The Best Ignatian Songs: Lead Me, Guide Me

Ignatian spirituality is about finding the path that God wants us to walk.  It has much to say about discerning God’s will.  The first step in discernment is to fervently pray that God will lead us.  So my Best Ignatian Song this week is the gospel hymn “Lead Me, Guide Me.”  When you’re facing a decision, sing the chorus: Lead me, guide me along the way, For if you lead me I cannot stray. Lord […]

An Evangelical Lay-Centered Church?

Mark Massa, SJ, tells his students at Fordham that “sitting at Mass doesn’t make you a Christian, any more than sitting in a garage makes you a car.” He thinks that the Catholic emphasis on a mediated, sacramental faith needs to be balanced by a new emphasis on discipleship and a direct experience of the holy. In the 16th century, the Reformation forced Catholics and Protestants alike into taking theological stances that were polemical and […]

The List 5.18.09: The Art of the Irish Tin Whistle

The List is a weekly feature highlighting something remarkable, offbeat, or otherwise noteworthy from the world of Ignatian spirituality. I’m not surprised to run into Jesuits with offbeat hobbies and unusual talents, but Ryan Duns, SJ, stands out.  He’s a master of the Irish tin whistle.  This is no mere hobby.   He plays professionally. Last semester he taught a course “An Introduction to the Irish Tin Whistle” in the Irish Studies department at Fordham, where […]

Bill Barry on Friendship with God

William Barry, SJ, one of my favorite spiritual writers, has just published a new book: Seek My Face: Prayer as a Personal Relationship in Scripture. I’m looking forward to reading it. Everything Bill Barry writes is good to read. My favorite Barry book is A Friendship Like No Other: Experiencing God’s Amazing Embrace. His simple point is that God wants a relationship of friendship with us.

The Best Ignatian Songs: Yahweh

My friend Paul Campbell listed the ten best Ignatian movies on his People for Others blog. (The best in his opinion. Check out the comments.) I thought I’d try my hand at Ignatian songs. What’s an Ignatian song, you ask? It’s music that expresses, exemplifies, or evokes one of the qualities of Ignatian spirituality. Learn about them by poking around this website. Start on the “What Is Ignatian Spirituality?” page here. My first choice is […]

The List 5.11.09: Jesuit Jokes

The List is a weekly feature highlighting something remarkable, offbeat, or otherwise noteworthy from the world of Ignatian spirituality. “A Franciscan, a Dominican, and a Jesuit walk into a bar . . . “ People tell jokes about rabbis, lawyers, blondes, Irishmen, Poles, and nuns among others.  And Jesuits.  Jesuit jokes are “niche humor.”  You don’t have to be Catholic to enjoy them, but it helps to know something about the Jesuit mystique. The jokes […]

An Award Nominee

Mary Ann Glendon has refused to accept the Laetare Medal from Notre Dame. Jim Martin, SJ has an idea for a replacement.

Kataphatic or Apophatic Prayer?

Did you know that Ignatian prayer is “kataphatic” as opposed to “apophatic?” Neither did I. Actually, these fancy words point to a useful distinction. “Kataphatic” prayer has content; it uses words, images, symbols, ideas. “Apophatic” prayer has no content. It means emptying the mind of words and ideas and simply resting in the presence of God. Centering prayer is apophatic. Ignatian prayer is mostly kataphatic. That’s an oversimplification. Here’s an article by Frederick McLeod, SJ, that […]

The List 5.4.09: Washington Jesuit Academy

The List is a weekly feature highlighting something remarkable, offbeat, or otherwise noteworthy from the world of Ignatian spirituality. A friend sent me a link to this video last week.  I’ve seen lots of videos, but this one is something special.  It promotes a school.  Usually that’s a prescription for video tedium, but not this time. The school is Washington Jesuit Academy, a tuition-free middle school offering quality education to disadvantaged boys in the 6th, […]

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