Session Two cont'd - Follow Series
Guided Reflection – 'Ignatian style'
You’re going to need your imagination for this. Ready?
This reflection is a simple way Saint Ignatius (see below) taught people to pray, by recreating a gospel story using your imagination and then picturing yourself in the story. To begin, turn off any distractions and get comfortable. It helps to put on some gentle music to help you ‘get in the zone’. Now lean back and read through the following reflection a couple of times. Then close your eyes and begin to imagine.
First, picture the cross (it might help if there is one nearby. If there is one in the room take it off the wall and hold it in your hands).
Now picture Jesus on the cross. Imagine that you are part of the crowd that has gathered at the foot of the cross, an eye-witness to the death of the Son of God. Just spend a bit of time there
Imagine Jesus looking you in the eye. Does he speak to you? What does he say? What do you say back?
To finish, play the song ‘Draw Me In’ below by emmanuelworship and listen to the words as it’s played. Before you move on take some time to write down your experience in a journal.
Jesus’ love is free and for everyone. It is already there, just waiting for you when you are ready to receive it. Jesus never forces himself into our lives. Like a gentle knock on a door he will never barge in, but waits for us to open the door and let him in. Why don’t you read through the following prayer and, if you feel ready, make it a personal prayer for yourself:
Jesus, thank you for your love; Your love that never fails, your love that does not condemn, you love that searches for me, your love that never gives up, your love that inspired you to give your life for me.
Today, I open my heart to your love. Help me to know you and follow you as your disciples did.
In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
To say that Jesus ‘loved us to death’ is just the beginning. In fact he loved us more than that; through his death and through his resurrection Jesus has ‘loved us to life!’ St Paul explains it like this…
‘But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved! For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms, because we are united with Christ Jesus’.
Ephesians 2:4-6 (NLT)
What all this means is simple; we are meant for more! We are loved too much for God to leave us where we are. Just like Christ was risen, there is a new life with Christ waiting for you and me to experience too.
St Ignatius was a guy who lived in Spain in the 15th-16th century. Growing up he had dreams of living a life full of adventure and noble deeds. But in the army Ignatius was injured and taken to a monastery to recover. While stuck in bed he read all about Jesus, the disciples and the inspiring lives of the saints. It was in reading these stories that Ignatius realised the desire he had to do great deeds were clues to the direction God was leading him. He left the army, started a new religious order called 'the Jesuits' and is known as an expert in ‘spiritual direction’ – which is helping people to understand their experiences of Jesus.
‘Adoration’ (c) 2012 emmanuelworship. Album ‘The King Is Coming’
‘Thankyou’ (c) 2009 emmanuelworship. Album ‘Justice+Praise'
Tash Mierendorf & Pat Keady (c) 2014 Ignite Youth