“The First Point will be to see with the sight of the imagination.” St. Ignatius in The Spiritual Exercises
Ignatius believed that in our prayer we use both our imagination and our senses. Contemplating the life of Jesus, we can use our imagination and our senses to truly enter into the Gospel. We can feel the heat, hear the crowds trying to get closer to the Lord and hear his voice speaking directly to us. Perhaps we get to eat some of the fish that were distributed at the feeding of the five thousand or even get to taste the wine from Cana.
His own life was turned around thanks to his imagination. While recuperating at the castle in Loyola after his leg was injured, Ignatius would imagine what he would do to impress “a certain lady.” Over time, however he began to imagine what it would be like to imitate the saints and follow Jesus. Both kinds of fantasies were enjoyable, but those involving God and the saints would leave him happier and more fulfilled.
His imagination, his daydreams, turned into a religious order that, by the time of his death, had a thousand Jesuits serving all over the world.
Don’t you sometimes wonder what God’s dream is for you?