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.

Bring Back a Wonderful Memory

Spend time with one of your most cherished memories. It could be a recent memory or one from long ago. It could recall a time when you were alone or with other people. Imagine it now. Where did it happen? What time of life was it—childhood, adolescence, young adulthood? Who was with you? What were you doing? What happened on that day and in that place to create what is now a wonderful memory for […]

Courage’s Role in Discernment

When it comes to discernment, sometimes another word for faith is courage. We ask the Holy Spirit to lead us to the best decision: the choice that honors God the choice that makes use of the gifts God has given us the choice that does the most to further God’s kingdom on earth. We go through various steps and processes through which discernment can take place. For instance: We explore the pros and cons of […]

Prayers and Practices for Spring: Darkness Lifting

I do believe that spiritual practices inspired by our physical environment can be quite effective. So let’s think a bit about winter’s transition to spring.* Winter has always represented a certain level of darkness. The daylight is shorter; many of us retire into our homes earlier than we do in the spring and summer months. Partly this is due to the cold—we’re eager to go home and get warm. But I think the general lessening […]

Not Confusing Ends with Means

The endpoint for the Christian—one who follows Jesus of Nazareth—is to imitate him in bringing God’s kingdom to earth through loving God and all creation. “Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is.” (1 John 3:2) That endpoint of being “like him” is meant to […]

The Journey Backward

We talk a lot about “moving forward”—whether in a business meeting or a relationship or an aspect of personal spirituality. United States culture is generally obsessed with productivity, profit margin, and success. And we can carry that obsession into our attitude about moving forward. Progress is the key! Some of the most powerful spiritual practices, however, aid us in moving backward. The journey backward can balance our constant anxiety about going forward. What does the […]

Can I Be in Consolation and Desolation at the Same Time?

Briefly stated, consolation is a state in which a person is growing in faith, hope, and love. Desolation is a state in which a person is diminishing in faith, hope, and love. Some people think of consolation as moving toward God and desolation as moving away from God. However, we cannot really move away from God—God is always present, and, as Psalm 139 says, we cannot do anything or go anywhere to escape God’s presence. […]

Three Reasons It’s Hard to Be Still

We have been conditioned to feel guilty whenever we are not “productive.” Stillness, even for the purpose of rest or prayer, can feel like wasted time to someone who lives in a world that values wealth, competition, high productivity, full schedules, and general self-importance. If we stare off into space for half an hour—and fail even to take notes on the thoughts that come to mind—that’s half an hour lost. The writer must always be […]

Before Incarnation Comes the Silence

We associate the Christ Child’s arrival with angelic pronouncements and nighttime fanfare: the heavenly hosts singing and sending brilliant disturbance into the lives of shepherds, townspeople, and even great kings. However, as we approach our celebration of the great event, let us consider its silent aspect. Before holy announcement opened the skies, the darkness sparkled quietly with distant stars. Shepherds could hear the normal sounds of wind moving across the landscape and creatures sleeping or […]

Three Ways to Find God in Winter

I happen to like a midwestern winter: cold, barren, dark, and windy. I enjoy bundling up and walking on winter days, with or without snow. The introvert in me looks forward to spending those dark evenings with books, knitting projects, writing projects, cooking, and pots of tea. Something in me connects to the sacred in winter—because I believe that each season is sacred in its own way. But I know that many people struggle to […]

An Anxious Person’s Prayer

How can I pray when I’m anxious? That is, how is it possible to pray when anxiety fills my person? How might I go about prayer when I’m in such a condition? Here are a few points to remember. First of all, reality does not change when I experience internal changes. I might be enraged, frightened out of my mind, or too worried to remember words to a prayer. But God continues to dwell with […]

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