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.

Habits of the Heart

Most of us are interested in spirituality because, at the heart of things, we want to be transformed. We want our lives to change for the better, in small ways and big ways. This desire for ongoing, positive change compels us to sign up for classes, join prayer groups, attend religious services, participate in faith rituals, and search—again and again—for the practice or information that will help us become the people we truly want to […]

Gifts of Necessity, Gifts of Opportunity

Most of the time, we think of our gifts—our contributions to the body of Christ and to the world—as those abilities we’re born with, or the abilities bestowed on us by the Holy Spirit. We’re born with a gift of artistic expression; the Holy Spirit gifts us to teach or to show hospitality. Some gifts, though, come to us out of necessity. We learn how to care for physical and medical needs when a family […]

The Wisdom of Walter J. Ciszek, SJ

Loyola Press just published a collection of writings by Walter J. Ciszek, SJ. If you recognize that name, it’s because Ciszek, a Jesuit priest, survived 23 years in Russian prisons and labor camps, was presumed dead, but then returned to the U.S. in a prisoner exchange in 1963. He wrote about his experiences in With God in Russia, a book well-received and widely read. He followed that with a book of more devotional writing: He […]

A Long, Loving Look at the Real

Jesuit theologian Walter Burghardt once described contemplation as taking a “long, loving look at the real.” That sounds lovely. But what does it mean for you and me—people who most likely are not preachers, Jesuits, or philosophers? Let’s take that phrase in three parts: long, loving, and look at the real. Long. This is a sustained gaze, not a glance. It requires time, but it also requires focused attention. So whether I am looking at […]

Four Reasons We Resist Letting Go

Why do we resist letting go of unhealthy, or disordered, attachments? What happens inside us that makes us hang on for dear life, even when hanging on is hurting us? Here are some ideas. I resist letting go because, at some level, letting go feels like failure. I don’t want to admit defeat—that I can’t finish a project well, that the relationship is never going to work, that I can’t change a situation no matter […]

The 19th Annotation: What Is It, and What Can You Expect?

You may have heard of the 19th annotation in regard to prayer retreats or the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Simply put, the 19th annotation—sometimes called an Ignatian Retreat in Daily Life—is a version of the Spiritual Exercises designed for people who cannot be away for 30 days to do the Exercises as they were practiced originally. Most of the time, the “19th” is done by people who work full-time but who want to do […]

The Inner Process of Letting Go

What has to happen inside a person before she can let go of attachments that are harming her? The attachment can be physical, such as a house or keepsake; it can be emotional, such as resentment about an incident or fear of an unwanted outcome. Attachments can be needs—the need to understand everything completely, or the need to force things into an order she can manage. Attachments can be relationships or jobs, or even dreams. […]

Discernment at Different Stages of Life

A major gift from Ignatian spirituality is its wisdom about discernment. Discernment enables us to assess situations, pay attention to various clues, approach our decision making prayerfully, and ultimately choose well according to our faith and our life situation. But discernment is not the same at every stage of life. Each season presents unique challenges that require yet another nuance of Spirit-helped discernment. When we’re young—in late childhood and the teen years—much discernment has to […]

Being People for Others

St. Ignatius Loyola understood that, even when we strive to do glorious deeds, often the motivation is selfish. Or at least it’s self-focused. In his early years, he trained to be a soldier and a knight. He wanted to sacrifice himself for country and for some beautiful lady he could defend and honor. But years later, as he meditated, prayed, and discovered God, who created and loved him, Ignatius dismantled old ways of thinking. Rather […]

Everyone Experiences God

I can say, with no reservations, that everyone experiences God. We might not all use the same language for the experience. We might not recognize the experience as having anything to do with God. We might not share that experience with others, because it is deeply private or because we’re not sure how to communicate it. But the Divine seeks us, desires us, and waits for the opportunity to meet us. Fortunately for us, God […]

1 2 3 4 5 8