Our imaginations are powerful and can be prayerful even if we aren’t engaging in prayer in a formal way. We may not say “Dear God” or “Hail Mary” but as we think of the mysteries of the rosary, we may be deep in prayer. If the rosary intimidates you in any way, know that you can begin simply by thinking about (meditating) on the mysteries. Allow your imagination to run wild. Be present with Jesus and Mary in the scenes. Imagine Mary taking you by the hand like a child and allowing you to see the scene through her eyes. What do you see? What is God seeing? What is Jesus thinking, feeling? What are the smells, weather, sounds? Who are you with? Who else is there? Try to look at the mysteries through the perspectives of those present. Allow all your senses to be involved.
By God’s grace and mercy, this was an area that came easily for me. I read a few simple instructions on how to pray the rosary and my imagination took off. Through imagining myself in the scenes of the mysteries, I learned to gaze on the face of Jesus every day. And that practice, better than anything else, made me fall madly in love with him. Through the rosary, that love continues to grow.
St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) was a Spanish priest and the founder of the Jesuits. His imagination drove his spiritual life and eventually, imaginative prayer became associated with Ignatian spirituality. Perhaps employing your imagination as you visit the scenes of the mysteries, like St Ignatius taught, will help Jesus become more personal to you.
Allowing my imagination to be fully engaged has certainly been a tool God has used to help me fall in love with Jesus. I hope something similar for you. Our experiences will be vastly different, I’m sure, but I look forward to our conversations on how the rosary is changing us and leading us into deeper love with our Lord.
**My dear son-in-law, Darian, was the first person I sponsored into the Catholic Church. He was the first in my family to see the Truth I saw. I wanted to help him along the way and started a book called, "Dear Darian." In it I wrote about things I was learning, especially things I was learning through praying the rosary, hoping it would help him on his journey too. Well, Darian's spiritual life was on steroids and my little essays didn't seem needed as he was reading much greater minds than mine. So, my "Dear Darian," has instead become blog posts.