About Denise Gorss
Denise Gorss volunteers as a junior-high catechist. She appreciates the gifts of Ignatian spirituality and likes sharing various types of prayer with the young people in her groups. She enjoys seeing the world on pilgrimages and lives in the Chicago area, where she works as Web Editor at Loyola Press.

The Joyful Mary and St. Ignatius

My mother has a figurine of Mary joyfully holding the baby Jesus. She raises him up playfully, and we see their eye contact and the happiness of a young mother spending time with her child. Mary’s flowing hair and dress convey a sense of motion. It’s an image that appeals to me. This is not the dressed all in blue, beautiful yet motionless Mary conveyed in some Marian imagery. This is the human Mary, the […]

Autumn Stirs Interior Reflection

Autumn brings with it changes in weather, sending many of us indoors more regularly. We experience bright, sunny days that are quickly followed by torrential rains, cooler temperatures, and even the first flakes of snow. As we move to the interiors of homes and workplaces for refuge from these weather events, it’s a good time to consider the interior of our hearts. God is present with us at all times, of course, but autumn invites […]

Six Back-to-School Lessons for Finding God

Back-to-school season has lessons in finding God for all of us, not just those with children heading back after summer vacation. Here are six lessons I’m reflecting on this year. 1. Have your supplies ready. With school, it’s backpacks, notebooks (spiral or computer kind), pencils, and crayons. For finding God, it might be a notebook for reflective journaling, a helpful website for theological information, or a favorite prayer book. We can meet God with nothing, […]

Five Lessons in Summer Camp Spirituality

Walking past a group of day campers on my way to work, I was inspired to consider some thoughts that I’ve deemed Summer Camp Spirituality. Rule one of most summer camps is to get outside and enjoy nature. Nature is full of spiritual lessons. Arts and crafts invite even the non-artistically inclined to create something to save long after the camp session ends. Art can invite us into a deeper experience of imagination and prayer. […]

Springtime Scents

We’re somewhere in the middle of spring, which here in Chicago means temperatures jumping from winter-like lows to summer-like highs. The changing of seasons (even all within the same calendar season of spring) makes me more aware of my senses, particularly the sense of smell. Freshly mown grass and flowering plants are just two of the more obvious scents spring brings to my nose. Some people love these smells. I’m a little less enthused about […]

Finding God on Black Friday

Whether you love shopping or hate it, the day after Thanksgiving here in the U.S. has become a feast celebrating consumerism. We can complain all we want about the out-of-control commercialization that usurps Thanksgiving dinner earlier and earlier each year with store openings, the start of sales, and the crowds on Friday at the malls, but there’s another way to look at what’s commonly known as Black Friday. For years my sister and I have […]

Halloween and Imagination

Whether you love Halloween or hate it, the holiday is a popular one. People love to dress up and pretend to be something else for the day. Do we ever stop to think about what we’re really pretending to be, or if we could use our imagination for greater benefit? Some people say they have no imagination, but then they go out and pretend on Halloween. That’s a grand night of imagination. Whether sharing stories […]

What the Examen Has in Common with Sports Commentary

As I was writing the Olympics post, it struck me that the Examen prayer has much in common with sports commentary. One version of the steps in the Examen reads: Become aware of God’s presence. Review the day with gratitude. Pay attention to your emotions. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it. Look toward tomorrow. Look at those steps through the lens of sports commentary, especially in an ongoing event like the […]

Seven Things the Olympics Have in Common with Ignatian Spirituality

I love watching the Olympics. Summer or winter games, the spirit of camaraderie and competition draws me to the television. As the countdown to the next Olympic Games shortens, I’m thinking about what the games have in common with Ignatian spirituality. History—The modern Olympics date back to 1896, but the games originated in ancient times. Ignatian spirituality is a tradition dating back to the 16th century. Magis—Seeking the greater, the excellent, the best: this is […]