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.

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 […]

The Grace of Failure

This topic came up in class, and it gets better as I continue to think about it. Here’s the thumbnail: the young Ignatius went to Jerusalem to imitate St. Francis, wanting to walk in Christ’s footsteps and convert Muslims. But after he got there, the local priests sent him packing, and he was dejected. Why did God set him up for failure? One of the most difficult periods in my own life was a professional failure. It […]

Practice, Love

I’d like to propose a juxtaposition of two ideas that emerge from the Spiritual Exercises: practice and love. Without getting into too much insider baseball on how Ignatius’s text emphasizes these themes, let me suggest a brief thought exercise that you might take into prayer. We learn anything by practicing: the piano, soccer, algebra. Jesus calls us to love one another as the Father has loved Jesus. How do you practice love? Notice that embedded […]

The Long Ride

I do some of my best thinking and praying while running or biking. This morning I considered how biking hills is not a bad analogy to the discernment of consolation and desolation in the spiritual life. Here’s the idea. Coming to the beginning of a long upward climb can be a daunting experience. You see it looming, and you see that it will be hard and tiring. There is a temptation to quit or turn around. This is […]

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