Contemplating the Passion with St. Ignatius

In the Third Week of the Spiritual Exercises, we contemplate the Passion of Jesus. St. Ignatius advises us to pray for the grace of compassion—the ability to suffer with Christ—as we encounter the Crucifixion. I ask for what I desire. Here is it what is proper for the Passion: sorrow with Christ in sorrow; a broken spirit with Christ so broken; tears; and interior suffering because of the great suffering which Christ endured for me. […]

Bring Back a Wonderful Memory

Spend time with one of your most cherished memories. It could be a recent memory or one from long ago. It could recall a time when you were alone or with other people. Imagine it now. Where did it happen? What time of life was it—childhood, adolescence, young adulthood? Who was with you? What were you doing? What happened on that day and in that place to create what is now a wonderful memory for […]

Getting to Know Jesus

This post is based on Week Six of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. There was a time in my life when I didn’t really know Jesus. Though I had grown up in a Catholic home hearing of God, praying the Rosary, and hearing countless stories from my grandmother of how Mother Mary had interceded to protect her family on a number of significant occasions, I had rarely paid much attention to, or had really connected with, […]

Can I Really Drink This Cup?

In the Anima Christi prayer, we pray, “Blood of Christ, inebriate me.” I ask to be made drunk with God’s love. Can I really drink this cup? What does the cup mean to me? To answer these questions, I visit in my imagination with the mother of Zebedee’s children (Matthew 27:55–56). She tells me: What mother would wish crucifixion for her sons? While my sons were hidden, I dared climb the hill with many other […]

Encounters in Imaginative Prayer

This post is based on Week Four of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. When preparing to enter into imaginative prayer, I always pray that the Holy Spirit leads me and even surprises me. While I can think I know what the Gospel story is about, I pray that I may hand over my imagination so that I may experience myself in the scene, to be one of the people in Mary’s or Jesus’ presence. Allow me […]

Listening for God Through All God’s Gifts

This morning I prayed the Examen, reviewing the last 24 hours with God’s help. As I jotted notes in my journal on what arose while praying, I was yet again struck by all the ways God encountered me and I encountered God in my day. I noted God in the beauty of our backyard, where I watched bluebirds and cardinals flitter from the bird feeders to their nest. Memories of the belly laughs of my […]

Anger About My Roof

This story is inspired by Mark 2:1–12. Jesus “returned to Capernaum…[and] it was reported that he was at home.” As I reflected on the Gospel passage, I found myself drawn to the character of Jesus’ landlord. I could hear her: I’ve rented out rooms before. It’s chancy, despite references. The carpenter from Nazareth seemed safe, because he’s a distant relation. Our bedrooms surround a large front room that I share with my tenants. I keep […]

The Journey Backward

We talk a lot about “moving forward”—whether in a business meeting or a relationship or an aspect of personal spirituality. United States culture is generally obsessed with productivity, profit margin, and success. And we can carry that obsession into our attitude about moving forward. Progress is the key! Some of the most powerful spiritual practices, however, aid us in moving backward. The journey backward can balance our constant anxiety about going forward. What does the […]

Fall in Love Prayer Video

Reflect today with this video of the popular poem “Fall in Love,” attributed to Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ. The poetic prayer is appropriate at any time of year, but in this month of Valentine’s Day we also recognize the formal opening of Arrupe’s cause for beatification and canonization, just days ago. As Jim Manney writes in An Ignatian Book of Days, “In the Ignatian view, love is very concrete. Arrupe says that it is practical. […]

Listening for God in Colloquy

Ignatian spirituality offers us a variety of prayer tools to help us listen for God. One of these Ignatian prayer tools that I turn to frequently is the triple colloquy, which is introduced in the First Week of the Spiritual Exercises, when we are meditating on sin. A colloquy is simply an intimate conversation. In the Spiritual Exercises, it is offered as a way of having an intimate conversation with Mary, with Jesus, and with […]

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