Arts & Faith: Lent—Good Friday Imaginative Prayer Exercise

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As we move from Lent to Easter, we’ll provide Ignatian prayers for the Triduum, inspired by videos from Arts & Faith: Lent. The video and prayer for Good Friday are based on John 18:1-19:42.

“He said, ‘It is finished.’ Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”

—John 19:30

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.

Is it Finished?

The day begins with a bright sun and a blue sky. Imagine you’re walking along a street feeling joyful and peaceful. You pass by people who are smiling because the day makes everyone feel alive and fresh. Springtime has that effect on people. After walking about an hour, you notice that the sky is turning dark. Big, gray and black clouds have moved in, as if a tremendous storm is about to happen. You think of finding a place to wait it out, but something keeps you moving forward, pulling you to continue. You see a hill in the distance. People are standing around what looks like several men hanging from trees. Getting closer, you see that they are crosses. The man on the center cross is covered in blood and sores. On his head is a wooden crown with thorns that pierce his skin. You see that it is Jesus. His eyes catch yours. He looks at you with eyes that don’t show pain, but peace. He speaks to you in a voice that only you can hear. What does Jesus say to you? Is there something you want to say in response to Jesus?

Some of the people around you are crying. Some are yelling at Jesus, telling him to come down if he truly is who he says he is. You want to turn away, to walk away, but you can’t. You stand there caught in the horror, yet knowing this is not the conclusion to Jesus’ life. You want to tell those around you that this is not the end, that there is more. It is not finished.

Someone comes up to you, wrapped in a cloak, and stands beside you. You can’t see his face, but he holds out a hand to you. In his hand, you see the nail mark. You realize it is Jesus. He removes the cloak from around his face as he turns to you. He looks at you with a peaceful, warm smile. What do you say to Jesus? How does he respond?

As Jesus stands beside you, you feel a power coming from him. It makes you feel safe and, at the same time, energized. Your mind is full of questions and races from one thing to another, but you remain quiet. Jesus turns to you again and says, “You know this is not the end. It isn’t finished. It has just begun. And now, it’s up to you.” He looks at you, smiles, and slowly walks into the crowd and disappears. You look up at the scene before you. On the cross, Jesus lifts his head and says, “It is finished.” Your eyes fill with tears. You whisper to yourself, No, it is not finished. No. It has just begun.

What are the crosses in your life that you need to bring to Jesus so he can help carry them for you?
How have you brought the good news of Jesus to others in your life?

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 Titian’s Christ and the Good Thief.

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.

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