Best Ignatian Songs: For Unto Us a Child Is Born

Christ is at the center of Ignatian spirituality. Much of the Spiritual Exercises consists of meditations on the gospel accounts of the life of Jesus. The first of these is a meditation on Jesus’ birth. In David Fleming’s paraphrase: To be able to enter into the deep-down stillness of this night, to be able to see this very human baby with all the wonder which comes from eyes of faith, to watch how Mary and […]

Billy Collins

I wasn’t surprised to find out that the poet Billy Collins is a Jesuit alum (Holy Cross ’63).  There’s a distinctly Ignatian tone in this quote: “I feel now that my sense of the spiritual is directly connected to my sense of wonder, my ability to be amazed by the fact of my existence in all its vital impermanence and by the spectacular environment I wake up to every morning. I am guessing that this […]

The List 6.22.09: Creighton Online Ministries

The List is a weekly feature highlighting something remarkable, offbeat, or otherwise noteworthy from the world of the Jesuits and Ignatian spirituality. Digital technology may not change the content of prayer, but it sure has expanded the forms of prayer. CDs, MP3 downloads, prayer websites, meditations in Flash–all these are a few clicks away. For the past decade, Creighton University’s online ministries project has been in the forefront of new technology. Its website offers many […]

Remembering Arrupe

Pedro Arrupe, head of the Jesuits from 1965 to 1983, wrote one of the most moving reflections on suffering that I’ve ever heard.  He suffered a massive stroke in 1981.  He couldn’t speak and he could barely move.  He wrote: More than ever I find myself in the hands of God. This is what I have wanted all my life from my youth. But now there is a difference; the initiative is entirely with God. […]

Best Ignatian Songs: My City of Ruins

“My City of Ruins” became both an elegy of grief and an anthem of hope in the months following the terror attacks on 9/11.  It was the final song on Bruce Springsteen’s album “The Rising,” which was released not long after the attacks.  The album, and especially “My City of Ruins,” spoke to pain of that time. It’s an Ignatian song because of the remarkable prayer at the end for the strength, love, and faith […]

Examen Online is a new website that offers several ways of praying online that draw inspiration from the Daily Examen, the one form of prayer that Ignatius Loyola considered indispensable.  The site’s scripture examens are more like lectio divina prayer, but “its Prayer of Examen” is an online version of the classic Examen prayer.  If you register with the site you can keep a prayer journal there. There’s more on the Examen right here at

The List 6.15.09: Jesuit Stamps

The List is a weekly feature highlighting something remarkable, offbeat, or otherwise noteworthy from the world of the Jesuits and Ignatian spirituality. The List this week features a website modestly titled Jesuit Stamps.  It’s an amazing place containing images of thousands of stamps depicting Jesuits, Jesuit institutions, and “Jesuitica.”  The site is the work of Peter Fennessy, SJ, a theologian who is now a spiritual director at Manresa Retreat House in Bloomfied Hills, Michigan. At right is […]

"Receive My Memory"

John Breslin, SJ, is a teacher, writer, and all-around literary man.  He edited a great anthology of religious short stories called The Substance of Things Hoped For. He has written for many journals and magazines.  Today he is sadly slipping into Alzheimer’s.  His friend Evelyn Bence recently wrote a lovely blog post about John.    She traveled to the care facility at Fordham University in New York where he lives and took him for a […]

The Best Ignatian Songs: The Palm of Your Hand

“We should not fix our desires on health or sickness, wealth or poverty, success or failure, a long life or a short one,” writes Ignatius Loyola at the beginning of the Spiritual Exercises.  Our one desire should be to “choose what better leads to God’s deepening life in me.” That’s the basic idea of “The Palm of Your Hand,” a winsome song in the country style. I’d rather be in the palm of Your hand […]

"The Cooz" and Jesuit Basketball

Basketball fans, especially those of a certain age, will love the articles about Bob Cousy in a recent issue of the Holy Cross magazine. (It’s a big PDF file. The Cousy articles begin on page 16.)  Cousy was a great point guard.  He became famous as a pro.  He led the Boston Celtics to six NBA championships. “The Cooz” is one of many great basketball players who came from Jesuit universities.  My colleague Joe Durepos […]

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