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Ignatian spirituality and prayer

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Icons can be used in individual prayer or during retreats. They are especially suited to Ignatian forms of prayer to stimulate the imagination, to open doorways to mystical and spiritual realities. …More
Icons can be used in individual prayer or during retreats. They are especially suited to Ignatian forms of prayer to stimulate the imagination, to open doorways to mystical and spiritual realities. With time and careful attention, icons can reveal several layers of meaning and distort the limits of time and space. To make the best use of them, it is important to have a variety of images to choose from. As we have seen, it is natural to pair certain icons with specific scriptural passages. Other icons work well in conjunction with particular prayers. Images of Jesus and Mary, for example, can enhance the interior dialogue during spiritual exercises known as colloquies.
Here are a few things to consider as you begin your prayer:
1. The choice of an icon should be based in part on the graces being asked for. If one seeks relief from anxiety, for example, the story of the calming of the storm or Peter walking on the water may be a good choice.
2. During prayer, one is likely to encounter moments of self-understanding, passion, zeal or conflict. Pay attention to these emotions, and what you were praying for when you experienced them. It is not uncommon for the image being gazed upon to change in affect as one continues to pray before it and through it.
3. After you finish your prayer, a reflective review can help to record the movements of the heart and of the Holy Spirit. Private reflection can be followed later by a conversation with a spiritual guide for guidance and discernment.
4. Praying with icons can help enrich our own spiritual lives, but the images can also help us to pray for family and friends, and even for an end to the maladies that plague our world.Workshops with Mary Jane Miller www.sacrediconretreat.com