Building Catholic Character in Students: Discipline Your Imagination

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The Catholic Book of Character and Success: Chapter Notes

Chapter Eighteen: Discipline Your Imagination.

  • Unless you harness the faculty of the imagination, you are likely to become a fool.
  • Your imagination continually uses your memory and thoughts of what has been and what might be to form new images and scenes.
  • This is an ongoing process that parallels your intelligence, manifesting images as you consciously think of something.
  • For example when you think of wealth, your imagination produces images of material success.
  • Your imagination continually runs to the future anticipating pleasures and pains.
  • Your imagination is prone to deceive you by suggesting a future that is far removed from reality.
  • These visions of the imagination are presented brighter than they are and may induce some to take foolish steps or chase unattainable goals.
  • Likewise, difficulties are transformed into the insurmountable by the imagination and we make mountains out of molehills.
  • Nevertheless, despite the dangers of an unharnessed imagination, once disciplined it can be of sublime service to us.
  • A disciplined imagination helps form interesting characters.
  • It can help us foresee problems that can be avoided and it can assist us in mapping out projects in our mind and seeing them through to fruition in our mind’s eye.
  • Poets, architects, artists, writers use a disciplined imagination to harvest the beauty of Heaven and earth to form masterpieces.
  • You can profit from a cultivated imagination, making it a wonderful servant rather than a tyrannical master.
  • Those who train their imagination through study and observation become amongst the most truthful and powerful characters, fit for the service of God and man.
  • Alternatively, those who allow their imagination to run riot, allow themselves to be ruled by a simpleton, always having their plans, calculations, hopes and dreams dashed against the rocks.
  • Imagination therefore must be bridled by reason and will.
  • When the imagination is subservient to and is obedient to reason and will, it is good and helpful.
  • When it becomes unreasonable it needs to be disciplined like an unruly child.
  • Test how far you are influenced by your imagination by allowing reason to take control when vain fears assail and scare you.
  • When extravagant hopes and expectations turn your head, use reason to keep your feet on the ground.
  • The more you discipline your imagination, the more you rain it towards the good.
  • You may cultivate your imagination by reading good literature, that which is ennobling and enriching in both sound morals and images.
  • Be careful to avoid evil found in tainted, seductive trashy literature that implants unworthy images in your mind that will be used by your imagination as cancer to your soul.
  • Eradicating such corruption from the imagination once rooted, though not impossible, is indeed a Herculean task.
  • The devil will forever use your imagination, once tainted, to dredge the gutter to keep you from the true path.
  • These morbid and false impressions once retained by the imagination, will battle with you for a lifetime and take bitter revenge when least expected.
  • Treating the imagination as the Sacred, preserves it from this pollution.
  • Fill you imagination with the noble, strong and worthy images from great art and literature, the conversations of great men and the beauty of God’s creation.
  • Discipline it to accept nothing less.
  • When your imagination no longer treats you like a fool and a slave, it will become a strong and dependable assistant to your intellect.
  • It will become a great pleasure to you in reading, writing and in reflection.

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