Six Reasons Ignatian Spirituality Appeals to Children

Editor’s note: Celebrate the 10th anniversary of IgnatianSpirituality.com with us. For 10 weeks, we’ll be “Counting the Gifts of Ignatian Spirituality” by bringing you special content on our website and special offers from our sponsor, Loyola Press. Learn more here. I believe children have a special and unique ability to be present to the mystery of God and to have an open heart, mind, and spirit when it comes to believing in and wanting to develop a relationship […]

Seven Simple Spiritual Practices

Editor’s note: Celebrate the 10th anniversary of IgnatianSpirituality.com with us. For 10 weeks, we’ll be “Counting the Gifts of Ignatian Spirituality” by bringing you special content on our website and special offers from our sponsor, Loyola Press. Learn more here. There are no magic numbers related to spiritual growth, but sometimes it helps to make a list just to simplify our goals. There are hundreds of spiritual practices, but I’m listing seven that are fairly simple. Please try […]

10 Things to Love About Ignatian Spirituality

Editor’s note: Celebrate the 10th anniversary of IgnatianSpirituality.com with us. For the next 10 weeks, we’ll be “Counting the Gifts of Ignatian Spirituality” by bringing you special content on our website and special offers from our sponsor, Loyola Press. Learn more here. Here are 10 things I love about Ignatian spirituality. 1. It promotes lasting happiness. One of my friends gave me a coffee mug that reads “Do more of what makes you happy.” Every […]

Lamentation: The Weight of Grief

Niccolò dell’Arca’s Mourning over the Dead Christ, often simply called Lamentation, moves us into the depths of Good Friday’s grief. (See a video of this piece of art below the article.) There is no way to prepare for the visceral images of six life-sized terracotta sculptures mourning over Christ’s body. The grief is palpable as viewers find themselves nearly frightened of the masterpiece. This grief is not quiet. The first figure we encounter is Joseph […]

A Patient Lent

When March rolls around in New England, I eagerly look forward to the arrival of spring and new plant life, only to discover that, same as last year, meteorological spring comes a lot sooner than the “spring” soil that allows the ground to be workable and new life to emerge. I am not an especially patient person. I hate waiting and doing nothing and the frustration that ensues when the ground and cold weather seem […]

Humility

Humility gives us the sacred gift of being able to learn from everyone. It gives us the ability to take advice from any person who gives it, not just the brilliant or the holy or the great, but from the simple and the ignorant and from those who may be far below our own position or station in life. It gives us the power to imitate Christ himself, who learned from Peter how to catch […]

Wisdom

There is a difference between knowledge and wisdom, between someone who’s a brain and someone to whom we bring our pain. Someone wise does know which things can’t be changed and which can, and he or she is at peace with that. The wise person accepts things as they are, accepts his or her position in the universe: far better than a rock or a carrot or a pig, far less than God. Science is […]

Three Reasons It’s Hard to Be Still

We have been conditioned to feel guilty whenever we are not “productive.” Stillness, even for the purpose of rest or prayer, can feel like wasted time to someone who lives in a world that values wealth, competition, high productivity, full schedules, and general self-importance. If we stare off into space for half an hour—and fail even to take notes on the thoughts that come to mind—that’s half an hour lost. The writer must always be […]

The Magi and Contemplation

When the magi see the star and come to visit the Christ Child, they see the baby and fall down and worship God’s presence there. When I have prayed with this story imaginatively, my focus is rarely on the magi themselves. Almost inevitably my gaze turns to the baby Jesus. What could be more natural when there is a newborn infant in the room? When I was a young mother, I used to enjoy just […]

Three Characteristics of Advent Waiting

Advent is a time of waiting. But not all kinds of waiting are alike. In Advent, we wait in a special way. 1. Advent waiting is expectant. Many years ago, when I was expecting my first child, I felt a deep connection to Mary in the Nativity stories. As I noticed my stomach beginning to swell, awaited feeling the first kicks, and wondered what it would mean to become a mother, I waited with an […]

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