This is a guest post by Daniel J. Harrington, SJ.
Among dictionary definitions of imagination, two fit Ignatius very well. One says that imagination is the ability to form a mental image of something not present to the senses. In the Spiritual Exercises, Ignatius encourages exercitants to apply the senses (sight, hearing, smell, touch, etc.) and so enter into the key meditations and become part of Gospel scenes.
The second definition says that imagination is the ability to confront and deal with problems. Ignatius the mystic also turned out to be a shrewd administrator, effectively channeling human talent and desire to serve God and the Church into fruitful work in education and foreign missions.
Daniel J. Harrington, SJ, is professor of New Testament at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. He has served as the general editor of New Testament Abstracts since 1972, and he is the author of more than 50 books, including Meeting St. John Today and Meeting St. Mark Today.