More on Ignatian Meditation:

More on Ignatian Meditation: Saint Ignatius of Loyola was a Roman Catholic who founded the order of the Jesuits. Donne had been partly educated by the Jesuits, and so would have had some instruction in the method of meditation that Ignatius asked of all his followers.

Even when Donne became an Anglican, he saw nothing wrong with keeping to this form of mediation. A number of other Anglicans used it, too, in the absence of any specific form of Anglican meditation.

The basic feature of this method is to use the imagination to link the mind and the will with the emotions. This is done through imagining an event in the Bible, such as some part of Christ's life, in an intensely focused way. The participant imagines themselves to be present at a scene, such as the crucifixion of Christ as described in the Gospel accounts in the New Testament. Then they pray that God will enable them to enter into the event, creating the emotions and thoughts which they would have experienced if present at the time. This intense visualisation is intended to lead to a sense of God's presence and to worship and repentance. Beginners were recommended to start with ‘The Last Things', as they were known, which means the Second Coming of Christ, the Last Judgement, hell and heaven. Alternatively, they could begin the Life and Passion (Sufferings) of Christ.

Nearly all of Donne's religious poetry has to some extent or another a structure and focus of this kind.

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