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.

A Prayerful Environment

It’s summertime, and for many of us, summer means time at a beach somewhere. What a great place to pray! What a perfect place in which to blend our prayer with play. Might we allow ourselves to get lost in the activity of building things with sand? Might we create homey spaces with umbrellas, chairs, mats, and towels? Might we gaze into clouds or across the water and allow that gaze to be a prayer […]

Summer Pilgrimage

We’ve talked about walking prayer. We can take walking prayer further and make a pilgrimage. Actually, summer could be an ideal time for pilgrimage if you tend to take vacation during summer months. Many of us use vacation time to journey to hometowns and visit family. A hometown can be the location for profound pilgrimage. For instance, your parents or aunt may still live in the town where you spent your childhood years. Childhood holds all […]

Challenged by Ignatius

I’ve heard Jesuits joke that they’re not afraid to meet Jesus in the hereafter, but they are a bit anxious about meeting St. Ignatius. Jesuits go through rigorous training for many years, and the principles of spirituality Ignatius laid out in the Spiritual Exercises are reinforced again and again. Those of us who are laypeople familiar with the Exercises understand that they are demanding, but we are not likely to experience them as intensely as […]

Take a Walk and Breathe

I was fortunate to grow up in a family that understood how to dwell in outdoor space. We lived in a small town in the middle of farm country; most people had big yards, many of them filled with flowers, vegetable gardens, trees, swing sets, treehouses, and pets. I can remember sitting in our backyard with my parents, and all we did was watch the various birds that flitted in the trees and visited the […]

Grounded Prayer

I think that sometimes we make prayer difficult because we separate it from what is concrete in daily life. We develop the attitude that prayer is supposed to be something in the mind and heart, a spiritual quality hard to define and somewhat elusive to experience. Yet Jesus urged his disciples to pray, to ask God for what they wanted, and to never give up at prayer. The Gospel accounts tell of his regular excursions […]

When We Can’t Have What We Want

You’d think that people of faith would know how to deal with basic disappointments. We have been trained to think in the long-term and welcome ordinary hardships that provide character-building opportunities. But, alas, most of us aren’t skilled at remaining calm and positive when we don’t get what we want. Those of us in first-world situations have bought into the culture of consumerism and instant gratification. We expect fast Internet service, medications that will make […]

Five Ways to Create a Good Space for Prayer

Taking inventory of the various spaces in your life probably gave you some ideas—it may have inspired you, which is good, because now you’re going to create some space just for prayer. Here are five basic steps to help you start. I’m sure that by the time you’re at step 3, you’ll have generated various additional steps that work for you. Step 1: Choose indoors or outdoors. If you’re like me and many other people, […]

Take Inventory of Your Spaces

There’s a reason the Christian world, whether in a small Midwestern town in the U.S. or on the streets of Rome, is dotted with spaces meant for prayer. From earliest times, people on spiritual quests understood that space mattered. It mattered if the space for prayer was crowded with worshippers or if it was a solitary monk’s cell. It mattered if the halls echoed music or silence or noise from the street. It mattered what […]

A Prayer to Begin Summer

In June, July, and August, we’ll be “Praying Through the Summer” here at dotMagis. Each Monday we’ll explore different ways to pray inspired by the season, the warmer temperatures and, perhaps, vacation time. Today we start with a prayer. A Prayer to Begin Summer For more light in the day, we thank you, For gentle mornings, we thank you, For nighttime conversations, we thank you, For friends and family, we thank you, For gardens and […]

What Is an Unhealthy Attachment?

People who are familiar with St. Ignatius, the Spiritual Exercises, or Jesuit spirituality in general will sometimes use the term unhealthy attachment. What is that exactly? Let’s explore this by asking a few questions. Is there any physical habit I have that gets in the way of my being available to God? Do I turn to food, drink, sex, exercise, or sleep to avoid facing myself or my conversation with the Divine? What are my […]

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