Tasting the Breeze

I was recently asked how we can “turn down the noise” in our lives so we can better notice God around us. What I don’t think we actually do is listen to the noise. How often do we pause to notice the sounds coming into our ears? The sights and colors entering our eyes? The scents entering our nostrils? It’s this kind of awareness that’s key to an Ignatian spiritual life. St. Ignatius would call […]

What Makes You Hesitate?

I often revisit Ignatius’s reflections on the Resurrection in the Fourth Week of the Spiritual Exercises at this time of year. This year, I am finding myself moved in a particularly unexpected way by Matthew 28 (SE 307): Meanwhile, the eleven disciples set out for Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had arranged to meet them. When they saw him they fell down before him, though some hesitated. —Matthew 28:16–17 I imagine myself on Mount […]

Christ Has Risen!

In this Easter season, Christ has risen in our churches, homes, communities, and workplaces. All of creation is illuminated by the new dawn brightening behind the Risen Lord, bringing his triumph into our lives. Please enjoy this imaginative prayer exercise for Easter based on Piero della Francesca’s 15th-century fresco of The Resurrection. Blessings on you, your family, and your faith community during this Easter season.

3-Minute Retreat: The Lord’s Supper

On this Holy Thursday, enjoy a special 3-Minute Retreat: The Lord’s Supper. Read the words of the prayer below or pray with the full 3-Minute Retreat experience, including music, here. Allow your breathing to slow. With each relaxing breath, feel yourself come to rest in the Lord. John 13:15 “I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.” In this Scripture we are given […]

Were You There?

To help us when contemplating the Passion of Christ, St. Ignatius Loyola “invites us to enter into this scene imaginatively, to place ourselves in the context of this story and ask the question, not only Were you there?, but Where are you there? Where do you find yourself in the story this year?” Michael Sparough, SJ, asks these questions in a prayerful seven-minute video reflection on the Passion. We are encouraged to think about whether […]

The Consequences of Seeing

This story is inspired by John 9:1–41, the healing of the man born blind, and Mark 10:46–52, the healing of Bartimaeus. Bartimaeus and I talked about it. His healing was immediate. Not mine. I must have looked like a fool stumbling down the road, mud on my eyes. “What was the first thing you saw?” I asked Bartimaeus. “The face of Jesus. You?” “My own reflection in the pool.” As we sat looking—just looking—at the […]

Applying the Examen to Praying the Stations of the Cross

In a National Review interview with Kathryn Jean Lopez about his new book Station to Station: An Ignatian Journey through the Stations of the Cross, author Gary Jansen states: Everyone has time for prayer. You can pray when you’re going to the bathroom or taking a shower. You asked about stillness. Well, take one particular station with you in the shower in the morning, or to the sink while you’re brushing your teeth, and think […]

Following Jesus into the Desert

After my baptism, I returned daily to the river and watched. When John said, “Behold the Lamb of God,” we applauded. Some danced. Some jumped into the water and splashed each other like children. People were so busy celebrating that they didn’t notice Jesus head toward the desert. I wondered why he left and followed. He walked for an hour and then stopped. I stayed back, hesitant to disturb him. He stood still, eyes closed, […]

Toward a Habit of Gratitude

What kind of prayer expresses thanksgiving that is honest? Do I begin with my complaints and then end with words of praise and trust? Some of the psalms from the Bible follow that structure, so it must be OK. But is it enough simply to say, “Things are horrible, but I know that God is good, so I thank you, Lord, that you are watching over me”? There’s probably more to it than that. First, […]

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