About Tim Muldoon
Tim Muldoon, Ph.D., is the author of a number of books, including The Ignatian Workout, Longing to Love, and Living Against the Grain, as well as many essays. He is the Director of Mission Education at Catholic Extension Society.

Three Kinds of Humility

St. Ignatius, like many spiritual masters over the centuries, suggested that humility was a prerequisite for the spiritual life. In his Spiritual Exercises, he described three kinds of humility: To humble myself to total obedience to God. To be ready for honor or dishonor, poverty or wealth, or anything else for God. To desire poverty, dishonor, and even be a fool for God, since Christ was. The last of these, he said, was the most […]

From Church to God

It takes a great deal of slow, careful, thoughtful work to learn a language. First there must be the example of someone fluent in that language who acts as a model. Next, there must be careful listening, repeating of sounds that are foreign, and memorizing words and their unfamiliar nuances. Over time one builds small sentences to convey basic meanings. Months, even years later, one grows in the ability to write and speak sentences to […]

Ancient Roots of Spiritual Exercises

The French philosopher Pierre Hadot has studied the origins of spiritual exercises among Greek philosophers. There seems to be a straight line from Hellenistic philosophy and its influence on Church fathers like Ambrose and Augustine, to the early monastic tradition, to the medieval monks who influenced Ignatius Loyola. (At one point Ignatius wanted to be a Carthusian and even permitted members of his order to transfer into that order and return later.) Ignatius borrowed from […]

Holiness, the Beatitudes, and Discernment

Pope Francis has released his latest apostolic exhortation, Gaudete et Exsultate (Rejoice and Be Glad). The title comes from the Beatitudes in Matthew’s Gospel, specifically, Jesus’ exhortation to rejoice when people “insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.” (5:11) Gaudete et Exsultate is a meditation on the call to holiness in everyday life. (The word holiness appears 87 times.) Francis points to the “saints next door,” […]

The Triangulation of Desire

The late philosopher René Girard suggested that human desire is “triangular,” meaning that it arises not from any intrinsic value in the object of desire, but rather that we imitate others and experience desire for the same things that they desire. The toddler wanting the toy that another toddler has; the junior executive wanting the same clothes and car that the senior executive has; the lover pining for the same beloved as a rival—these are […]

Gratitude and Solidarity

Last week I was in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) to learn about the damage wrought by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. These two category 5 storms devastated the islands, leaving them entirely denuded of foliage and causing massive structural damage to buildings and infrastructure. Yet in light of the disasters that affected Texas, Puerto Rico, California, and Mexico—to name only those in our hemisphere—many have forgotten the USVI, and some are feeling abandoned. I was […]

Direction

A ship may be tossed on the seas, buffeted by storms of every sort. Its crew may be struggling mightily every day simply to keep it afloat, wearying themselves, becoming chilled to the bone. They may fear for their lives every day, and regret ever having set sail with the hopes of adventure and fame and wealth. There may be days when the supplies are running low when they fear starvation. Perhaps every now and […]

The Time Is Now

Somewhere nearby—perhaps a co-worker in the next cubicle; a friend across the room; a stranger in the chair next to you; a spouse beside you in bed; a child clawing at your leg for attention—there, now, is an opportunity for love. Before you is God’s invitation to know him. Do not delay; do not postpone love. Reach for it; give your whole self to it. Use your imagination, for love is not for the sluggish. […]

Behold

Back in my coaching days I learned to develop a particular kind of vision: I saw details of my athletes’ performance that others would miss. This one slouched a bit; that one overreached; and so on. The vision was the product of careful, attentive, even loving work. What others saw was just a boat full of rowers, either winning or losing. I think that the Christian life involves a similar deepening of vision, of attentiveness. […]

Why Ignatian Spirituality Appeals to Young People

Editor’s note: Tim Muldoon, theologian, professor, and Ignatian author, is being honored with the Writer’s Award in Spirituality from the Loyola Institute for Spirituality. His newest book is Living Against the Grain: How to Make Decisions That Lead to an Authentic Life. Today we look back at a video from 2013, in which Muldoon explains why Ignatian spirituality is appealing for young people. Why is Ignatian spirituality appropriate for young people and seekers? It’s a […]

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