Praying with Fantasy

We have another way of know besides our reason and our memory.  That way is the imagination.  We use our imagination to make scientific discoveries and to create works of art that give others insight into the human condition.  We can very reasonably use our imagination to know God and His Christ better, and the Church, and our own selves as we grow in God.

We find many ways of using our imagination in coming to know God and our selves.  To mention just a couple:  When we are considering whether to take an action even though we tend to think it morally wrong, we imagine to ourselves all the evil consequences that God would or might allow, and that helps us turn away form this doubtful way of acting.  Or again, when we do not know what God hopes for in us, we imagine ourselves taking one course or another, and "seeing" ourselves in those ways of living, we come to understand what our most authentic self calls for.

Another way of praying with our imagination is by fantasizing.  In this activity, we imagine places we have never been and places that do not exist.  We imagine events that never happened and could never happen.  We imaging wildly and freely.

Then, in those fantasies, we let the Spirit of Life - who surely imagines infinitely more than we - open our minds and our hearts to truths and realities that we may have been defending ourselves against by the ordinary and the conventional.

For instance, we can fantasize that we are in a place where no good person and no angel could come, and let evil toss up about.  Then we could call on God to deliver us from temptation.  Or again, we could fantasize that we are falling into the sun, which does not burn us, and come to its center; then we could shift the fantasy and imagine that we have fallen not into the sun but into the Son.  We could let God tell us what it is like to rest at the center of the universe and of all that exists.

We could fantasize living as a lily, and how utter our dependence on the Spirit of Life is then.  We can fantasize living like a great person, and what we would do if we had vast fortunes and great personal power.  The we can ask which of the things we would do then, we can do now.

Always, when we use fantasy, we place ourselves in God’s presence and beg for God’s grace.  We then imagine what we have set ourselves to imagine, letting our fancy go free.  Even as we fantasize, we know that God our Creator and Lord stays with us.  In the end, we turn to God with whatever real thing we have learned and ask the God of all consolation to confirm us.