We who preach and write, do so in a manner different from which the Scriptures have been written. We write while we make progress. We learn something new every day. We speak as we still knock for understanding...If anyone criticizes me when I have said what is right, he does me an injustice. But I would be more angry with the one who praises me and takes what I have written for Gospel truth than I would be with the one who criticizes me unfairly. -Augustine

Training the Imagination

“The imagination tends to reflect the preoccupations and the spiritual condition of the society around us.

In addition, the imagination is a screen onto which the evil spirits can “project” images, temptations presented as stimulating entertainments, offering us pleasurable rewards if we give in to the temptation. The more we give in, the more this dimension of the imagination grows, the more it becomes a vehicle of enchantment of the will, then obsession, and if not wholly repented of, ending in some degree of bondage to evil. If we want to become whole and healthy, the imagination must be trained, just as the body, the rational intellect, and the will must be trained. Any one of these aspects of our personhood, if not brought under discipline and self-mastery with the help of grace, can lead to the domination of the part over the whole. The development of a moral imagination, therefore, demands as much self-restraint and proper direction as an athlete exercises over his body.” (excerpt from Michael O’Brien’s book on The Pagination of the Western Culture & Harry Potter)

Published in: on January 29, 2011 at 10:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

In Gentleness He Has Made Me Great

One of my least favorite assignments from God is to admit wrong. It was Tuesday morning, and we were recording the epic drama of Sir Knight of the Splendid Way. We had been praying for over a month that God would do a great work through this epic drama. Never have I been involved in such a life-changing production. But something happened. One of our engineers strongly voiced his opinion about what he thought would be best for a particular scene. I disagreed, but he persisted. I felt that he was out of line, so I voiced a stronger disagreement. After all, as executive producer my decisions are final!

That is, until One higher than me revealed that I was wrong. I have heard this Voice before. To deny that you have heard the Voice is to restrict the blessing-forward motion is hindered. Then I was reminded by the words spoken by one of our actors in the next scene. It was the scene where Sir Constant tries to force his comrade from the error of his way. But suddenly his attention is diverted by a servant who says, “Thou wilt not win him over with harsh words; in gentleness he is made great.”

I was immediately reminded of Psalm 18:35 “In gentleness he made me great.” My assignment was clear-to deny or avoid it would be disobeying a direct assignment from my King. So this morning, while at breakfast, I apologized to our engineer in front of the group. The effect upon the team was evident. It was as if the bars of an iron gate had been lifted. Our quest to the City of the Splendid Way would no longer be impeded. All was restored; in gentleness we were being made great!

Published in: on January 29, 2011 at 3:43 am  Leave a Comment