Arts & Faith: Advent—Second Sunday Imaginative Prayer Exercise

Arts & Faith: Advent

Each week of Advent, we’ll provide an Ignatian prayer for you, inspired by a video from Arts & Faith: Advent.

The video and prayer for the Second Week of Advent, Cycle C, is based on Luke 3:1–6. The art is Mattia Preti’s St. John the Baptist Preaching.

Preparation

Prepare for a period of meditation by sitting comfortably, closing your eyes, and breathing deeply for a moment or two. Allow any present concerns to move across your mind and wait off to the side for now.

Are You Ready?

Today, you’re taking a bus home from work. Because it’s rush hour when you board, the bus is crowded. You struggle to find a seat and wedge yourself between two other passengers. So far, the experience has put you in a bad mood.

Then you notice that the person across from you is looking at you intently. This really makes you uncomfortable at first, but you intuit that this person is not imbalanced or harboring bad intentions. She smiles and puts you at ease. You nod a greeting—nice to find a friendly presence on the bus.

She leans toward you then, when a space opens up between you, there in the aisle. She looks directly at you and says, “He’s coming to see you today. Are you ready?”

“What?” Did you hear her correctly? “What did you say?”

“He’s coming to see you.”

“He?”

“Of course. You know—Jesus!”

You feel blood drain from your face. “No! How?”

“Don’t worry how. The real question is, are you ready?”

“Am I ready?”

“Are you prepared?”

You look at her, confused, and she continues.

“You see, when Jesus comes, he brings with him truth and joy and happiness and wonderful things to do. Are you ready for all that?”

“I don’t know.”

“Well, you have the whole bus ride to prepare your heart.” She flashes a huge smile. “I’m so happy for you! Just wait!” At the next stop, she gets off the bus and gives you a little wave.

What happens within you for the remaining half hour you’re riding that bus? What decisions must you make? What fears must you let go of? What desires might you recognize?

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.

About Vinita Hampton Wright 184 Articles
Vinita Hampton Wright has served as senior editor at Loyola Press for 16 years and recently became managing editor of the trade books department. She has written various fiction and non-fiction books, including the novel Dwelling Places with HarperOne, Days of Deepening Friendship and The Art of Spiritual Writing for Loyola Press, and most recently, The St. Teresa of Avila Prayer Book for Paraclete Press. Vinita is a student and practitioner of Ignatian spirituality, and from 2009 to 2015 she blogged at Days of Deepening Friendship. For the past few years, she has co-led small groups through the 19th Annotation of the Spiritual Exercises. She lives in Chicago with her husband, three cats, and a dog. In her “spare” time these days, she is working on her next novel.

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