Awakening the Moral Imagination, Awakening the Culture (Part 1)

Janel LewandowskiYear of the Contemplative

by Marcie Stokman There is a battle going on in our culture and at the heart of this battle is the education of the imagination. We are together in Well-Read Mom to awaken our moral imagination to a greater truth of reality. This awakening, we believe, can benefit our lives and the lives of our families as well as impact the broader culture. What is the imagination and how can a well-formed imagination help us? Human beings have the unique capacity to imagine. The imagination is what allows us to perceive more than what is immediately before our eyes. We ponder the universe. We can live with a sense of wonder. We ask questions like, “Why am I here?” and “What is the meaning of life?” Animals can’t do this. Dogs don’t sit around and ponder how they can make a difference in the world or how family meals can be more meaningful. We have a remarkable capacity to use our imagination, but here’s the catch: this capacity needs to be developed. When we are inundated with a constant stream of images, this imagination can be severely diminished or underdeveloped. Over 60 years ago, C.S. Lewis made this observation about … Read More

When Reading Feels Like a Waste of Time

NadineYear of the Pilgrim

By Marcie Stokman As Bishop James Conley from Lincoln, NE recently said in an interview: “All of us who wish to bring forward a renewal of Christian culture in our world should begin on our knees, in prayer. But we must also begin with books in our hands, being formed in the great tradition of the classical mind.” You acclaim the benefits of reading; in fact, you’re convinced that as a society we need to read more. Yet, in the secret recesses of your heart, there is tension. For a woman wearing many hats and juggling many activities, reading a novel seems like a waste of time. Isn’t there more important work for a woman to do than read Frankenstein or all 985 pages of The Brothers Karamazov? With everything we have going on, maybe next month would be better for tackling Dostoevsky. Yes, of course, next month! The hammock that has been lodged in an upstairs closet for twelve years due to missing hardware will magically be hung and call my name! Next month, the weeds won’t grow, and the milk won’t spill. Next month the long-awaited reading reprieve will materialize! Don’t be fooled. Do you want to know … Read More