Praying for Artists

Each month the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network releases a prayer video with a special intention the Holy Father asks us to remember. For August 2017, the intention is, “That artists of our time, through their creativity, may help us discover the beauty of creation.” Explore the intersection of Arts and Faith with the series of that name from Loyola Press. How do you discover the beauty of creation?

Trust and Freedom

Jesus’ instruction to pray to God, “thy will be done” is an essential part of Christian practice. Many saints, like Ignatius, have asked God to assist them in letting go of their own wills in favor of God’s will, as we find in the Suscipe: “Take, Lord, and receive, my memory, my understanding, my entire will.” This is both a difficult and worthwhile enterprise. Giving up one’s own will requires deep trust that in all […]

Praying with Creation

Sometimes we fail to see that an entire created world can lead us to prayer. We don’t need to look far for it, because often it’s in our own home or yard. This week, let’s pray with creation. When you tend a plant, you are fulfilling one of your purposes as a human being on this earth. The Book of Genesis tells the story of God creating the world; Adam and Eve represent humanity, and […]

Extraordinary Moments in Ordinary Time

I watched the five-year-old children in swimsuits step gingerly up to the font. Climbing the two stairs up seemed pretty easy, but every one of them waited before taking two steps down. What was their hesitation? Every eye in the packed church was focused on the font as the four children waited their turns. Excitement was building among the assembly, as if each of us was willing the children to step forward. We held a […]

Three Pilgrimage Experiences

St. Ignatius referred to himself as a pilgrim, and many followers of the Ignatian way have used special times of pilgrimage to encounter God more deeply. Today we highlight three examples. Fr. Michael Sparough, SJ, made a pilgrimage to the famous shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico and encountered great generosity and hospitality, as he explains in this five-minute video. Fr. Casey Beaumier, SJ, also did a pilgrimage during his early formation as […]

Simple Prayers

Sometimes we try too hard at prayer. We make it complicated. We load it down with expectations. If I pray really well, then I will come away inspired, or I’ll have a question answered, or I’ll feel happy, or I’ll have learned something. Let’s use the not-quite-so-intense season of summer to lighten up a bit on prayer. “If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.” […]

How a Busy Person Finds God in All Things

Busy people generally don’t stop being busy people. If they are spiritually aware, they will intentionally cease activity at regular intervals to be silent and still, to listen to the Divine, and to care for themselves. But then, they’re off! Busy people use their energy for action. Their minds rarely pause, because there are always multiple projects and plans forming. I use “busy” to describe a person who is nearly always outwardly active—this is the […]

Story Hoarder

We get donations from families of deceased hoarders occasionally at St. Vinnies. They bring in boxes and bags of everything imaginable, most of which should have been discarded decades ago. Hoarders are a trendy fixation. There are reality shows about hoarders, books about hoarders, magazine articles about them, and jokes about them. There are newspaper hoarders, food hoarders, fabric hoarders, and cat hoarders. With all the recent press about hoarding, many people are looking into […]

Praying with St. Ignatius

July 31 is the feast day of St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), and a man whose life was dedicated to introducing people to Jesus and encouraging their conversations with him—their prayer. So let’s approach this post with a focus on Ignatian prayer. First I want to point out that the Society of Jesus was the first religious order to move away from the practice of praying the Divine Hours. […]

Little Lesson from St. Ignatius of Loyola

“We should not prefer health to sickness, riches to poverty, honor to dishonor, a long life to a short life. . . . Our one desire and choice should be what is more conducive to the end for which we are created.” —St. Ignatius of Loyola, The Spiritual Exercises We talk a lot about freedom in the United States. Our nation was founded on the principles of freedom and liberty. Ignatius of Loyola recognized that […]

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