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Ignatius Guided Mediation

“Search the Scriptures.” (John 5:39)  Ignatius must have loved this Gospel reading for today.  Ignatius of Loyola, the father of spiritual direction, founder of the Jesuits, believed that one way to get to know Jesus was to use your imagination and put yourself into a Bible story of reading.

For Ignatius the imagination was a powerful God given tool of understanding.  With it one could experience things and places that one could never get to in "real Life,"  it was a way for him and his noviciates to more present to God  and it is a technique that is still used today; it is called guided mediation:

Select a passage from the Bible you want to read.

• Don’t read right away, but begin with prayer. If you feel like singing or even humming a hymn you heard at Mass, do it.

• When you feel ready, read the Scripture passage you have chosen.

• Read it again slowly, dwelling on the words or phrases that struck you.

• Use your imagination to place yourself in the scene described in the passage.

• Imagine that Jesus is sitting across from you and speaking these words directly to you.

• Be still. During this quiet period, some words or pictures may bub­ble up in your thoughts. This may be God speaking to you—espe­cially if the images and thoughts lead you closer to Christ, fill you with hope, or stir your heart to love and forgive.

• Try to write out what you think God is saying to you, and close with a prayer of praise and thanksgiving. God wants to reveal himself to us in Scripture. Only by quiet reflection will we learn to hear his voice.

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