Arts & Faith: Lent—Second Sunday Imaginative Prayer Exercise

Arts & Faith: Lent logoEach 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 Second Week of Lent, Cycle A, are based on Matthew 17:1-9.

“While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I well pleased; listen to him!’ When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear.”

—Matthew 17:5-6

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. Allow yourself to notice your breathing as you continue to breathe normally. Breathe in. Breathe out.

Spend this time centering yourself to listen to what God may be saying to you during this 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.

Seeing Jesus Anew

Imagine you are walking up a dusty hill with Jesus and some friends. As you walk, you’re talking about what’s been happening as you follow Jesus from town to town, hear him teach, and see him with people. You can’t quite place it, but there’s something about him that you find unique from the other teachers you’ve heard or seen. Jesus turns to look at your group coming up behind him. He waits. Once you’re beside him he looks you in the eyes and speaks. What does Jesus say to you? How do you respond?

You continue up the hill, but now you are walking beside Jesus. You walk together in silence. Even without words you feel so connected to him. It’s a connection you don’t understand, but he makes you feel safe and peaceful. You smile at the thought of being Jesus’ friend. You turn to Jesus and talk to him. What do you say to Jesus? He smiles at you and touches your arm.

Suddenly, there is a strong wind blowing the dust and dirt around. You put your head down to avoid getting something in your eye. When you look beside you, Jesus is not there. You wonder where he is. Is he alright? Then a bright, white cloud appears overhead. You see Jesus, who seems to float in the center of the cloud, looking down at you and smiling. There are two other men with him.

As you look at Jesus, a voice comes through the air and says, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I well pleased; listen to him!” Your heart is pounding. You begin to sweat. Falling to the ground, you feel so afraid that you’re shaking. You think, Who is this Jesus? The wind picks up again, and you close your eyes. When you open them, Jesus is standing in front of you. His face seems radiant and peaceful. He looks at you with such tenderness. What does Jesus say to you? How do you respond?

You notice that your heart is no longer racing, and you feel calm and at peace. Jesus begins to walk ahead of you going down the hill. You smile and follow him.

What are the fears in your life that you want to bring to Jesus? What does it mean to you to be Jesus’ 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 Raphael’s Transfiguration.

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