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

Leave Room for the Holy Spirit

When I sat down earlier this month to think about my New Year’s resolutions, I wrote three columns: Mind, Body, and Spirit. As I was contemplating my Spirit column, I kept remembering Pope Francis’s frequent admonitions to leave room for the Holy Spirit. While I did want to include this in my list of resolutions, I struggled with how to fit this concept into the column. I’m accustomed to listing specific, concrete, and quantifiable actions […]

Coping with Spiritual Desolation During the Holidays

Usually, during November and December, our thoughts turn to gratitude for God’s blessings and preparing our hearts for the coming of hope through the Christ Child. But what if, as the holidays approach, we feel anything but hopeful? The other day, I was sharing with a friend how excited I was that Advent was coming. My friend usually loves Advent too. However, when I mentioned it, her face literally contorted in pain. She shared that, […]

Three Ways to Cultivate a Retreat State of Mind

Every year, when autumn rolls around, I want to go on retreat. Maybe it’s the smell of the autumn leaves clothed in brilliance, dancing down to earth, or maybe it’s the crisp air and waning light. Autumn is a feast for the senses, and God’s handiwork is apparent everywhere. Yet, every year without fail, autumn proves a time too busy to get away, even for a weekend. School has just begun, sports are in full […]

A Grain of Compassion

I was preparing to cook rice the other day when some grains overflowed the scoop and fell to the floor. As I reached for the broom, a memory halted my hand. It was my first year working in refugee resettlement. We had prepared an apartment for the arrival of a refugee family by furnishing each room and stocking the kitchen. When the family arrived that evening, we brought them to their new apartment and showed […]

Four Ways to Find and Keep Your Peace in Tumultuous Times

I recently heard a gorgeous new rendition of one of my favorite hymns, “It Is Well with My Soul.” As I was listening, I remembered a fascinating Library of Congress exhibit I came upon years ago about the song’s author, Horatio G. Spafford. In 1871, Spafford was a successful Chicago lawyer. He had it all: money, power, fame, and a beautiful family. However, in October of that year, he lost most of his business to […]

Finding God in the Soundtrack of Life

I once read that the music we listen to becomes the soundtrack of our life. I just love that sentiment! As in a movie with a great soundtrack, music can transport us in time and evoke in us emotions we had thought were long gone. Have you ever noticed how certain songs bring you right back in time? For me, “The Servant Song” is one of those songs. I remember singing this song in my […]

Love, Relationship, and How We Live

The other day, I was sorting through some old papers and came across the “Fall in Love” prayer attributed to Pedro Arrupe, SJ. His thoughts are so simple yet so profound. I was glad to come across them again. The first time I read these words, though, I was completely intimidated. It was my first Ignatian retreat, and Arrupe’s words presented such a challenge that I had to fight the urge to hightail it out […]

Jean-Pierre de Caussade and My “Chance Encounter” with Divine Intervention

Many years ago, when I was a junior in college, I struck up a correspondence with a sister at Chigwell Convent in England. Actually, she struck up a correspondence with me; I just asked a question. I had asked if I could join the sisters in their missionary work after college for a couple of years. I learned that while I could join them, my student loans could not be deferred for this type of […]

This Is Your Easter, Thomas

The moniker “doubting Thomas” has always bothered me. Thomas did, after all, have great faith, enough faith to give up everything he knew—family, friends, homeland, and career—to follow Jesus. Yet we remember him for one fleeting moment of very understandable hesitation. In fact, I wonder how different his reaction to hearing the news that Jesus was alive might have been from my own? When I place myself in prayer next to Thomas in the Gospel […]

Stay Here with Me

There is a beautiful Taizé hymn inspired by Jesus’ words in the Garden of Gethsemane, with the lyrics: “Stay with me, remain here with me; watch and pray.” This song lends itself to the Ignatian practice of unwrapping Scripture passages by imagining oneself within the passage. For instance: I imagine myself having left the Passover table with the rest of the disciples. I am confused and overwhelmed by everything that has just happened. Jesus says […]

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