Two Prayers

All These Things Dear Lord, help me to remember that you gave me life. Thank you for the gift of life. Teach me to slow down, to be still and enjoy the pleasures created for me. To be aware of the beauty that surrounds me: the marvel of mountains, the calmness of lakes, the fragility of a flower petal. I need to remember that all these things come from you. Consciousness Help me, Lord, become […]

God Right Here

This story is inspired by Matthew 14:22, following the feeding of the five thousand. Jesus made me get into the boat with the other disciples. I didn’t want to go. I wanted to stay with him on the shore, savoring the miracle I’d just seen. Thousands of people fed! I wished I could just stand there at his side, watching. He made us get into the boat, and I sat with my legs crossed, my […]

Shhh . . . God Is in the Silence

Loyola Press has just published the children’s book, Shhh . . . God Is in the Silence, by Fiona Basile and illustrated by Alice Mount. It is designed to help children stop and listen for God’s voice in their hearts. When they do, they hear phrases such as: “You are precious.” “There is no one else like you.” “I created you.” “You are my child.” The subtitle of the book is “A story for all […]

You Have Called Me by Name

Oh, Lord my God, You called me from the sleep of nothingness merely because in your tremendous love you want to make good and beautiful beings. You have called me by my name in my mother’s womb. You have given me breath and light and movement and walked with me every moment of my existence. I am amazed, Lord God of the universe, that you attend to me and, more, cherish me. Create in me […]

What If the Answer Is No?

What if God’s answer to one of our prayers is “no”? We are given this answer at times. Sometimes when we are told “no” we easily accept the answer we are given, because what we are asking for is something that really did not matter that much. Occasionally, though, we find ourselves being told “no” when every part of our being wants the answer to be “yes.” What happens to our relationship with God then? […]

An Imaginative Reflection on the Crucifixion

When we heard that Jesus had been arrested, I went with Mary to help her through this terrible time. She had a premonition that something bad was going to happen. I don’t know how she knew, but I’ve learned to trust her instincts. I hope this won’t end badly, but standing outside the governor’s palace, we can hear the words, “Crucify him!” My blood runs cold, and I can feel Mary stagger and sag into […]

An Examination of My Use of Time

Killing Time How do I kill time? Let me count the ways. By worrying about things over which I have no control. Like the past. Like the future. By harboring resentment and anger over hurts real or imagined. By disdaining the ordinary or, rather, what I so mindlessly call ordinary. By concern over what’s in it for me, rather than what’s in me for it. By failing to appreciate what is because of might-have-beens, should-have-beens, […]

Colloquy: Conversing with God

What is a colloquy? I’ll let Kevin O’Brien, SJ, explain: A colloquy is an intimate conversation between you and God the Father, between you and Jesus, or between you and Mary or one of the saints. It often occurs at the end of a prayer period, but it can take place at any time. Let this conversation naturally develop in your prayer. In the colloquy, we speak and listen as the Spirit moves us: expressing […]

Praying Through the Pain

Anyone who has ever tried to read the Bible or use a popular prayer app while recovering from surgery or undergoing chemotherapy can describe how difficult it is to pray in these circumstances. The words swim on the page; the meanings don’t register; the mind wanders; the pain blots out all other thoughts; when the pain subsides, drowsiness takes over; some passages trigger worries and anxieties; the joyful ones seem irrelevant. At first glance, Ignatius […]

A Certain Place

The room where I quilt, the arms of my husband, and sitting in my inherited wingback chair are some of my favorite places. Jesus was praying in a certain place, and his friends asked him to teach them to pray. (Luke 11:1) I always focused on the words of the Our Father that follow. But today it was that certain place that stopped me in my mental tracks. Perhaps the first teaching on prayer, for […]

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