Not in Control

This post is based on Week Three of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. Recently I used one of the versions of the Examen found in Fr. Mark Thibodeaux’s book Reimagining the Ignatian Examen for my daily prayer. This particular Examen (Saving F.A.C.E.) invited me to take a close look at four things: My fears My attachments My need for control Illusions of entitlement It nudged me to take an honest assessment of my last few weeks […]

The Long Ride

I do some of my best thinking and praying while running or biking. This morning I considered how biking hills is not a bad analogy to the discernment of consolation and desolation in the spiritual life. Here’s the idea. Coming to the beginning of a long upward climb can be a daunting experience. You see it looming, and you see that it will be hard and tiring. There is a temptation to quit or turn around. This is […]

8 Pope Francis Quotes to Celebrate His Anniversary

Today, March 13, we celebrate Pope Francis’s fourth anniversary. To honor the occasion, enjoy some of his inspiring and challenging words. “When we receive and welcome him into our heart, the Holy Spirit immediately begins to make us sensitive to his voice and to guide our thoughts, our feelings, and our intentions according to the heart of God.” Read a reflection on this quote by Vinita Hampton Wright. “The Lord always chooses his way to […]

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 […]

Harden Not Our Hearts

An antiphon that we often hear in Lent says, “If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts” (Hebrews 3:15 and Psalm 95:8). This line teaches me a way to think about the journey of Lent: to allow our hearts to be more open and responsive to whatever the Lord has to tell us and the world. Lent is a season of conversion. The Greek term for conversion, metanoia, means “turning around.” To convert […]

Awareness of God in All Things

This post is based on Week Two of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. My mom and dad are avid gardeners. On many occasions growing up, my weekends included a chore in the yard—raking leaves, weeding (my least-favorite job in the world), deadheading flowers, or picking up branches. My dad, especially, had this way of noticing the beauty that was unfolding right in our backyard, that I often missed because my attention was focused on getting my […]

Busy Lives & Restless Souls Free Mini-Posters

“The invitation to connect your faith with your daily life is an invitation God urges all of us to accept. All of us are invited to a relationship with God in the middle of our lives. God labors to fill us, complete us, and make us whole. God dreams that every aspect of our lives will be affected and energized by our relationship with God. And the great news is that God always acts first. […]

The Examen Curbs Anxiety

J. Michael Sparough, SJ, writes that “Cardinal Bernardin, the late, much-loved Archbishop of Chicago, once told a group of us priests that he was a chronic worrier. But he found that using the Ignatian Examen was of great benefit to him in curbing his anxiety.” Many others have also found the benefits of praying the daily Examen. If you’re praying through An Ignatian Prayer Adventure, this week invites you to reflect on the steps of […]

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, […]

Reverence and the Deer

I was walking early one morning, just as the sun was coming up. I was in a section of woods not too far from my home. I was trying to walk as soundlessly as possible. There was a mist that morning and the woods seemed hushed. Before I was aware of it, I came face-to-face with a large male deer. It was beautiful. I was startled; the deer just stood there and watched me. I […]

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