About Vinita Hampton Wright
Vinita Hampton Wright has served as senior editor at Loyola Press for 16 years and recently became managing editor of the trade books department. She has written various fiction and non-fiction books, including the novel Dwelling Places with HarperOne, Days of Deepening Friendship and The Art of Spiritual Writing for Loyola Press, and most recently, The St. Teresa of Avila Prayer Book for Paraclete Press. Vinita is a student and practitioner of Ignatian spirituality, and from 2009 to 2015 she blogged at Days of Deepening Friendship. For the past few years, she has co-led small groups through the 19th Annotation of the Spiritual Exercises. She lives in Chicago with her husband, three cats, and a dog. In her “spare” time these days, she is working on her next novel.

The Way of Pilgrimage

A few months ago, I went on pilgrimage to Ireland and Scotland, to visit sites important to Celtic Christianity. I had been on pilgrimage before but had never been to this part of the world. I was with a group of Episcopalians from my sister-in-law’s church in Florida. So, in addition to absorbing the pilgrimage, I was making a number of new friends. How does a person “do” pilgrimage? For someone like me, from the […]

Four Signs That You Are Merciful

God’s mercy, as Julian of Norwich put it, is “all love in love.” Mercy goes much further and deeper than taking pity on someone in need or reconciling with someone who has asked forgiveness. Mercy is a way of looking at life, a way of approaching our everyday experiences and relationships. There are many signs of a merciful spirit; let’s tackle a mere four of them today. You expect good (behavior, attitude, intention) from others […]

Free at Last?

There’s a meditation in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius called “Three Classes of People,” which is designed to help us understand our attachments. Three people are given a great fortune, and each decides, in a different way, what to do about the fortune. Let’s be clear. The problem isn’t the fortune; it’s the attraction to the fortune. This exercise doesn’t assume that God wants you to give the thing up. It may well be […]

Three Simple Prayers for Your Day

1. Start with Openness. When you get out of bed in the morning, stand up straight and extend your arms out to your sides, palms open and facing upward. Say, out loud or silently, “God, I receive the gift of this day, and I open my heart to your desires for my life and this world.” 2. Pause to Reflect and Regroup. In the middle of your day, take a few moments to get quiet […]

Jesus Approaches

One of the great gifts of my life as an editor is the opportunity to meet and get to know the wise and compassionate people who write the books Loyola Press publishes. One of my “wise women”—also a good friend—is Elizabeth Kelly, author of one of our newest books, Jesus Approaches: What Contemporary Women Can Learn about Healing, Freedom & Joy from the Women of the New Testament. Elizabeth explores our relationship with Jesus by […]

Hours of Light and Dark

I don’t know how old I will be when I have finally learned to live in synch with times of day and night. Thanks to electricity, many of us humans no longer sleep at night and move around in the daytime. I wonder how many health problems are related to that. And I understand that some jobs must be done at night, and we need nighttime workforces. But on an individual basis, perhaps each of […]

Five Creative Ways to Give Grounding to Your Spiritual Journey

1. Consider gardening a sacred activity. Allow yourself enough time to attend carefully to each task, whether it is planting, weeding, watering, or other care. Offer the plant to God, and ask God’s help and blessing on the growth of the garden and on the end results of its fruits. And when it’s time to harvest the tomatoes or cucumbers or herbs, your prayer can then move right along to the preparing of a meal […]

Praying with People

In the summer, many of us spend time with people more than usual. We’re on vacation with family, or we host visitors. We go to special events such as weddings and anniversary celebrations. We attend concerts, parties, and sporting events. Is there any way to incorporate prayer in all of this? No, I’m not going to suggest that you try to lead your fellow sports fans in a prayer before the game starts. But think […]

Praying with Creation

Sometimes we fail to see that an entire created world can lead us to prayer. We don’t need to look far for it, because often it’s in our own home or yard. This week, let’s pray with creation. When you tend a plant, you are fulfilling one of your purposes as a human being on this earth. The Book of Genesis tells the story of God creating the world; Adam and Eve represent humanity, and […]

Simple Prayers

Sometimes we try too hard at prayer. We make it complicated. We load it down with expectations. If I pray really well, then I will come away inspired, or I’ll have a question answered, or I’ll feel happy, or I’ll have learned something. Let’s use the not-quite-so-intense season of summer to lighten up a bit on prayer. “If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.” […]

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