About Cara Callbeck

Cara Callbeck holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree and works in the public sector as a human resources professional. Cara recently completed the Spiritual Exercises and has since felt quite drawn to Ignatian spirituality. She is now on a quest to learn more and grow and to incorporate Ignatian spirituality in her life as a professional, mother, and “woman for others.” Cara lives in the Canadian Prairies with the two greatest blessings in her life—her husband and daughter.

Why Bother Praying the Examen?

With so many forms of prayer out there, and so little time in this fast-paced world, why bother praying the Examen? At times, I end up viewing this prayer as yet another task in a long list of things I have to get done. Yet I find that when I let it slide for a while, I start to feel a little “off.” Perhaps more as a means of reminding myself why I love the […]

Composition of Place on My Patio

As the weather improves and we bid farewell to what always feels like a long, cold winter, the backyard patio quickly becomes the most important “room” in our house. We all find ourselves drawn outside to read, share a cool beverage, have a nice chat, or just soak in some sun. We spend a lot of time on the patio, and many great family memories are created right here in our backyard. As I sat […]

God’s Voice Was in a Phone Call

My grandfather used to call me his “little motor mouth” when I was a child. I think Jesus might call me that, too, even now. The problem is that when we spend so much time talking in any relationship, it leaves no room for listening. When we’re not listening, we can get disconnected from this amazing life unfolding all around us. And this is why, when my mom called me the other night and innocently […]

Renewed at Easter

A few years ago on retreat, I mentioned to my director that I wanted to rekindle some of the fire that I associated with the faith of my youth. I had driven to a monastery out in the country, a couple hours’ drive from where I grew up, for my first retreat as an adult. I was there on an invitation the abbot had extended to me more than ten years earlier. Better late than […]

Lenten Meditation 4: God’s Vulnerability

In Jesus, God saves us by becoming so vulnerable that we are able to kill him in a vile and humiliating way. The crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus assure us that God’s offer of friendship will never be withdrawn, no matter what we do. If the cross did not result in a withdrawal of the offer, then nothing we do will lead to a change of God’s heart. We can, however, refuse the offer. Friendship […]

Answered Prayers

My brother came to stay with my family recently while he attended training in our city. While I was happy to welcome him, I worried about how we were going to survive three whole weeks under one roof. As adults, my brother and I get along well in short doses, but after a while I inevitably launch into lecturing my brother and attempting to tell him how to live his life. I mean well, but […]

Embracing My Image of Jesus

Years ago on retreat, the director asked me what Jesus looked like to me. I thought about it a moment and then described the stereotypical Jesus—long hair, scruffy, sandals, robe. As I gave the description, the director seemed to deflate before my eyes, and I knew I had disappointed him. Perhaps my description led him to believe I couldn’t possibly have a personal connection with Jesus. Later, the question resurfaced in the early stages of […]

Advent and Profound Silence

Have you ever tried playing the quiet game with a child? The younger the child, the more likely you are to win the game. I know. I’ve had my less-than-stellar parenting moments when I start the game in a vain hope of attaining some peace and quiet after a long day. The trouble with that game, as any parent knows, is that children just can’t stay quiet. It’s too hard, because the world is so […]

Gratitude on the Difficult Days

My husband has a habit that I find both irritating and wise all at once. When I come home after a really bad day at work, the first thing he asks me is, “What are you thankful for today?” While he knows that he’ll be greeted with my pithy retort of, “I’m thankful it’s over,” he also knows that in that one quick exchange he has refocused me. That question forces me away from my […]

St. John de Brébeuf’s Open Heart

This month we remember a Jesuit priest and martyr who left the relative comforts of 17th-century France to become a missionary to the Huron people in what is now Quebec, Canada. He and his Jesuit companions faced seemingly unbearable challenges in learning a difficult new language, adapting to a foreign culture and way of life, and living in a harsh climate with deplorable conditions—all of this under the constant threats of violence from many parties. […]

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