About Loretta Pehanich

Loretta Pehanich is a spiritual director and author of Fleeting Moments: Praying When You Are Too Busy. She is involved with the Center for Ignatian Spirituality in Sacramento and its program in giving the Spiritual Exercises. She has more than 20 years of experience in ministry, including retreat work and small group leadership. Loretta currently works as a fundraiser in Sacramento. She and her husband have four children and nine grandchildren.

In God’s Waiting Room

Swirling ideas, wresting thoughts, and mixed-up emotions vie for my attention. Come, Holy Spirit. I sit still for what I hope will be a time of prayer. What will emerge? I trust. I wait. I thank God in advance for what will be. But my stillness leads to tangents. I am preoccupied by a decision I need to make, and people are waiting to know my choice. I’ve been invited to add one more good […]

Housecleaning Leads to an Examen of Physical Surroundings

I hired a housecleaner because I simply cannot keep up with a full-time job, choir practices, leadership with a women’s fellowship, family obligations, and oh…too much going on. Carissa labored for three hours in my absence, and afterwards, our house looked very different to me. Returning home that evening, I stepped back and saw my house with new perspective. It was as if another person were showing it to me. What did the house look […]

The Rich Young Man and the Look of Love

This story is inspired by Mark 10:17–22, Jesus and the rich man. I had to walk away. Was he kidding? No way could I give up my comfortable life and spacious home! I love my clothes and collections and my small luxuries. I love eating food others prepare and walking away from clean-up. I enjoy all sorts of entertainments—and none of these are bad. I am a God-fearing man who keeps every commandment. I just […]

The Golden Ticket to a Papal Mass

The song, “I’ve Got a Golden Ticket” from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory describes how some eager Californians feel right now as drawings all over the state determine who will get tickets for the papal Mass canonizing Father Junípero Serra. For generations, fourth graders in our state have studied the missions, but their founder is not the main draw for these Mass tickets; Pope Francis is. People are jealous that I’m able to serve […]

Star Certified

I was praying on the freeway, as I often do, driving to work. The trees lining the road held me like the walls of a church. I traveled up “the aisle,” remembering the day I met Jesus in Communion at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Why did this tree-lined freeway remind me of that unforgettable day? The cars processed up the lanes, bumper-to-bumper to our destinations where we would be perhaps blessed, broken, and shared. […]

A Belatedly Grateful Leper

This story is inspired by Luke 17:11–19, the cleansing of ten lepers, and illustrates two aspects of Ignatian spirituality: imaginative prayer and gratitude. We’re camped outside Jerusalem tonight. Some time ago I was cured of leprosy by Jesus. Ten of us showed ourselves to the priest, as prescribed, and how we celebrated after that! Nine of us, that is. One fellow disappeared. The rest of us went to a local inn and sat at a […]

After the Wedding at Cana

In honor of all those getting married this month or celebrating anniversaries, I invite you to imagine meeting a married man in Cana. This story is inspired by John 2:1–11, the wedding at Cana. We saved some wine from our wedding two years ago because so much was left over. We bring some out every anniversary, as a sign of the blessing it is to be married. Whoever shares it with us agrees: it is […]

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