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.

Imaginative Prayer: Pentecost

This imaginative prayer meditation is based on Acts 2:1–11, the story of the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. After Jesus ascended to the Father, all of us who followed him decided to stay together. He told us to wait for the Holy Spirit. We weren’t sure what that meant, really. What would it look like, feel like? The Holy Spirit visited the prophets in strange ways—in visions, with powerful speech, even with great miracles. […]

Imaginative Prayer: Breakfast on the Beach

This imaginative prayer exercise is based on John 21:1–14, the story of the risen Christ’s appearance to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias. You have been out on the water all night with your friends. It felt good to get back to fishing, something you haven’t done much for quite some time. Once you decided to follow the teacher, other things in your life receded. And then, all that happened recently—you are still trying […]

Prepare for the Christ Child

How do we prepare our hearts for you, Jesus? Or do we understand our need to prepare? Are we more likely to hurry around once you’re here, trying to focus on this guest we weren’t expecting? Will we be ready when you appear there in the manger? Or will our hearts and minds be so focused on our immediate struggles that we’re unprepared to receive eternal hope and grace? Will we recognize you? Or will […]

From Secular to Sacred: Find God in All Things

Want to know a secret to transforming secular happenings into sacred events? Learn to “find God in all things.” For the person of faith, everything carries hints of the divine. Just think, if Jesus were to visit the local mall, don’t you think he’d linger for quite awhile to enjoy watching the children take their turns sitting on Santa’s lap? Wouldn’t he rest his feet at the coffee shop and ask for whipped cream on […]

Imaginative Prayer: A Meeting on the Road to Emmaus

This imaginative prayer exercise is based on Luke 24:13-35, the story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus. Listen to an audio version of this guided reflection here. It’s a long walk home from Jerusalem, but you’re glad for the exertion. The physical work of walking might ease, just slightly, the harder work that’s going on inside you today. It is the work of grief. You lost a friend just a few days ago. Not […]

Prepare for the Holidays with an Afternoon of Prayer

Today, I issue a challenge. Schedule an afternoon for nothing but prayer. I use the word “prayer” loosely, so don’t panic. And you already know how short an afternoon is. So this activity is not as intimidating as you might first suspect. Here’s what I propose. Choose a place that’s good for you. It can be outdoors or indoors, somewhere in your home, on your property, or somewhere else entirely. But it needs to be […]

Two Differences between Forgiveness and Reconciliation

Sometimes we hesitate to forgive because we think it must automatically include reconciliation. These are two separate processes, and one does not always lead to the other. 1. One person can forgive; it takes two to reconcile. With God’s help, I have the power to forgive anything. That doesn’t mean that I’m willing to forgive anything or that it will be easy. And sometimes a wrong is so heinous that it can take the rest […]

Visual Prayer

Those of us in the Western world have forgotten a lot of what we once understood about visual pathways. Before written language became the focal point of communication, people used symbols, signs, and objects to express their needs, their memories, and their prayers. Now I can go to some ancient site and look at pictorial stories done in sketches and carvings—and have no idea what they mean. I am somewhat illiterate when it comes to […]

10 Ways to Begin Well

Rather than compose elaborate resolutions for the year to come, simply do, in some small way, what you intend to do all year: Say “Thank you” to at least one person. Make one healthy choice about your body—food or drink or rest or motion. Do one generous act, big or small. Say “yes” to the day’s gifts. Get quiet for five minutes, just to be still. Let one person know that you appreciate him or […]

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