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.

When We Can’t Have What We Want

You’d think that people of faith would know how to deal with basic disappointments. We have been trained to think in the long-term and welcome ordinary hardships that provide character-building opportunities. But, alas, most of us aren’t skilled at remaining calm and positive when we don’t get what we want. Those of us in first-world situations have bought into the culture of consumerism and instant gratification. We expect fast Internet service, medications that will make […]

Five Ways to Create a Good Space for Prayer

Taking inventory of the various spaces in your life probably gave you some ideas—it may have inspired you, which is good, because now you’re going to create some space just for prayer. Here are five basic steps to help you start. I’m sure that by the time you’re at step 3, you’ll have generated various additional steps that work for you. Step 1: Choose indoors or outdoors. If you’re like me and many other people, […]

Take Inventory of Your Spaces

There’s a reason the Christian world, whether in a small Midwestern town in the U.S. or on the streets of Rome, is dotted with spaces meant for prayer. From earliest times, people on spiritual quests understood that space mattered. It mattered if the space for prayer was crowded with worshippers or if it was a solitary monk’s cell. It mattered if the halls echoed music or silence or noise from the street. It mattered what […]

A Prayer to Begin Summer

In June, July, and August, we’ll be “Praying Through the Summer” here at dotMagis. Each Monday we’ll explore different ways to pray inspired by the season, the warmer temperatures and, perhaps, vacation time. Today we start with a prayer. A Prayer to Begin Summer For more light in the day, we thank you, For gentle mornings, we thank you, For nighttime conversations, we thank you, For friends and family, we thank you, For gardens and […]

What Is an Unhealthy Attachment?

People who are familiar with St. Ignatius, the Spiritual Exercises, or Jesuit spirituality in general will sometimes use the term unhealthy attachment. What is that exactly? Let’s explore this by asking a few questions. Is there any physical habit I have that gets in the way of my being available to God? Do I turn to food, drink, sex, exercise, or sleep to avoid facing myself or my conversation with the Divine? What are my […]

How to Beat the Fear of Failure

Choose to do what you consider important to do. Do that important thing, and keep doing it. Don’t give up on what is important. Look at the gifts you have been given—name them. Accept those gifts and practice gratitude for them. Learn to cherish the life you are given. Believe what is good and kind and truthful and lovely. Find ways to pass along whatever is good and kind and truthful and lovely. Dare to […]

Finding God in Our Past

If you want to embark on an interesting exercise, write the story of your life. Write it quickly, without thinking about it much. And write only for about 15 or 20 minutes. This will force you to hit the highlights only—the events that are most important to you. Then, go back and read your story, and ask at each turn, Where was God in this event, or this conversation, or this internal experience? The fact […]

Hope Is an Art

True art requires inspiration, vision, practice, imagination, and patience. Something inspires the idea, which leads to a vision of what the painting or story will become. The artist works at the vision, practicing her craft on good days and bad. She allows her imagination to take hold of the vision and keep her process vibrant. And she understands that the work is finished when it’s time; she cannot force it to conform to her schedule. […]

Live as Easter People

Easter has arrived! We made the long way through Lent; some of us journeyed through the liturgical marathon that is Holy Week, with its multiple services leading up to the Great Easter Vigil. Now we dwell in the weeks prior to Pentecost. Yes, we keep looking forward to the next event in the Christian year. Jesus has risen from the dead; in the coming weeks, as we hear in the Gospel stories, he will appear […]

How to Do Holy Week

Holy Week is a solemn week of extra prayer and fasting. It involves the Triduum: Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil. During those three days we recall—and through our prayer participate in—Jesus’ Last Supper with his disciples, his arrest, trial, and execution, the long day of silence (Holy Saturday) while his body rested in the grave, and his Resurrection on Easter. The many readings of Scripture surrounding the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of […]

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