Mary’s Humility

In a homily last week, Pope Francis talked about “fear of the Lord” as a humble way of living. As reported in Zenit: “The humility of the childlike is that of somebody who walks in the presence of the Lord, does not speak badly about others, looks only at serving and feels that he or she is the smallest …. That is where their strength lies.” The Holy Father praised Mary’s humility, as a girl […]

Advent Waiting

I’m usually not a big fan of waiting. My wife and I are pregnant, and our daughter is due to arrive at the very end of December. These days are hard! I want our little girl to be here already. “Have patience,” a voice inside me says. Indeed, the word patience comes from the Latin word patior, meaning “to suffer.” How true. Waiting is not always easy. Many have pointed out that our waiting coincides […]

From Secular to Sacred: Go All Out!

As you prepare for the holidays this year, go all out! Literally—get OUT of the house, go OUTside, experience the great OUTdoors. Yes, you’ve got too much to do, but that’s no excuse. If it’s cold, bundle up and allow your cheeks to get rosy and your body to become energized by the brisk air. If you’re not in a cold climate, then spend a little more time wandering at a nearby lake/ocean/mountain/park. Take along […]

Trust in the Poor Jesus

Jesus’ poverty is central for Ignatius’s Christology; it is at the heart of his being “Eternal King” and “Lord of all the world.” In the meditation on the “two Standards,” riches are the allurement of “the enemy.” One stands with Jesus by one’s willingness to share his poverty. Recall here from his memoirs how determined Inigo was to live by begging while on his pilgrimage to Jerusalem, going so far as to leave behind his […]

Settling into Advent

If you’re settling into Advent but looking for some seasonal inspiration to accompany your journey, there’s still time to sign up for Sacred Advent in your e-mail inbox. You might also enjoy other pre-Christmas options from our Ignatian friends around the Web. Sacred Space and Pray As You Go offer “God With Us: An Advent Retreat with the O Antiphons.” At her self-named blog, Becky Eldredge has started a six-week series on “Cultivating Awareness of […]

Discerning as a Couple

Discerning as an individual is something that’s covered at length in the world of Ignatian spirituality. But what about discerning as a couple? The framework my husband Chris and I use for discernment is not that different from the framework I recommend people use for discerning as an individual. The major difference is there are two people’s voices and experiences of prayer, and there is the larger context of marriage and family life in which […]

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, […]

The Examen and Holiday Family Times

This time of year brings many family gatherings. Have you thought about how prayer—specifically the Examen—can help you appreciate, grow, or heal your relationships? Andy Otto offers a Family Examen that might be a nice prayer to spend some time with during these busy days of December. The special Examen is available in audio and print formats at Andy’s blog, God in All Things. Becky Eldredge shares Five Ways the Examen Can Play a Role […]

Advent Again—Time for Practicing Hope

The thing about the Christian year is that it keeps coming around. Over and over again, we get to try our hearts and minds and hands at Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, Pentecost, and Ordinary Time. We get to dust off the liturgies and speak or sing them again. We get to try old prayers in new ways—or try new prayers on old themes. We get to pick up our symbols and phrases and turn them […]

Finding God on Black Friday

Whether you love shopping or hate it, the day after Thanksgiving here in the U.S. has become a feast celebrating consumerism. We can complain all we want about the out-of-control commercialization that usurps Thanksgiving dinner earlier and earlier each year with store openings, the start of sales, and the crowds on Friday at the malls, but there’s another way to look at what’s commonly known as Black Friday. For years my sister and I have […]

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