Nearly 25 years ago, the Jesuit scholar of language Walter J. Ong wrote a seminal work on the difference between spoken and written language, and how the use of these different forms of communication impacted human cultures of antiquity and the modern age. He used the term primary orality to talk about cultures that only know communication through spoken words and who have no written language. Secondary orality, in contrast, refers to cultures that use “essentially a […]
For students and teachers involved in academic life, early fall can feel like being shot out of a cannon. It can be jarring to move from the slow pace of summer rest into the overscheduled life of reading, writing, scheduling meetings, meeting deadlines, and so on. Hamlet’s response to Polonius’s question of what he was reading comes to mind: “words, words, words!” As a writer, I find it consoling to contemplate a bookshelf and recall that […]
Care of the person (cura personalis) is one of the common principles of Ignatian spirituality and pedagogy. It is rooted in the faith that God has created me to do some good in the world, and that through discernment I can come to an understanding of how to love the people in my life as Jesus might, awakening in them the same desire to give their lives in loving service to others. Cura personalis has […]
What would it be like to share the Gospel not through words, but through a vision of what is beautiful? Giuseppe Castiglione, who became known as Láng Shìníng (郎世寧) during his 51 years in China, painted in the court of three emperors and influenced Chinese painters to write the first book on Western painting. His work is commemorated today in over 40 Chinese postage stamps, not to mention his many museum pieces in Beijing and Taipei. Below is a […]
Leah Libresco, a former atheist and a fellow writer at Patheos, describes in America Magazine how she came to appreciate praying the rosary: Since I’m a convert, learning to pray was basically like learning a foreign language…. [O]ne prayer I struggled with was the Rosary. It was the most stereotypically Catholic prayer I could think of, but it was hard for me to progress through the beads and Hail Marys without getting frustrated or self-conscious. I […]
A member of Contemplative Leaders in Action, my former student E. writes a lovely blog, A Call to Joy. In light of recent news about the Synod on the Family, which is addressing neuralgic questions about the Church’s ministry, it is fruitful to share her meditations on being called to marriage. On the one hand, it feels impossible to capture the intimate mix of joy and sacrifice, of both lighthearted and difficult conversations, of learning how to balance my […]
Rod Dreher offers a thoughtful reflection on his first read of Dante’s Divine Comedy in his late 40’s, discovering a wish that he’d read it much earlier in his life. It is, he says, a roadmap to false desire. What if I had encountered Dante as a young man and taken the lessons the pilgrim learned on his journey to heart back then? Would I have had an easier time staying on the straight path? […]
What would it be like to practice love so regularly, so faithfully, over the course of a lifetime, such that one’s habit of loving becomes so ingrained into the fabric of one’s soul, that even if one should begin losing his mind the habit of loving breaks forth spontaneously, like the resonant chord of a hung bell’s bow swung? If you’re receiving this via e-mail, click through to watch the video When Love Becomes an Instinct.
In celebration of our fifth anniversary, we’ve invited our dotMagis bloggers to reflect on the individual lines of St. Ignatius’s Prayer for Generosity. In his book Open Mind, Faithful Heart, then-Cardinal Jorge M. Bergoglio (now Pope Francis) describes the temptation to work only for results: Vainglorious is the person who prefers to be the general of defeated armies rather than a simple soldier in a squadron that continues to fight on even when it has […]
Thank you to all who joined in our Ignatian Workout for Lent. To close this retreat, Tim Muldoon invites you to consider the graces of Easter and how to integrate them into daily life. If you’re receiving this via e-mail, click through to listen to Tim’s retreat conclusion. Learn more about the book that inspired this retreat.