One Reason Only: To Love God

Often, we talk so much about our lives and the lives of our neighbors—what we should do to fill our lives with God’s grace and peace and happiness, what we must do to make our neighbor’s life happy—that we forget the basic reason why you and I and all men live. We live and breathe and have our being for one reason only: to love God. God created us for this one reason, to love […]

At the Turning of the Year

“Now bless thyself: thou met’st with things dying, I with things newborn.” —William Shakespeare, The Winter’s Tale With every new beginning, we look back over “things dying.” We look forward to “things newborn” and we hear those first three words, ringing out an invitation to us to bless ourselves, and allow ourselves to be blessed. Can we believe that God blesses all that is past? All of the last dying year? The projects, the relationships, […]

Beautiful Feet

There is no Ash Wednesday for Advent, no day before the first Sunday to let us know what’s coming. But the readings today, on the feast of St. Andrew, have that feel. They echo the prophets. “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the one bringing good news!” Isaiah once cried. “At this moment on the mountains,” cried Nahum, “the footsteps of one announcing peace!” Shhhh. Listen. Can you hear them drawing near, […]

A Spirituality of the Present Moment

An Augustinian, a Franciscan, and a Jesuit all die and go to heaven. Jesus asks each one: “If you could go back, what would you change about your life?” The Augustinian pondered and then said, “There’s so much sin in the world. If I went back, I’d try and stop people from committing so much sin.” The Franciscan thought a bit before saying, “There’s so much poverty in the world. If I went back, I’d […]

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 […]

St. Ignatius Loyola’s 10 Guidelines for Negotiating Life’s Journey

One June morning, Brendan McManus, SJ, stepped out for a much-needed walk—to be exact, a 500-mile hike on Spain’s renowned Camino de Santiago. A few years earlier, his brother had committed suicide, and the tragedy left Brendan physically, psychologically, and spiritually wounded. Something radical was required to rekindle his passion for life and renew his faith in God. In Redemption Road: From Grief to Peace through Walking the Camino de Santiago, McManus tells his story […]

The Challenges of Life

When we are in transition, depending on how serious the breakdown is, we may feel as though almost every aspect of life has been disrupted. The old certainties, the old habits and comfort zones, have been dive-bombed. The old home, the old job, the old “me,” may be almost gone. It may be the time to ask, “What is that essential core of who I am that remains through all this upheaval?” This is an […]

Blessed by Less

Your life is an overflowing closet. You know it is. There are sweatshirts folded up in a corner of your mind where your children’s birthdays should be stored. That worry about the rust on the car is taking up the space that you had reserved for a slow cup of tea in the morning. I know how you feel. And guess what? There’s a way to get stuff back where it belongs: let go of […]

Honesty and Humility

Honesty is an integral part of humility, which means saying yes to our humanness, accepting both the agony and the ecstasy of our creaturehood. We are of the earth—humus—and are called to embrace the totality of who we are. To accept our limitations and fulfill our potential takes courage. Humility—accepting the truth—requires honesty. Honesty and humility demand surrender or a letting go of our desire for control, security, esteem, and approval. Honesty and humility call […]

Prayer Is Like Bleeding Your Pipes

I grew up in a house that was well over a hundred years old. This house had a series of cast-iron radiators to keep it warm. During the winter months, the furnace would kick in and the heat and pressure would move the warmed water through the pipes and heat the house (when the furnace wasn’t broken). Every year, though, we had to bleed the air from the pipes, which means we had to open […]

1 2 3 11