May we all grow in our creativity this year. May we exercise our imaginations in new ways. Here’s one for starters: praydreaming. Following is an explanation from Mark E. Thibodeaux, SJ, from his upcoming book, Reimagining the Ignatian Examen.
Ignatius was a master daydreamer. He could do it for hours on end. It was through daydreaming that Ignatius learned to determine God’s will for his life. He learned that God communicated God’s will through great desires for faith, hope, and love that welled up inside his heart and soul. By daydreaming in the context of prayer, Ignatius was able to allow those great desires to surface. Doing so would not only reveal God’s will but also would fire him up to have the necessary passion to perform these great works.
In my own Examen, then, I praydream—prayerfully daydream. I concretely imagine how I might approach the next twenty-four hours if I were to be God’s hands and feet and voice. I allow God to dream a dream within me of the wonderful ways I can be a channel of God’s faith, hope, and love for the world. These praydreams give me the wisdom and the passion to carry out God’s marvelous plans for me in the coming day.
I must confess, I don’t remember any religious authorities in my childhood encouraging me to daydream! But this makes perfect sense to me. If God created the imagination, don’t you suppose God means for us to use it? And don’t you think God wants us to bring the whole self to prayer—our intelligence, desires, problems, and daydreams?
- When was the last time you daydreamed—I mean, really allowed your mind to wander where your heart was leading it?
- When do you know you are daydreaming as opposed to obsessing or worrying or distracting yourself?
- Have you found any ways to enhance your daydreaming? What puts you in a good space and mood to do this?