Some Christians are afraid of seeking to use their imagination for personal or spiritual help because they associate it with Eastern religions, secular psychology, hypnosis, or “New Age” philosophy.
But there is a Biblical meditation. God has created human beings with the ability to imagine and the Bible is full of positive images and pictures that can offer us tremendous help! In fact, the frequent use of the present tense in the original languages of the Bible increases its vividness and transports us via our imagination into experiencing its actual scenes and prayers as if they’re happening now — and through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Word of God is indeed speaking to us now!
These Ignatian Meditations are one technique for entering into a Scriptural scene.
We have created over 60 Ignatian Meditation Guides (including the 12 below) and put them together in a handy digital booklet called “Ignatian Meditation Guides.”
This PDF booklet features instructions, an index of Scriptures with spiritual formation themes, and over 60 one-page meditations that can be printed out and shared. These Ignatian Meditation Guides have been field-tested in Soul Shepherding groups, spiritual direction, and retreats. They’re great for small groups, church staff or elder meetings, retreats, or private devotions. When you’re picking a meditation it’s helpful to look through our index of topics as you pray for God to guide you to the one that will be most helpful for you or your group. The complete set of Ignatian Meditation Guides can be purchased from Soul Shepherding for $9.99 here.
Confessing Our Need For Christ (Week 1: Beginning The Spiritual Exercises.)*
Mark 10:35-52: “What do you want from Jesus?” Cultivating a desire for Jesus enables us to experience God’s loving presence.
Acts 16:6-15: “Paul Discerns the Spirit’s Leading.” Paul shows us how to follow the Spirit of Jesus step-by-step.
John 8:1-11: “Jesus does not Condemn You!” No matter what our shortcomings or sins, God extends his mercy and grace to us through Christ.
Following Jesus in God’s Kingdom (Week 2: Jesus’ Infancy and Hidden Life. These are great as Advent Meditations.)
Luke 2:1-7: “The Birth of Christ” Joining Mary and Joseph’s hard journey to Bethlehem, we find surprising hospitality as Jesus is born amongst the animals.
Matthew 3:13-17: “The Heavens Open at Jesus’ Baptism.” Standing with Jesus in baptism we enter into the Trinitarian society of the Kingdom of the Heavens.
Mark 1:14-20: “Jesus Calls his Disciples.” By the lakeside, Jesus calls us with the fisherman: “Come! Follow me.”
With Jesus at the Cross (Week 3: The Passion of Christ. These are great as Lent meditations.)
(See also Unforsaken: With Jesus on the Stations of the Cross, a booklet of Gospel meditations and prayers with pictures by Bill Gaultiere.)
John 13:1-17: “Jesus Washes his Disciples’ Feet.” Jesus shows us that true teachers and leaders are loving servants.
Matthew 26:20-30: “The Lord’s Supper” Jesus ministers his body and blood to the Twelve, including Judas, and to each of us.
Mark 15:33-39: “Jesus is Crucified and Forsaken.” Mark shows Jesus on the cross, suffering alone and crying out to a God who seems to have abandoned him.
With the Risen Christ (Week 4: The Joy of a Risen Life!)
Mark 16:1-11: “He is Risen! Jesus Appears to Mary.” The first Evangelist of Jesus’ resurrection is a woman he delivered of seven demons.
Matthew 28:16-20: “Jesus’ Great Commission.” We’re called to apprentice people to Jesus, baptize them in his Trinitarian reality, and teach them how to implement his teachings in daily life.~
* For the first week Ignatius doesn’t assign Gospel passages because he uses preparatory meditations and prayers of “examen” to foster awareness of our need for God’s mercy and love through Christ. Accordingly, I’ve selected Scriptures that fit the themes in the opening of The Spiritual Exercises.