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Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Imaginary Friend Jesus

From the Jesuit Post ... Imaginary Friend Jesus. I really liked this essay about Ignatian prayer, love, and real life. Here's the beginning of it ....

I had been talking around it for weeks. My spiritual director, on the other hand, was ready to get to the point.

“It sounds like you just really want her,” he said.

His voice lingered on the words really and want to make it clear that he was talking about sex. It’s a bold move in spiritual direction to call out somebody’s libido and that’s exactly what he was doing. And he was right. He was right and he wasn’t finished. “It sounds like you want her,” he continued, “but now she’s back home with her boyfriend and you’re here, alone, with your imaginary friend Jesus.”

I froze in a moment of bare recognition. Yup. That’s exactly what it was like. I felt a mix of humility and freedom as he pulled away the cover on what had been holding me back for weeks. “You’re right,” I said. “That’s exactly right.”


I had recently moved to a new city and was struggling to get my bearings in a new job. I felt depressed and disconnected, uninterested. During my previous assignment I had, almost without knowing it, fallen in love. I had been working closely with a person I really enjoyed: a supportive friend, a good fit, in every sense a very attractive woman. I didn’t think too much of it. I had no intention of abandoning life as a Jesuit or running away with her (nor she with me) but there was a strong connection, a mutual affection, and enough uncertainty in both of our lives to allow, well, you know…feelings.

She was moving on about the same time I was and as we departed it became clear to us both that we would miss each other very much. Her move involved reconnecting with family and an old boyfriend. Mine, just another assignment. Just me and my imaginary friend Jesus ......


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