Imagining a
New Creation

Daily Reading for May 31 • The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

From the beginning, Christians have known that they were called upon to do the impossible. But when we look at Scripture and at the history of the Christian community, we can see a pattern in the way former impossibilities became subsequent realizations. The dynamics of the prophetic are in the creative imagination. A fundamental task of Christian spirituality is imagination. It is the task of breaking the process of interpretation wide open to glimpse entirely new and different possibilities of human life and relationships.

Imagination is exercised in influential ways through literature, through the visual and performing arts, through music, but also through human relationships, social structures, technology and science. Christian spirituality is related to all of these in two ways: it should inform them and it should be informed by them. Christians steeped in the Scriptures and deeply influenced by prayer and by the imperatives of charity should pursue the arts as a vocation, should engage in political process and policy, and should devote themselves to technological invention and scientific research. They need only be fully what they are and take the field seriously for what it is, and the redemption of the society through the expanding imagination will happen because the channels for redemptive grace run through us if we all them to be open.

From Christian Women in a Troubled World by Monika K. Hellwig (Paulist Press, 1985).

On View: Mary and Elizabeth by Margaret Adams Parker (Woodcut, 2004, 9″ x 7″) St. Mary’s Episcopal Church – Arlington, VA, as seen in Visual Preludes 2006 at Episcopal Church and Visual Arts

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