, but unfortunately there are many people out there who would have taken his proclamation quite seriously and encouraged me to show the world that ... continue reading


A Corpus Christi Lament

Image of

By Michael Seagriff

When we entered Church yesterday on the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ,was it any different than walking into a movie theater, a school auditorium or other public place? How much consideration was given to He Who is really truly and substantially present ... continue reading


Thank You for Giving Me Something to Work With

Image of

By Cheryl Jones

I feel led to give a simple testimony that may help others who pray. There are certain prayers I do on a regular basis. Today I expanded the scope of these prayers and included a wider group. When finished, I heard the Lord say, "Thank you for giving me something to ... continue reading


When Bad Things Happen Watch

Image of

By Cheryl Jones

The question, "Why do bad things happen to good people?" has been asked more than once.  Job, in the midst of his trials gave a clue where to look when there are problems. But ye should say, Why persecute we him, seeing the root of the matter is found in ... continue reading


The Political Rise and Fall of Dr. Ben Carson (Part Two)

Image of

By Justin Soutar

Within two and a half years' time, Dr. Ben Carson's political star had climbed with extraordinary steadiness from the horizon to the zenith, where it shone with dazzling brilliance, and then suddenly it plunged toward the opposite horizon, disappearing from view ... continue reading


'Tolerate as I have tolerated you' Watch

Image of

By Michaela Daphne

Jesus is not nice."Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword." (Matt 10:34) BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - It's no accident that C.S. Lewis used a lion to represent Christ."Safe?" said Mr. Beaver; "don't you hear ... continue reading


All Blog News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Our National Independence Requires Our Dependence On God
  • Daily Reading for Wednesday, July 6th, 2016 HD Video
  • St. Bernardino Realino: Saint of the Day for Saturday, July 02, 2016
  • America has become craven, that's why Satan is winning
  • Psalm for the Sick HD Video
  • Daily Readings for Saturday, July 02, 2016
  • The Vindication of Governor Bob McDonnell, Persevering Faith and the ...

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Amos 8:4-6, 9-12
4 Listen to this, you who crush the needy and reduce the oppressed to ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 119:2, 10, 20, 30, 40, 131
2 Blessed are those who observe his instructions, who seek him with all ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 9:9-13
9 As Jesus was walking on from there he saw a man named Matthew sitting ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 1st, 2016 Image

St. Junipero Serra
July 1: Miguel Jose Serra was born on the island of ... Read More