A Prayer Exercise: Imagination

imaginative cityscape - image by Patricio González from Pixabay

What is the most imaginative thing you’ve ever done?

Who is the most imaginative person you know, and how would you describe that person’s life and work?  . . . What are your deep desires today? Or, what is your deep dissatisfaction?

Imagination is at the root of creation. What kind of world would you like to create? What kind of workplace? What kind of church? What kind of home?

During the next few days, generate as many ideas as you can about a particular desire or dissatisfaction. Just go crazy, and don’t worry about how impractical the ideas are or how unqualified you may be to carry them out. Ask divine imagination to accompany you as you mull over these matters.

Pick something attractive you would like to create, and make steps this week to begin doing just that.

—Excerpted from Days of Deepening Friendship by Vinita Hampton Wright

Image by Patricio González from Pixabay.


  1. World-building is a beautiful project. We need to begin and make whatever we can, and leave the rest to others to come and take it forward. With positive and constructive doses of imagination, we can achieve a bit during our onward journey.

  2. If we diagram Genesis properly we are created in His image ; therefore, we are creators. Not to be so cuts across our grain, often through it. And we can’t be creative, our selves, without using our imagination. So….get busy being…you.

  3. Our imagination is our greatest gift from God. At the moment I’m reading Paul Mariani’s book “The Mystery of It All” which explores the lives of poets he has taught about and loved. Gerard Manley Hopkins is a poet I love and read about and his imagination and gifts are so vital to our world it is indescribably barren for those without him. So I pray for…more poetry!

  4. The imagination !! wonderful thing. When I was young I went to the Arctic to work (nursing) – I mean far arctic – Inuvik, Aklavik, Tuktyaktuk and I even went on a health mission to Ellesmere Island where I saw my first ‘working and living’ igloo. I saw rich people coming to hunt the polar bears (from helicopters). The plight of the polar bear stayed with me. Now because of climate change they are really threatened as they need seals to live and the ‘islands’ where they stopped for a rest are or have disappeared. The bears are drowning or dying of hunger. It seems to me that for a planet which is preparing to go to Mars, surely we are able to help these creatures. Building floating ‘islands’ which are anchored to the sea bed and are big enough to support polar bears and are scattered at reasonable distances in the sea so the bears can access them. I have prototypes and all and have mentioned this to engineers but no one has made anything yet. Will keep trying !!

  5. Thanks for this challenge. Here are some results of my meditation. First, I came around to defining the creative imagination as generative, giving life to others. This lead to the memory of Fr. John Becker, SJ, a high school English teacher who focused on the underlying values and moral implications of literature as it addressed fundamental human questions. It also led to the memory of Fr. Gene Schallert, SJ, a university sociology teacher who invited us into a world infused with the divine.
    Second, why were these teachers generative and inspirational? It was their dedication in and beyond the classroom, for example, their commitment to mentoring and their generosity in sharing their time, thoughts and skills. Each had a questioning and searching attitude. For example, was Greene’s whiskey priest condemned for his grievous sins or saved by his sacrifice made to bring God’s forgiveness to an escaped convict? Each approached life, teaching and ideas in an open-ended way. For example, Buber’s notion of I-Thou can be experiential in many ways. Finally, both emphasized the whole person, i.e. body, mind, spirit, explicit values and ideals.
    Third, what kind of classroom do I want to create? I imagine small tutorial classes, courses which include involvement in justice issues, focus on personal and collective reflection on those experiences, deep consideration of the underlying values, led by inspirational teachers as defined above. (Not that this is new.)
    Thanks for this opportunity to reflect in this way, to remember many fine teachers, especially Frs. Becker and Schallert; and I pray for the creative imagination to teach as well as I am able within today’s structural constraints.

  6. Interesting how as adults we forget to exercise our imagination muscles! Too practical and mature for that! Until I became all grown imagining was my favorite thing to do. I used it constantly. Well, I think for the next few days at least I will flex the old imagination again.
    Thanks! I needed that!

  7. How lovely. This is just what I needed to read on this particular day! How easy it is to forget the power and the gift of imagination. Thank you .


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