Motion in Prayer – Ignatian Spirituality

woman in yoga child's pose - photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels

I typically wish to roll my eyes when reminded that, in occasions of dryness in prayer, St. Ignatius guides us to double down, develop, and intensify our prayer. (SE 319) In such occasions, it’s useful to recollect Ignatius’s steering to “transfer it!” in prayer.

Within the Non secular Workouts #76, Ignatius talks concerning the significance of discovering the best place for our prayer. We’d strive kneeling, mendacity prostrate, mendacity on our backs, sitting in a chair or on the ground, standing, strolling, or pacing. Based on David Fleming, SJ’s translation, “the aim is to be comfortable, but attentive, reverent but relaxed” in prayer. Quite than staying in a single place and repeating ourselves each time of prayer, simply ready for God to make a transfer, we have to do the shifting!

For years I resisted the notion of centering prayer, simply sitting on the ground, perhaps going through a wall. However once I tried it mendacity prostrate in what yoga practitioners name “youngster’s pose,” one thing clicked! My physique turned part of the prayer expertise.

The great thing about Ignatian spirituality is that it’s not “one dimension matches all.” It’s adaptable to the particular person and the state of affairs. I spotted that once I tried completely different sorts of prayer—whether or not imagining a scene in the Gospels, lectio divina, singing, centering prayer, or meditation—the expertise was fully completely different if I did every kind in a unique stance or setting. One kind of prayer labored greatest at my desk or whereas seated in my straightforward chair, and one other prayer felt extra fruitful in my backyard or beneath a tree exterior. Holding tactile objects in my hand, like stones, crosses, or mementos, might help to place me in a spot of ease and refocus my thoughts. The permutations of prayer are infinite.

Shifting our our bodies is a sign to our interior spirit of what kind of prayer we’re going to strive in the present day and a reiteration of our dedication not to surrender on prayer, however reasonably to double down on our need for relationship with God. God is already there ready for us to seek out the posture that works for us, so we may be most comfortable in our reference to Infinite Love.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.

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