About Vinita Hampton Wright
Vinita Hampton Wright has served as senior editor at Loyola Press for 16 years and recently became managing editor of the trade books department. She has written various fiction and non-fiction books, including the novel Dwelling Places with HarperOne, Days of Deepening Friendship and The Art of Spiritual Writing for Loyola Press, and most recently, The St. Teresa of Avila Prayer Book for Paraclete Press. Vinita is a student and practitioner of Ignatian spirituality, and from 2009 to 2015 she blogged at Days of Deepening Friendship. For the past few years, she has co-led small groups through the 19th Annotation of the Spiritual Exercises. She lives in Chicago with her husband, three cats, and a dog. In her “spare” time these days, she is working on her next novel.

Consolation and Desolation

During Lent, we reflect upon our spiritual state and on our interior movement. Are we moving toward more doubt, fear, and anger? Or are we moving toward greater faith, hope, and love? The Ignatian principles of consolation and desolation can help us. A person dwells in a state of consolation when she or he is moving toward God’s active presence in the world. We know we are moving in this way when we sense the […]

Confidence in the Holy Spirit

Loyola Press recently published a wonderful collection of Pope Francis’s talks, sermons, and writings: Embracing the Way of Jesus: Reflections from Pope Francis on Living Our Faith. Here is one of many treasures from our Pope: “When we receive and welcome him into our heart, the Holy Spirit immediately begins to make us sensitive to his voice and to guide our thoughts, our feelings, and our intentions according to the heart of God.” This is […]

How to Prepare for Lent

How do you prepare for Lent? How have you prepared in the past? What are your ideas about what should happen during Lent? We have the traditional Catholic practices of praying, fasting, and almsgiving. So, we pray more than usual, or we pray with different emphases. We eat smaller or fewer meals or give up a favorite food or drink group. We give more of our resources or give them specifically to special works of […]

Love as if . . .

Love as if loving is the first thing on your to-do list. Love as if you have no other plan but to love. Love as if you are confident that love makes good things happen. Love as if this is your first opportunity to love. Love as if this is your last opportunity to love. Love as if loving can heal all wounds. Love as if loving is your first purpose on earth. Love as […]

The Beatitudes Examen

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know about the Examen, a prayer designed to help a person make a daily review with a focus on gratitude and openness to the Holy Spirit’s direction. This was the prayer St. Ignatius considered most important for a consistently God-ward journey. The steps of the Examen—pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance; review the day; identify where you saw God at work and give thanks for it; […]

The Spiritual Meaning of Balance

When most people refer to balance, they envision a successful juggling act. A balanced life is one in which, simultaneously, I keep all my projects going and all my relationships healthy. I achieve this balance by sheer strategy and willpower. In Christian spirituality, balance has more to do with temperance, which means that we allow our deepest principles to hold our passions in check. As Paula Huston explains in her book By Way of Grace, temperance […]

Alone or Lonely?

Some people just like to be alone, and I’m one of them. Give me a book, a movie, or a comfortable seat under a shade tree, and I’m happy. I don’t need the constant stimulation of other people. Some people function best when they’re around others. They feel more energized when not alone. In some religious subcultures, extraversion is rewarded. The more outgoing and talkative you are, the more likely people will think you have […]

Freedom for the New Year

A new year usually means a fresh plan. It means another try at the life we want to live. It means opening up to possibilities—to forward movement, to adjusting old ways to work better. A new year reminds us that the Holy Spirit is always moving, working among us, and leading us to the next good step. However, we cannot respond fully to such guidance and holy inspiration until we are free to do so. […]

How to Recognize Jesus

How to recognize Jesus: Listen to whatever clues you’re given. For instance, angels told the shepherds to look in a certain town and a certain kind of place. They even mentioned swaddling clothes. So . . . it helps to listen to what others have said about Jesus—from the accounts in the New Testament Gospels to the testimonies of people here and now who have encountered him. Word of mouth means something, and the sacred […]

Abiding in Presence

During Advent, we often talk about hope. And one aspect of hope is our ability to abide in God’s presence while waiting for whatever will come. Jesus called himself the vine and his disciples (including us) the branches; for the branches to live, they must abide in the vine. For our lives to thrive and bear fruit—even while waiting—we need to learn abiding. We need to abide in Presence and allow that presence to soothe […]

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