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Something to think and pray about this week

Despite the fact that those of us who admire and follow the spirituality of Ignatius Loyola are encouraged to use our imagination in prayer, this is something that I struggled with for the longest time.

I was worried that I’d get too many of the details wrong, that I couldn’t decide for myself what Jesus looked like, that I wasn’t doing it properly.

I used to look at Renaissance sacred art and wonder to myself, “How does the artist know what kind of house the Virgin Mary lived in and the type of clothes she wore? It all looks very anachronistic!”

Poor me—I couldn’t get out of my own way.

Suddenly one day the scales fell from my eyes: our imaginations are gifts to us from God. We are free to use them as we see fit. It doesn’t matter a hoot if we get a face right or that everything is technically correct. What matters is how our imaginations help us enter into the Scriptures and what insights God graces us with in our prayer.

I’ve finally gotten to the point where using my imagination in prayer is a pleasure and not a pain. Praise God!

Paul Brian Campbell, SJ