Spiritual Disciplines for Social Distancing 3: Imaginative Contemplation

Hello All!

Pastor Anna here. As you know, we’ve had to do things a little differently here at HUMM over the past couple of weeks. We’ve had to get creative with the ways we worship and with the ways that we connect with one another in this time of social distancing. Now, we’re going to get creative about how we pray and practice our faith in our sermon series “Spiritual Disciplines for Social Distancing.” During this series, I’ll be sharing some of my own favorite prayer practices and devotions; my hope is that you will find peace and comfort in them in the days ahead.

Love in Christ,

Pastor Anna

What Is It?

Imaginative Contemplation is another form of meditation from our friend St. Ignatius Loyola, a 16th century Catholic priest and founder of the Jesuit religious order. The use of Imagination was very important to Ignatius: he began using this practice when he was bedridden from injuries sustained in battle. He was also a great appreciator of the arts.

Why Should I Try It?

  • Good for visual learners

  • Engages the senses

  • Helps minimize distractions

How Do I Do It?

  1. Look at a picture...it could be a piece of art (religious or “secular”), a picture of a person you love and want to pray for, or even a scene outside your window.

  2. Find the first thing that catches your eye and focus on it for 1-2 minutes.

  3. Take in the whole image: take time to notice every part.

  4. Ask yourself: What emotions or thoughts does this evoke for me?

  5. Offer those thoughts and feelings to God in prayer.

Your Turn

Try Imaginative Contemplation for yourself! Here is an image to start with:


(Image Title: The Risen Christ. Unfortunately I could not find the name of the artist, but I found the image on the website www.pathwaystogod.org)


“After the Sabbath, and towards dawn on the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala and the other Mary went to visit the sepulchre.”


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