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.

Thoughts on Dreaming

We are designed to dream; this impulse and ability is built into the wiring of our brains and the beating of our hearts. Sleep dreams happen on their own, but the dreams we consciously have for ourselves require some commitment, some thought, and sometimes lots of prayer.

Let’s Talk about Dreams

When I speak of dreams here, I don’t mean the mind’s journeys while you’re sleeping. I refer to dreams—visions, imaginings—you have for yourself, for those you love, for your larger community. Dreams do make a difference, but how exactly? When has a dream sent your life in a different direction? When has a dream given you the ability and the nerve to do something new? When do you know that a dream needs attention—that maybe […]

Work That Matters

I used to get so frustrated at all the small, routine bits of work I must do just to maintain existence—cleaning, cooking, sorting/filing, and so on. But one day it occurred to me that maintenance must be pretty important, even in the spiritual view, because it is so woven into existence. We can’t avoid it; in fact, if we neglect maintenance, we are prevented from doing other things well. Unless we choose a very austere […]

Seven Kinds of Vacation: Which Suits You Best?

Say “vacation” to seven different people, and you will trigger seven different ideas of what a vacation is. When summer arrives and the kids are out of school—or, when summer arrives and folks in the second half of life feel motivated to emerge from winter cocoons—it would help if, first of all, we define what kind of “vacation” we need, want, or see as possible. Here are a few categories to consider. 1. Sightseeing You […]

Resting Body, Busy Mind

One of the primary reasons we do not rest well is that our minds keep chattering away at us. Minds are built for processing information and formulating responses to everything we experience. We can be grateful that they remain busily functioning and never truly shut down unless we suffer brain injury. So what do we do with these chattering minds when we need to rest and enter a state we like to call relaxation? It […]

Imaginative Prayer: Pentecost

This imaginative prayer meditation is based on Acts 2:1–11, the story of the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. After Jesus ascended to the Father, all of us who followed him decided to stay together. He told us to wait for the Holy Spirit. We weren’t sure what that meant, really. What would it look like, feel like? The Holy Spirit visited the prophets in strange ways—in visions, with powerful speech, even with great miracles. […]

Imaginative Prayer: Breakfast on the Beach

This imaginative prayer exercise is based on John 21:1–14, the story of the risen Christ’s appearance to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias. You have been out on the water all night with your friends. It felt good to get back to fishing, something you haven’t done much for quite some time. Once you decided to follow the teacher, other things in your life receded. And then, all that happened recently—you are still trying […]

Prepare for the Christ Child

How do we prepare our hearts for you, Jesus? Or do we understand our need to prepare? Are we more likely to hurry around once you’re here, trying to focus on this guest we weren’t expecting? Will we be ready when you appear there in the manger? Or will our hearts and minds be so focused on our immediate struggles that we’re unprepared to receive eternal hope and grace? Will we recognize you? Or will […]

From Secular to Sacred: Find God in All Things

Want to know a secret to transforming secular happenings into sacred events? Learn to “find God in all things.” For the person of faith, everything carries hints of the divine. Just think, if Jesus were to visit the local mall, don’t you think he’d linger for quite awhile to enjoy watching the children take their turns sitting on Santa’s lap? Wouldn’t he rest his feet at the coffee shop and ask for whipped cream on […]

Imaginative Prayer: A Meeting on the Road to Emmaus

This imaginative prayer exercise is based on Luke 24:13-35, the story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus. Listen to an audio version of this guided reflection here. It’s a long walk home from Jerusalem, but you’re glad for the exertion. The physical work of walking might ease, just slightly, the harder work that’s going on inside you today. It is the work of grief. You lost a friend just a few days ago. Not […]

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