Who can’t identify with Thomas – demanding that we see and touch the wounds of Christ before we believe?  Yet St. Ignatius taught us how to go to these places in our imagination. We can not force the experience to  happen.  But we can set the conditions to allow God to profoundly touch our hearts through our imaginations in an utterly personal way. This can be powerfully healing.

In our Sacred Heart Chapel, there is a painting of St. Ignatius and St. Robert Bellarmine gazing intently at Jesus – His sacred heart ablaze with divine love.  These two saints never met and lived many centuries after Christ.  Yet the artist expresses a deep truth in depicting all three of them together.  We can each encounter the heart of Christ in prayerful imagination. This becomes more real than history.  Here we can still touch His hand and side and feel His divine mercy touching us.

—J. Michael Sparough, S.J. is a Retreat Master, writer, and Spiritual Director at the Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House outside Chicago.  His video blog can be seen weekly at: www.heartoheart.org/Easter