Miss Woodland

The strictest teacher I ever had is also the one I recall as the gentlest. For most of the time she taught us mathematics, and she tolerated no nonsense, no lapses of concentration, and no bungled homework. She looked the part: severe, almost to the point of ferocity, with her silver hair impeccably pinned back. But she had another side. Her second passion was the garden. Occasionally she would walk into class with shining eyes […]

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 […]

An Authentic Life

The direction of an authentic life is always one that serves others. It may be a life of contemplative prayer in a cloister, in a service profession, parenting, or entrepreneurship that lifts people out of poverty. It may be solitary or familial. It may be some kind of engagement in politics or social activism. It may be in medicine, academia, business, entertainment, public service, law, or any number of other fields. But in the end, […]

No Prayer Warrior

Talk of “winners” and “warriors” with respect to prayer is, to me, oxymoronic. Christ told us to be willing to take the last place, and for me that’s never so much a matter of willingness as acknowledging that I’m there by default pretty much all the time. I’m no prayer warrior, or any other kind of warrior. I’m just a run-of-the-mill, deeply flawed human being who is terrified of not being loved, afraid of dying […]

Joy and Mission

Jesus is not a lone missionary; he does not want to fulfill his mission alone but involves his disciples. In addition to the twelve apostles he calls another seventy-two and sends them to the villages, two by two, to proclaim that the Kingdom of God is close at hand. This is very beautiful! Jesus does not want to act alone; he came to bring the love of God into the world, and he wants to […]

More Stillness

What if, instead of more action, what we need is more stillness? What if, instead of more speech, we need more silence? What if all of our words—whether spoken, in an article, blog post, or group message—will make more sense if understood by attending to the Word underneath all words, the Word that gives rise to language itself? Could it be that paying more attention to silence might actually make us more attentive to one […]

Wise Thoughts for the Graduate—and for the Rest of Us Too

In this graduation season, we share some wise and hopeful words from the late Lisa-Marie Calderone-Stewart, in I Wasn’t Dead When I Wrote This: Advice Given in the Nick of Time: If you still think everything seems hopeless, I invite you to do a simple exercise. On one side of a piece of paper, try listing all the problematic issues you can think of—things like hunger and poverty and sickness and homelessness and bullying and […]

What I Did Each Morning

We’ve been given this insane gift of life. We’re living in the midst of the Resurrection. And all day, all night, still our hearts ask, Where is God? Early in my sobriety I began to realize that God was the things, or in or behind the things, or had created the things, that I’d loved my whole life. Bach cantatas, all flowers, all birds. The man or woman who suffered and who didn’t complain and […]

When I Feel Unseen and Insignificant

The popular prayer site Sacred Space is a joint apostolate of the Irish Jesuits and Loyola Press. We publish the Sacred Space books for Advent and Lent, and a Sacred Space prayer book for the year. This year, we compiled Sacred Space materials that focus on the topic of encouragement, and the result is Sacred Space: A Little Book of Encouragement. For your encouragement today, enjoy this sample. When I Feel Unseen and Insignificant Soon […]

One Reason Only: To Love God

Often, we talk so much about our lives and the lives of our neighbors—what we should do to fill our lives with God’s grace and peace and happiness, what we must do to make our neighbor’s life happy—that we forget the basic reason why you and I and all men live. We live and breathe and have our being for one reason only: to love God. God created us for this one reason, to love […]

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