Spiritual Exercise 47
St. Ignatius writes: “When contemplation or meditation is on something visible, for example, when we contemplate Christ our Lord, the representation will consist in seeing in imagination the material place where the object is that we wish to contemplate…”
It is a Mental Prayer in reading and re-reading a selection in which we seek to discover on each reading more of an understanding of what God has for us. In this discursive process, we reflect upon what thoughts, images, memories, or insights were brought to mind - here, we now listen to our heart using our intellect and memory.
Reading: What does the text say?
Reflecting: What is God saying to me through the text?
Responding in Prayer: What do I want to say to God about the text?
Action: What do I want to do based on this prayer time?
In the Ignatian tradition, praying with the imagination is called contemplation. In the Exercises, contemplation is a very active way of praying that engages the mind and heart and stirs up thoughts and emotions.
What is going on in the scene?
Where am I in the scene?
What is God sharing with me?
What do I see, hear, smell, feel, taste?
What is this experience like for me?
What do I want to share with God?