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 […]

The Depth of God’s Love for Me

This post is by Becky Eldredge, author of Busy Lives & Restless Souls, as she begins An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. [There is a] kind of knowing that afterward you can never not know. The kind that, no matter what anyone says, you know what you know, and that deep foundational knowledge is unshakeable. You can stand on it. It is a rock. —Margaret Silf in The Other Side of Chaos Every time I read this […]

Love as if . . .

Love as if loving is the first thing on your to-do list. Love as if you have no other plan but to love. Love as if you are confident that love makes good things happen. Love as if this is your first opportunity to love. Love as if this is your last opportunity to love. Love as if loving can heal all wounds. Love as if loving is your first purpose on earth. Love as […]

One Reason Only: To Love God

Often, we talk so much about our lives and the lives of our neighbors—what we should do to fill our lives with God’s grace and peace and happiness, what we must do to make our neighbor’s life happy—that we forget the basic reason why you and I and all men live. We live and breathe and have our being for one reason only: to love God. God created us for this one reason, to love […]

Love, Relationship, and How We Live

The other day, I was sorting through some old papers and came across the “Fall in Love” prayer attributed to Pedro Arrupe, SJ. His thoughts are so simple yet so profound. I was glad to come across them again. The first time I read these words, though, I was completely intimidated. It was my first Ignatian retreat, and Arrupe’s words presented such a challenge that I had to fight the urge to hightail it out […]

Resting in the Lord’s Gaze

“How do you, Lord, look at me? What do you feel in your heart for me?” —John Eagan, SJ (from Hearts on Fire: Praying with Jesuits) As Christians, most of us desire to cultivate the capacity to love others well. We also have a deep desire to be loved, known, and seen as we really are. A simple practice that St. Ignatius Loyola encourages before prayer in the Spiritual Exercises is to begin by placing […]

Stay in Love

“Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.” —Pedro Arrupe, SJ Arrupe’s words about falling in love as a metaphor for vocation are well-known. (If you don’t know the full text of the work, you can find it here.) At Jesuit colleges like my own, we spend a lot of time on the part about falling in love: find work about which you can be passionate. Choose a major that draws you, […]

An Examination in Love

Last weekend, I was the altar server at the funeral Mass of a parishioner. When the time came for the second reading, the deceased man’s grandson walked to the ambo, opened the lectionary and began, “Love is patient, love is kind…” The quintessential reading for weddings, it was a surprising choice for a funeral Mass. I can’t help but remember my own weddings whenever I hear this passage from First Corinthians. My mother painstakingly embroidered […]

Seeing Christ in Others

Early in my spiritual journey, I frequently read how important it was to see Christ in others. In particular, I admired Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, who saw Christ “in the disguise of the poor.” Try as I might (and surely it was due to a prideful disposition), I was unable to picture Christ in anyone’s disguise. It was impossible for my imagination to make the leap toward seeing Christ in mere mortals whom I could […]

What Stirs You to Love

St. Teresa said, “The important thing is not to think much but to love much; and do that which best stirs you to love.” Divine love is beyond our comprehension, but we must begin somewhere. I think of Merry’s advice to Pippin in The Lord of the Rings: “It is best to love first what you are fitted to love.” The hobbits were fitted to love the shire. Their deep roots and affection for the […]

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