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.

Four Ways to Recreate This Summer

As we move into the summer season, let’s consider recreation—as in play, amusement, or leisure. How can we recreate? 1. Turn off all your screens. Because I work on words all day, I often relax by watching TV or movies—mostly from eras past or from other countries. But too much screen time—whether television, computer, or phone—actually sets us into a passive frame of mind. True recreation involves action of some sort. It may be minimal […]

An Examen for Times of Illness

Physical illness, whether chronic or acute, can render us too distracted and exhausted to keep up with normal activities, among them prayer. Not only do pain, other discomforts, and fatigue sap our physical resources, but they also put a strain on our interior resources—our emotions, our ability to think, and our spiritual attentiveness. And yet, we are so in need of prayer when physically distressed. While ill or injured, we are likely to make mistakes, […]

A Few Moments to Imagine

I offer a short meditation to take you into the weekend. Get comfortable and take a few deep breaths. Close your eyes. In your imagination, place yourself in a location that is comfortable and beautiful and where you feel safe. Notice that a person is walking toward you. As he draws closer, you realize it is Jesus. (Or, if you prefer, it’s Mary, the mother of Jesus.) Jesus smiles at you and then embraces you […]

God Is Trying to Catch Our Attention

We know that much of prayer is simply paying attention. A prayerful person learns how to tune in, more and more, to the details of daily life and notice where the Divine is showing up. Sometimes, though, God steps in and tries to catch our attention. It’s not that God is coercing us—divine love always respects our freedom of will. But there are situations in which we are unable to pay attention: We are emotionally […]

Asking for What We Want

I don’t remember being encouraged to ask God for what I wanted, back when my faith was being formed in my childhood and teen—and even young-adult—years. It was assumed that my natural longings would be tainted by sin and selfishness. If anything, I was encouraged to suppress my natural wants and wishes and train myself to pray for what God wanted me to have: conflict-free relationships, happy willingness to obey authority and serve others, the […]

Spring Cleaning Concerns

Not once in my life have I completed spring cleaning. I usually begin well, but I have a rather large house and lots of stuff. And my husband is not so concerned about spring cleaning—he will help if asked but otherwise remains blissfully unaware that anything needs extra cleaning or sorting or consideration of any kind. And yet, every spring I feel the urge to do spring cleaning. Do I enjoy setting myself up for […]

Resurrection and Reality

I remember the first Easter after my dad died, now 26 years ago. I was not impressed by the Easter story that year, because my loved one remained buried and decaying. I wondered what this resurrection business really was about—just a distant hope of bliss in another world? Why didn’t it touch me more here on earth? Today, we are subjected with round-the-clock news of a civilization in desperate need of resurrection. Thousands of civilian […]

Mindfulness and the Holy Spirit

If you have paid much attention at all to articles, podcasts, and books on spirituality, then you have come across the word mindfulness. This is a general term for paying attention, being truly present to the moment at hand. And this word is used in various religious traditions. How can we consider mindfulness in our Christian faith? Paying attention and being present are perfectly in line with Christian belief and practice. I think, though, that […]

Pope Francis: His Five-Year Anniversary

As an editor for a Jesuit publisher, I was on high alert the moment the world learned that Argentinian Jesuit Jorge Bergoglio had become the new Pope Francis. Many of us didn’t know who this man was. What was he like? What kind of pope would he be? He did not leave us in suspense for long. From his first moments on that balcony at St. Peter’s, facing his new flock, when he gave a […]

Landscape, History, and Faith

My husband and I recently toured Morocco for two weeks. We were with a small group of people, a guide, and a driver. I recommend this mode of tourism in a country whose language you don’t speak. This trip was a years-long dream for me, and I was not disappointed. Our guide was Berber, having grown up in a village in the Atlas Mountains. He was also Muslim, and it was a great gift to […]

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