Accepting the Memories

Last week I meditated on how God has been present in every moment of my life. In order to do this, I took out an old photo album that my mom had given me after I finished high school and left home. I consider myself blessed that Mom put together this album of photos beginning with my birth and continuing through high-school graduation. Mom’s efforts fill about 15 pages of the album, and my entries […]

Savoring the Gifts Like Chocolate Eggs

When we were children, my brother and I used to eagerly await awakening to Easter baskets full of candy, which we soon devoured. As an adult, I have mostly lost my sweet tooth, but I still like the occasional small piece of chocolate. It is a treat to unwrap slowly just one foil-wrapped chocolate egg, savor its taste and texture, and let that be enough. This Easter, I have been praying about all the good […]

Prayer Leads Us Forward in Hope

I found my friend on his knees praying in the hospital chapel. We had received word that a family member of our friend was extremely sick and might not make it through the next day. As I embraced my friend and his tears fell on my shoulder, he told me, “I feel I am having a crisis of faith, because I am in here begging God to save my loved one.” My tears joined his […]

Resurrection and Reality

I remember the first Easter after my dad died, now 26 years ago. I was not impressed by the Easter story that year, because my loved one remained buried and decaying. I wondered what this resurrection business really was about—just a distant hope of bliss in another world? Why didn’t it touch me more here on earth? Today, we are subjected with round-the-clock news of a civilization in desperate need of resurrection. Thousands of civilian […]

“I Have Seen the Lord!”

This post is based on Week Eight of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. Mary of Magdala visited the tomb of Jesus early in the morning and came back distraught, weeping, with an emotional tale of an empty tomb. Peter and John went racing out to investigate, but what they found was inconclusive. A short time later, Mary was back, radiant as she proclaimed, “I have seen the Lord.” Whenever I read this familiar passage (John 20:1–18), […]

Light out of Darkness

This post is based on Week Seven of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. In Jerusalem, a short walk from the Garden of Gethsemane, is the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu (“at cock crow”). It is built above the remains of an ancient structure that many believe to have been the palace of the High Priest Caiaphas. Archaeologists have uncovered subterranean levels including storehouses, pillars that appear to have been used for scourging, observation posts for […]

After the Fever, Service

This post is based on Week Six of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. It’s the Sabbath. Jesus must surely have been looking forward to a peaceful Sabbath meal at Simon Peter’s house, after teaching in the synagogue, curing a demoniac, and enduring the commotion that ensued (Mark 1:21–28). Instead, they told him about Simon’s mother-in-law, who “lay sick with a fever,” and he “came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the […]

Not What You Expect

What does God’s voice sound like? In my experience, like nothing I was expecting. A while ago I was having some very bad days. I had too much work to do. My wife and I had a stack of unpaid bills. Problems kept cropping up, and my solutions weren’t working. I felt helpless, and I hated feeling that way. I was angry, then depressed; boastful, then self-pitying. In the middle of all this mental turmoil […]

Who, Me?

This post is based on Week Five of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. The Gospel stories of the call of the first disciples are often cited as models of the call to a religious vocation: an explicit call (“Come, follow me,” Matthew 4:19) and an immediate response that takes the form of leaving everything behind (“at once they left their nets;” “immediately they left the boat and their father,” 4:20, 4:22). In Luke’s version, they “left […]

Who Do You Say That I Am?

This post is based on Week Four of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. When I was first introduced to Ignatian spirituality more than 40 years ago, I had to answer the question, “Who is God for you?” I realized that my prayer had always been directed to Jesus. I had a general idea of God the Father, and I sometimes experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit, but it had always been Jesus whom I addressed […]

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