About Rebecca Ruiz
Rebecca Ruiz holds a B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross and an M.A. from Tufts University. She has worked as an ethnomusicologist, composer, and writer, in academia, and, for the past 14 years, in domestic refugee resettlement in the Diocese of Arlington, VA. She and her husband have two children and live in the Washington, DC metro area. She strives, as St. Ignatius taught, to see God in all things and do “all things for the greater glory of God.”
Contact: Website

Sharing the Wisdom: What I Learned from a Friend About the Gift of Presence

I can’t remember exactly when we met her. We had arrived in the snowy tundra in January of my fifth-grade year. I know it was after the permafrost had thawed, and it was after “mud season,” because she was wearing high heels as she stood there, not mud boots. It had been a hard winter. The transition to the sleepy town of two stoplights was not an easy one for our family. We were far […]

What Is Your Image of God?

Recently, I had an enlightening conversation with friends about how we envision God. It’s a really interesting question, because how we imagine God determines how we relate to God. For instance, if I see God as an old, bearded man on a cloud, I will find it pretty difficult to relate to him. I’m not really well-versed in talking with old men who live on clouds and, in fact, I don’t know anyone who lives […]

Questions to Ask in Contemplating the Nativity

Ignatian contemplation allows the Spirit to bring to light important aspects of the Gospel that inform us along our spiritual journeys. This year, my contemplation on the Nativity—which I shared here—highlighted the following: Amidst the hustle and bustle of the marketplace, no one saw Mary in labor with the Christ Child. Where have I missed the opportunity to respond to Christ among us? Mary did not become upset when there were no rooms at the […]

Contemplating the Nativity

Every year, as Advent and Christmas roll around, I return to the contemplation on the Nativity in the Spiritual Exercises. In this contemplation, St. Ignatius invites us to reflect on the Nativity from the viewpoint of a maidservant accompanying the Holy Family. I imagine it this way. The journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem has been long—winding miles through hill and valley. The sun is setting as we enter the gates of Bethlehem. We are hot, […]

Waiting on the Spirit

My son is preparing to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation this month. The other day, he came home from school worried because he couldn’t remember all of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit on a quiz. He was secretly wondering if this would affect his Confirmation. I told him not to worry; he simply needed to prepare his heart and ask the Spirit to come. The Holy Spirit would not be delayed by his quiz […]

How Shall We Live?

As I entered my dorm on my first day at college, I read the writing on the wall: “How, then, shall we live?” I interpreted it as a simple question relating to dorm life, something akin to, “How are you going to live together, being conscious of your roommate?” By the time I finished my four years of Jesuit education, I realized that this question was much more complex than I had understood it to […]

Riding the Wave of God’s Surprises

Today the Lord invites us to assume an attitude of humble listening and docile waiting, because the grace of God often presents itself to us in surprising ways, which don’t line up with our expectations. —Pope Francis, July 8, 2018 I am most aware of God’s handiwork in my day when I remember Pope Francis’s advice to let God surprise us. So, when he revisited this theme last month, it renewed my resolve to step […]

Ignatian Gratitude: Encounter and Response

With rapt attention, I watched the rescue of the boys’ soccer team in Thailand. The boys were stranded by rising waters in a cave. People from all over the world came together in treacherous conditions to pull the boys back from the brink of death into the light of day. When all of the boys finally emerged safely, it seemed the whole world breathed a sigh of relief. Joyful prayers of gratitude arose from around […]

Five Tips for Beating Loneliness from St. Ignatius

A recent study revealed an epidemic of loneliness in America. Loneliness and social isolation isn’t limited to America, though; it’s a global scourge that Pope Francis has addressed: There are no longer close personal relationships. Today’s culture seems to encourage people not to bond with anything or anyone, not to trust…At the root of so many contemporary situations is a kind of impoverishment born of a widespread and radical sense of loneliness. Running after the […]

Accessible Sainthood

What comes to mind when you think of the word saint? For me, this word brings to mind people who lived a long time ago, wore long robes, and walked around with their eyes raised toward the heavens and their hands clasped in prayer. They never sinned or lost their tempers. Oh, and there’s a good chance they left this life without their heads. I also think of more modern saints like Teresa of Calcutta […]

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