Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Ian VanHeusen

7/15/2014 (3 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 (3 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'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Blog

Homosexuals Have Gifts to Offer: Why That Shouldn't Be News to Anyone

Image of Synod of Bishops on marriage and family

By Tara K. E. Brelinsky

What bugs me about the headline is that it labels one group of sinners as though the rest of the Christian community is sinless or perhaps less sinful. The headline could just as easily read "Adulterers or Fornicators or Drunks or Liars or Thieves or Murderers ... continue reading


The Brittany Maynard Dilemma: Culture of Life vs Suicidal Euthanasia

Image of All things are possible through prayer.

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

As you probably have read on the internet or in newspapers, or seen on TV news, a 29 year old woman named Brittany Maynard has decided to end her life. Where is the outrage over her decision to commit suicidal euthanasia on November 1st, which happens to be ALL SAINTS ... continue reading


Waiting For The Company of Even One Priest

Image of

By Dom Mark Daniel Kirby, O.S.B.

Imagine the pain our Lord suffers every day because of those priests who ignore Him and flee from His company. CANASTOTA, NY - No need to imagine. Read, ponder and share the most recent post from Father Mark on Vultus Christi. These powerful words are taken from ... continue reading


Our Lady of the Rosary, Adoration and My Friend Mike

Image of 'The rosary is the book of the blind, where souls see and there enact the greatest drama of love the world has ever known...'

~Archbishop Fulton Sheen

By Michael Seagriff

We celebrated the memorial of our Lady of the Rosary on October 7, which was instituted by Pope Pius V. He attributed the naval victory over the Turks at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 to the Blessed Mother's intercession after the Christian world sought her aid through ... continue reading


Prayer is Life Changing

Image of There is unlimited power in prayer. Prayer has the capacity to change all things for the better.

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

I don't know about you, but at times in my own life, I forget to pray first before doing anything else, when things go awry. When negative, difficult or challenging things start to happen in my life, I may pace, begin to worry, knit, sew, call a friend, or run an ... continue reading


I Had A Dream to Pray the Rosary

Image of The repetition in the Rosary is meant to lead one into restful and contemplative prayer.

By Cheryl Jones

I had a dream, actually two dreams in successive nights. 'For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not.  In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed; Then he openeth the ears of men, and ... continue reading


4 Powerful Ways to Prevent and Ease Depression

Image of Prayer and meditation are helpful for those suffering from depression

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

'Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from ... continue reading


There is No Room for Envy in a Grateful Heart

Image of Praying the Rosary enables us to accept God's grace and follow His commands with ease.

By by Tara K. E. Brelinsky

It really is amazing how easily any situation can be transformed by humility and gratitude. Although we can't afford a trip to Disney nowadays, we were blessed with a few days at the beach during the off-season. My husband could only share part of the time with ... continue reading


Jesus' Great Invitation - 'Come Unto Me All Who are Weary'

Image of When we become humble enough to accept our imperfections and frailties, we become strong in Jesus.

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

Have you ever met someone who you just know is a Christian? Of course you have. They are the ones who consistently personify and exhibit abject peace, love, joy, forgiveness, goodness, faithfulness, constancy and steadfastness. They are the ones you turn to when you ... continue reading


5 Easy Ways to 'Be Not Afraid'!

Image of Be not afraid, regardless of how the world appears, we must 'walk by faith, not by sight.'

By Adele M Gill, RN, BSN, CC

Be not afraid. According to the online Bible Gateway, a helpful Bible reference resource, this phrase is used 97 times in the Holy Bible, and for good reason. LOS ANGELES, CA - Amongst Judeo-Christians, people of faith have been enduring great persecution for ... 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, Isaiah 45:1, 4-6
1 Thus says Yahweh to his anointed one, to Cyrus ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 96:1, 3, 4-5, 7-8, 9-10
1 Sing a new song to Yahweh! Sing to Yahweh, all the ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 22:15-21
15 Then the Pharisees went away to work out between ... Read More

Reading 2, First Thessalonians 1:1-5
1 Paul, Silvanus and Timothy, to the Church in ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 19th, 2014 Image

Sts. Isaac Jogues and Rene Goupil
October 19: In 1642 the Huron country was in great distress. Harvests were ... 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