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Imaginative Contemplation

Saint Ignatius believed that God could speak to us just as clearly in our imagination as through our thoughts and our memories. In his Spiritual Exercises he writes of contemplation as a very active way of engaging your feelings, emotions, and senses to place yourself in the scene described. 


Contemplation isn't about trying to place yourself in a historic setting, like dreaming you were back in the Middle Ages, it's about trying to encounter Jesus in a personal and unique way. Through the contemplation, the Holy Spirit makes present the mystery of Christ found in the particular passage, and helps you to explore things in a way you might not find possible through our normal podcasts. While these reflections are much longer than our normal podcasts, you shouldn't feel constrained by the time of the track. Go at your own pace; God is in no rush.


Imaginative contemplation is best suited to the gospels, and so the first set of reflections we'll be looking at are Jesus and Zacchaeus, Jesus and the woman with a haemorrhage, and Jesus and Bartimaeus. Let the events of Jesus’ life described in these reflections be present to you right now. Visualize the event as if you were making a movie. Pay attention to the details: sights, sounds, tastes, smells, and feelings of the event. Lose yourself in the story; don’t worry if your imagination is running too wild. At some point, place yourself in the scene and meet Jesus there.


Jesus and the Healing of Bartimaeus

In this reflection we encounter Jesus at Jericho healing Bartimaeus as recounted in Mark 10:46-52.

Jesus Walks on Water

In this reflection we encounter Jesus walking on the water to meet his disciples in the boat as recounted in Matthew 14:22-34.

The Resurrection

In this reflection we encounter the Risen Jesus as recorded in Matthew 28:1-10.



Jesus and the Woman with the haemorrhage

In this reflection we encounter Jesus in the story of the Woman with the haemorrhage as described in Mark 5:21-43.



Jesus and Zacchaeus

In this reflection we encounter Jesus in the story of Zacchaeus the tax collector as described in Luke 19:1-10.


If you have any feedback on these reflections that you'd like us to consider when we plan our next retreat or other reflections, please email us.

All of these reflections are available for download from our SoundCloud account. Find out more >>>

About the Artwork

The artwork to accompany these reflections was kindly produced by Maria Laughlin, a freelance artist who works in scratchboard. This medium uses a board coated with clay and then with black ink. With a stylus, the artist removes the top layer of ink, revealing the white underneath. Find out more >>>

Music Details

All of the exercises contain sound effects provided by Free Sound Effects ( Used under their license agreement.

Jesus and Bartiumaeus

Prayer for Healing by Eric Nordhoff from Quietime: Prayer. © Eric Nordhoff. Used with permission.

Jesus Walks on Water

Alla L'a Ke (Traditional) from Heartstrings by Daniel Berkman. Used under a Creative Commons non-commerical licence from Magnatune.

The Resurrection

The Cathedral Set- Lo Yisa Goi Kol HaN'shamah from Panta Rhei - Celtic and Mediterranean Music for Harp by Diana Rowan. Used under Creative Commons License via Magnatune.

Jesus and the Woman with the haemorrhage

Serenata Triste by Eric Genuis from Fantasias for Violin and Piano. © Eric Genuis. Used with permission. 

Jesus and  Zacchaeus

The Lord is my Light by Margaret Rizza from Fire of Love

Breath of Love by Suzanne Teng from Enchanted Wind. Used under a Creative Commons non-commerical licence from Magnatune.