Active Contemplation

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Active Contemplation This type of prayer involves reading scripture, just as in "Praying with Scripture," but it is done alone and is active rather than passive.

In "Active Contemplation," you read an event in the Gospel and imagine yourself right there in the scene. Watch the event unfold, using your imagination to fill in the details. More precisely, ask God to use your imagination to fill in the details and to use this Gospel passage to lead you deeper into the mysteries of our faith.

This is not the same as watching a play or movie, because in active contemplation you are "actually" within the scene. You are not outside looking in, but you become part of what's happening. For example, imagine that you ask questions of the others in the scene or that they say something to you. In your mind, use all of your senses (sight, sound, touch, smell, taste) to make the Gospel scene as graphic and vivid as possible. Experience the warmth, the cold, the tone of voice, the facial expressions. In your mind, feel the breeze on your face, or smell the food cooking.

This is not mere fantasy, as you are being faithful to what the Gospel says about the core of the event itself. But let God, through your imagination, fill in little details that are not provided in the words. In this way, the scene becomes more meaningful, and you are an active participant.

To be effective in this form of prayer, it is essential that you begin by asking the Holy Spirit to lead you – to give you new insights, to let the scene unfold in ways you might not have expected, and to be sure your imagination does not go astray!

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St. Ignatius Loyola Parish
St. Ignace, Michigan
(906) 643-7671
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Immaculate Conception Parish
Moran, Michigan