Thursday, March 12, 2009

Encountering Jesus through inner images

When I meditate on any scene in Christ's life, I make myself present to it. I imagine I am there, taking part in all the events, speaking, listening, acting. When I return to some scene in my past life, I relive it just as it happened with one difference: this time I get Christ to take an active part in it. Let me give you an example.

Suppose I return to a scene that causes me much distress. An event that brought me humiliation, like a public rebuke, or one that brought me great pain, like the death of a friend. I relive the whole event, in all its painful detail. I feel once more the pain, the loss, the humiliation, the bitterness. This time, however, Jesus is there. What role is he playing? Is he a comforter and strengthener? Is he the one who is causing me this pain and loss? I interact with him, just as I did with the other persons in that event. I seek strength from him, an explanation of what I don't understand; I seek a meaning to the whole event.

-- Anthony de Mello


  1. I have read about this before...some Christian counselors use this "imagery" in working with their clients...speaking for myself, it's a WONDERFUL method to find "closure" to some painful episodes in my personal history...

    Thank you so much for sharing this w/your readers today.


  2. Yes, Kristin, some people call this "the healing of memories". And it can be very powerful.

    Interestingly, I have also used it for "good" memories or very recent situations in which I just wasn't particularly aware of God in them. And that, too, is powerful.


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