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: 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 […]

How Does Hope Shape Us?

A driving dynamic of Advent is hope. If we had nothing to hope for, there would be no point to this season. The original hope was for a child to be born who would bring justice and peace to the world and who would heal the rift between humanity and God. But that larger hope is filled with smaller ones—daily hopes that can shape us as people. Some hopes will shape our relationships. The Christ […]

Love Does What it Can

There’s an ongoing argument in my marriage. My husband complains about something, and then I complain about his complaining. This is no small conflict. What it comes down to is that he gets very irritated when the world doesn’t work as it should, and I get very irritated when he tells me about things I can’t fix anyway. It’s tempting to stay out of situations that are so messed up my efforts to help would […]

Love Lives in the Details

Until I dive right into a situation, I will never understand how to love the people who live there. As a writer, I could talk poetically about love and compose moving essays on love. But unless I walk into the real life of someone who needs my love, I won’t have a clue. Because I’m a writer trained to quietly observe others, this has been a difficult lesson for me. I am still taking baby […]

Staring Our Way to Recognition

Have you ever seen something that you could not identify as anything familiar, and so all you could do was stare at it in a rather stupid way? When I was a teenager I once saw an apparition while walking at night on a country road. It looked as if someone in a white robe was floating above the soybean field. I was not one to see ghosts and I didn’t know whether to be […]

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