A Prayer Exercise: Imagination

Here’s an exercise to stimulate your imagination.  It’s by Vinita Wright, a friend and colleague and blogger at Days of Deepening Friendship.
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 work 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.


  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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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