If you would like to pray with paintings in a systematic way for an extended period over the course of six months or more, then follow the directions listed under Spiritual Exercises.
As a guide for prayer with each painting, print out “How to Pray with Art.” Each time you pray use the questions listed below the painting as a focus for the prayer “Intention.”
Spend about one week with each painting. Do not move onto the next phase until you feel you have received the grace of the previous phase. It is recommended that you have a spiritual director with whom you can share your experience. If you want to ask questions or just to share responses to the retreat feel free to contact me.
The following topics are attributed to St. Ignatius of Loyola, who founded the Society of Jesus. The subjects below offer a brief summary of his methods of prayer and this religious order, more commonly known as the Jesuits.
Ignatian Prayer: This reflection looks at the method of prayer based upon the experience of St. Ignatius.
Discernment of Spirits: How to notice movements of spirits in prayer within each period or over a longer span of time.
Daily Review: Questions to help reflect daily on your attention to God.
More research, theological perspectives and detailed instructions for the Spiritual Exercises, can be found at the links listed below.
www.creighton.edu (online ministries) Another presentation of these exercises in everyday life with photos and more written components.
www.jesuit.org For more information about Jesuits and spirituality look up this site.