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 […]

A Spirituality of Orality

Nearly 25 years ago, the Jesuit scholar of language Walter J. Ong wrote a seminal work on the difference between spoken and written language, and how the use of these different forms of communication impacted human cultures of antiquity and the modern age. He used the term primary orality to talk about cultures that only know communication through spoken words and who have no written language. Secondary orality, in contrast, refers to cultures that use “essentially a […]

Events Through a Camera

Shemaiah Gonzalez’s children were in a performance after a week of theater camp. She writes: I arrived early and got a seat on aisle so I’d be sure to see both children wherever they happened to be on the stage. When performance time came I was taken aback when every single adult in the audience stood up, took out their phones and began filming the performance. There was no way I could see through the […]

Four Ways to Rest This Summer

Summer is here (or almost, depending on your counting). I confess to over-planning at the beginning of summer because the weather’s right and I feel energized by the extra daylight to get a lot done! But let’s consider another worthy goal for these months: rest. Here are four suggestions out of many possibilities. 1. Create a comfortable space, away from television, computer, and other distractions. The best anniversary gift my husband ever bought me was a […]

A God Who Labors

There is a life-size crucifix I once saw in a church in Germany, ordinary except for the fact that—a casualty of war—the body of Jesus has no arms. The parishioners decided to leave the crucifix in that truncated state as a reminder to onlookers that they are to become Christ’s arms. The God of Ignatian spirituality is the God who “acts in the manner of one who laboring” (Spiritual Exercises, 236). Ignatius speaks of God […]

Five Reasons Not to Dismiss Halloween

Whether or not you have children, it’s hard to escape the Halloween decorations and festivities this time of year. Here are my thoughts on why we should attend to this holiday. Halloween has become just another fun day for kids. Yes, there are some dark origins of All Hallows Eve, but the little folks that come traipsing up your sidewalk dressed as monsters, Disney characters, and comic book heroes do not connect their good time […]

Ignatian Optimism

St. Augustine was impressed by the amount of sin in the world; humanity for him was a massa damnata. That seems to imply that grace is not only unearned but bestowed sparingly. Ignatius, on the other hand, was impressed by the fact that God spoke to him despite his sinfulness. That implied a liberality to God’s giving and forgiving. If God would speak to him, he would speak to anyone. And from a conviction of […]

The Virtue in Playing Games

When was the last time you played cards or a board game, just for the fun of it? Matthew, who blogs as the Mountain Catholic, sees the virtue in playing games for fun, with not even the smallest of wagers at stake. [G]ames are a means, not an end in themselves. They exist to build up the relationship between all players, not the livelihood of just one. And so we ought to fight against the […]

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 […]

Master of Disguises

“‘In the poorest of the poor we see Jesus in distressed disguise.’ So said Mother Teresa as she and her nuns ministered to the abandoned babies and dying aged whom they gathered in from the streets of Calcutta. Disguise is central to God’s way of dealing with us human beings. Not because God is playing games with us but because the God who is beyond our knowing makes himself known in the disguise of what we can […]

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