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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

How Do You Use Your Imagination?

Since I was quite small, I have been aware of the gift of my imagination. I can create my own fantasy without effort. I have a vivid imagination that sees images in color and can conjure up a castle or a cabin in less than a second; then I want to keep imagining the details of my colorful and very real image. I have great faith in my imagination and feel that all of us cultivate the gift of imagination more than we realize.

Now, the imagination helps me to pray. It can create a quiet, peaceful spot inside of me that not only puts me in touch with God, but lowers my blood pressure and adds to my well-being. When I go to just have a quiet time with Jesus, I often imagine a scene where I am with Him or even in His Heart. Now, I think others do the same, but sometimes we are not aware of how often we use our imaginations to help us even to pray.

Last week, when I went to the Church in the early afternoon to see their fantastic nativity setting with the complete town of Bethlehem, I was the only one there. I crept into the last bench and just sat there with the Lord, aware of the sun coming through the blinds, the quiet of the huge church with the altar so distant yet so imposing. Now, I had a good experience of prayer being there alone with Jesus and this week I keep seeing the same setting when I begin prayer and the grace of that moment seems to return as it helps me to deepen the experience by seeing the spot where I was praying. That is one way the imagination helps me to pray.

Of course, I can also picture the scenes in the Gospel but must confess that I had to work at this for quite some time; when I was a very young nun, I had a superior who was an artist and who told me to try to see the colors in all the Gospel scenes. At first I found this a bit difficult, but now I have an imagination that can easily see the color of everything.
That is enough to reflect on now and I am late in posting this blog, but at least it is getting posted by afternoon!

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