Arts & Faith: Lent—Fifth Sunday Imaginative Prayer Exercise

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Each week of Lent, we’ll provide an Ignatian prayer for you, inspired by a video from Arts & Faith: Lent. The video and prayer for the Fifth Week of Lent, Cycle A, are based on John 11:1-45.

“Jesus wept.”

—John 11:35

Preparation

As you begin this time of quiet prayer, I invite you to find a comfortable place to sit with your back straight and your legs planted on the ground. Take a few moments to breathe in and breathe out.

Spend this time centering yourself to listen to what God may be saying to you during this time of prayer, to listen to what rises up in your heart. Close your eyes for a few moments. As you sit with your eyes closed, use these or similar words: “Here I am, Lord. Here I am.” When you are ready, open your eyes and pray.

Jesus Weeps

Imagine you are walking on a small and narrow path through a forest. There are trees and plants on each side of the path. You stop and look up, but you can barely see the sky through the tree limbs heavy with leaves. There is the sound of crows squawking, but you cannot see them. You are walking because you needed time alone, time to think about what is next in your life. You feel like there is something you are supposed to be doing, but you cannot figure it out. If I give myself some time alone, you think, maybe I will begin to understand what’s next.

You are looking down at the narrow path so that you can see the rocks and roots on the path and not trip. As you walk, you hear a sound that makes you stop. You look around, but it’s hard to see through all the foliage. You continue on the path, but the sound gets louder. As you look ahead, you see someone sitting on a large rock under one of the trees that line the path. He is holding his head in his hands and seems to be crying. As you approach him, you realize he is not just crying, but weeping so hard that his body is shaking. He looks up at you with a tear-stained face. You see that he is Jesus. What do you say to him?

You stand there in front of Jesus, wanting to reach out but unsure how to do that. You want to comfort Jesus, but that seems so opposite to what you’ve been taught. He is the one to comfort me, you think. He stands up and says, “My friend has died, and I must go to him.” What do you say to Jesus?

Jesus starts to walk towards the path, but he turns around and beckons you to come with him. He reaches out his hand, and you take it. You walk along the path with Jesus and feel at peace. You don’t know where you are going, but you know that wherever it is, Jesus will be beside you. Jesus looks over at you and smiles a small, knowing smile. What do you want to say to Jesus? What do you want him to know about you?

Is there a decision you are wrestling with that you want to bring to Jesus?
How would you comfort Jesus as he weeps for his friend?

Concluding Prayer

Glory be to the Father,
and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning,
is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.
Amen.

Read a transcript of today’s video here. The art is János Vaszary’s Resuscitation of Lazarus.

About Steve Connor 21 Articles
Steve Connor has served in various catechetical positions for over 30 years. As a pastoral associate, Steve worked with RCIA, adult education, and family faith formation. He has given numerous parish missions and retreats throughout the United States. Steve has a M.Div. from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.

2 Comments on Arts & Faith: Lent—Fifth Sunday Imaginative Prayer Exercise

  1. I am inspired by your Arts & Faith presentation. It moves me to go deeper in the encounter with Jesus. Thank you very much.

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