Relationships and the Examen

Something to think about | “The Examen of relationships asks that you grow conscious of a reality we take so much for granted that we do not think about it at all. How often do you note that the sun rose this morning? How much do you value the water that comes from your tap? We treat our relationships rather like that. They are just there. They do not take thinking about except perhaps in […]

Proper Sowing

Choruses from the Rock T.S. Eliot O world of spring and autumn, birth and dying! The endless cycle of idea and action, Endless invention, endless experiment, Brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness; Knowledge of speech, but not of silence; Knowledge of words, and ignorance of the Word. All our knowledge brings us nearer to death, But nearness to death no nearer to God. Where is the Life we have lost in living? Where […]

A Heart Hollowed Out

Something to think about | A cup must be empty before it can be filled. If it is already full, it can’t be filled again except by emptying it out. In order to fill anything, there must be a hollowed-out space. Otherwise it can’t receive. This is especially true of God’s word. In order to receive it, we must be hollowed out. We must be capable of receiving it, emptied of the false self and […]

The Present Moment

Something to think about | The spiritual life always concerns itself with the present. Retreatants are very inclined to worry about the future and be guilty about the past. It is important to set goals for the future and to implement ways to achieve those goals. It is also important to review the past, claim the history of grace and sin and more grace. But the Present Moment is the only real moment . . […]

Rescued by Love

Something to think about | Harvard University in 1994 studied forty adults in their early forties with a history of multiple, significant stressors during their childhood and adolescence, including serious illness in themselves or their families, low income, chronic family discord or parental fighting, parental substance abuse, persistent and harsh parental discipline, or prolonged parental absence. Additionally, more than twenty of the subjects had a history of repeatedly being physically and /or sexually abused. These […]

Salvation Is Not Comfortable

Something to think about | Salvation is not comfortable. There is something terrifying about it. Even human love is terrifying in the forces that it releases and directs; and human love is a faint radiation from the fire of love which is God. Salvation is not a gentle application of vaseline to a small cut, but the breaking and resetting of ill-set bones. People who are complacent about themselves, their families, their homes, their work, […]

The Grand Miracle

by Mary Karr Jesus wound up with his body nailed to a tree— a torment he practically begged for, or at least did nothing to stop. Pilate watched the crowd go thumbs down and weary, signed the order. So centurions laid Jesus flat on a long beam, arms run along the crosspiece. Read the rest here.

God’s Grace and Our Efforts

Something to think about: Ignatius allowed little room for illusion—his God could not serve as any kind of basis for illusions of the betterment of the human condition. The vision called for the realization of Christ’s kingdom in this world—and to this extent it carried with it elements of a vision of a more hopeful future as embodied in the triumph of the kingdom of Christ. But the vehicle lies in the human response to divine […]

Sin and the Examen

Something to think about ¦ “The examen frequently identifies sin at the source of an apparently faultless failure.  It also quite consistently exonerates me from sin in any given failure.  The examen must be able to help me make that distinction: Is my experience my sin, a sin, or sin in me?  The question begs for long study by a Church plagued by narcissistic individualism.  Perhaps even more, it begs for some method of probing […]

Ignatius Loyola: Saint at a Desk

After battle, vision, journey, and study experiences Ignatius did God’s will in a heroic challenge: He spent years doing administration duties. Writing the Spiritual Exercises Writing the Constitutions Lobbying to get them approved Organizing multiple ministries Constantly writing letters of encouragement Correction, advice to world-scattered  Jesuits And all the time united in prayer Finding God in all this Becoming a saint at a desk! Text by James Hasse, SJ

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