Direction

A ship may be tossed on the seas, buffeted by storms of every sort. Its crew may be struggling mightily every day simply to keep it afloat, wearying themselves, becoming chilled to the bone. They may fear for their lives every day, and regret ever having set sail with the hopes of adventure and fame and wealth. There may be days when the supplies are running low when they fear starvation. Perhaps every now and […]

Three Simple Prayers for Your Day

1. Start with Openness. When you get out of bed in the morning, stand up straight and extend your arms out to your sides, palms open and facing upward. Say, out loud or silently, “God, I receive the gift of this day, and I open my heart to your desires for my life and this world.” 2. Pause to Reflect and Regroup. In the middle of your day, take a few moments to get quiet […]

Light and Contemplation

You might spend time outside on a sunny day, seeing the sunlight illuminating everything, feeling its warmth on your body, and imagining how God is creating and bathing you in love. Again, tell God what’s in your mind and heart. This kind of contemplation can lead us to want to love God with our whole mind and heart and soul, to become the friend God wants us to be. Ignatius suggests a prayer that may […]

Joseph of Arimathea and Burying the Dead

In honor of the feast of St. Joseph of Arimathea on August 31, we share this reflection based on Luke 23:50–53. Joseph didn’t witness the death of Jesus. He sent me to watch and to notify him when Jesus was pronounced dead. As I headed to Golgotha, Joseph went boldly to Pilate to request Jesus’ body. Joseph knew how to work within existing leadership structures. He wanted Jesus to have a decent burial, not to […]

Praying in Dry Seasons of Life

Our prayer lives go through cycles like the seasons of the year. We cycle through spring-like seasons of new life or summer-like seasons of abundance. Today let’s turn to what St. Ignatius invites us to do when we are in a season of prayer that feels more like autumn, when what was once abundant begins to wither, or winter, when our prayer life feels dormant. Keep showing up in prayer! As our prayer life shifts […]

Praying with St. Ignatius

July 31 is the feast day of St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), and a man whose life was dedicated to introducing people to Jesus and encouraging their conversations with him—their prayer. So let’s approach this post with a focus on Ignatian prayer. First I want to point out that the Society of Jesus was the first religious order to move away from the practice of praying the Divine Hours. […]

Three Ways to Pray Ignatian

There’s no great mystery to Ignatian prayer, but this week is a good time to review. If you want to pray in the Ignatian way, here are three ways to do it—not an exhaustive list but a good start. 1. Do the Examen. At the end of the day, ask the Holy Spirit to guide your memory over the day’s events and conversations. Give thanks for the blessings of the day. Ask God’s forgiveness if […]

Praying When in Consolation

Don’t you love praying when it’s easy to show up to prayer? Or when you feel God’s presence during your prayer? During a season of consolation, it is easy to name the graces given to us by God. St. Ignatius offers us wisdom on what to do when we are in this season of prayer. Relish the graces. “For it is not much knowledge that fills and satisfies the soul, but the intimate understanding and […]

Praying When Your Routine Changes

Summer’s here! As a mom, I love summer because of the slower routine in the morning, the lack of homework and projects, and a pause in my kids’ extracurricular activities. With summer, though, comes a change in routine that can often impact my prayer life. While I hate to admit it, the routine change can sometimes cause my prayer life to be rather bumpy until the desolation that crops up serves as a reminder from […]

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 […]

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