Arts & Faith: Easter Vigil—Holy Saturday Imaginative Prayer Exercise

Arts & Faith: Holy Saturday - Apsis mosaic from Basilica San Clemente in Rome - "Triumph of the Cross"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 Holy Saturday, Cycle A, are based on Matthew 28:1-10.

“Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.’”

—Matthew 28:10


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.

Do Not Be Afraid

The night air is cool. The sky is bright with a full moon shining down. You are walking along a path in the park near your house. The trees are moving gently in the breeze. It’s a beautiful, peaceful night. You smile at the beauty of it all, but there is heaviness in your heart. You know that you have so much to be thankful for, but there is something gnawing at you, making you feel anxious. You look up at the sky and want to pray, but no words seem to come. Your thoughts are far away.

As you look around, you see a man standing in a clearing under a tree not far from you. He is looking your way. He raises his hand and motions for you to come to him. A part of you thinks this is not a wise thing to do, but you walk over anyway. As you approach him, you see he is Jesus. His body is covered in a white cloth. When the moon shines on the cloth, it seems to glow in the dark. You walk up to him. Looking at you, Jesus asks, “Where have you been?” What do you say to Jesus? How does he respond?

As you stand there, you feel the anxiety growing inside you. Your mind is a jumble of confusion and questions. You want to ask Jesus about so many things, but the words won’t come, because the anxiety keeps growing. Your heart is racing. Jesus looks into your eyes. He is calm and peaceful. He reaches out and takes your hand in his. You stand there feeling his energy pass to you. It is soothing and calm. You hear the tree branches gently move with the breeze. You think it sounds almost like music. Your heart slows down. The anxiety you were feeling seems to drift away. Jesus looks at you and says, “Don’t be afraid. I am with you.” What do you say to Jesus?

Jesus tells us not to be afraid. What fears do I need to give to Jesus so that I can live in freedom? Who are the people in my life who are crippled with fear? How can I bring Jesus’ calming presence to them?

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.

Read a transcript of today’s video here. The art is the apsis mosaic from Basilica San Clemente in Rome, Triumph of the Cross.



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