An Imagination Encounter with Jesus

In the previous post, I briefly described various aspects of Jesus’ personality and the different roles he plays in the Gospel accounts. I asked that you identify the role or roles you are most comfortable with or most attracted to. Also, identify the role(s) least attractive to you or that make you uncomfortable.

Now, use your imagination to sit down and have a conversation with Jesus. Choose the Jesus you are most comfortable with—maybe it’s the teacher or healer. If you wish, put yourself in a Gospel story setting with him. Imagine the countryside, the weather, how the people are dressed, what the air smells like, etc. Imagine who you are—a bystander? An interested member of a crowd he’s teaching? A person who comes to him for healing? Step into this encounter with Jesus, and see what happens.

If imagining first-century Palestine is too much of a stretch, bring Jesus to here and now. If he were a teacher today, where would you encounter him? Imagine that situation, and put yourself there.

Don’t worry about having an “accurate” imaginative scene; this is prayer, and the imagination is a powerful tool. Your spirit—working with the Holy Spirit—can take your imagination where it needs to go. Of course this isn’t a historical “real” conversation with Jesus. But it is quite real and true for you. Let it happen.

Here’s an additional challenge: Choose the Jesus you are least comfortable with—maybe the prophet or radical or mystic—and do the same kind of imaginative encounter. You may be surprised at what happens!

Blessings on these wonderful prayers you are about to have.


This post is a part of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure, Week 6.

About Vinita Hampton Wright 139 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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