Five Tips for Beating Loneliness from St. Ignatius

A recent study revealed an epidemic of loneliness in America. Loneliness and social isolation isn’t limited to America, though; it’s a global scourge that Pope Francis has addressed: There are no longer close personal relationships. Today’s culture seems to encourage people not to bond with anything or anyone, not to trust…At the root of so many contemporary situations is a kind of impoverishment born of a widespread and radical sense of loneliness. Running after the […]

10 Reasons to Choose Ignatius

I was delighted to learn that St. Ignatius Loyola is among my son’s top three choices for his Confirmation saint. Of course, I wanted him to make an educated choice, so, in all fairness and with no partiality or favoritism, I directed him to my favorite Ignatian books and websites and procured a copy of the 2016 film, Ignacio de Loyola. As we sat down to watch the film, both of my teens aired their […]

Three Ignatian New Year’s Resolutions

Here are three New Year’s resolutions grounded in the counsel of St. Ignatius Loyola. 1. Give others the benefit of the doubt. Ignatius said to be, “more ready to put a good interpretation on another’s statement than to condemn it as false” (Spiritual Exercises 22). What I am tempted to do: Correct others when I think they are wrong. After all, perhaps I am pretty sure I know the truth, especially if it is on […]

Seven Tips for Communicating Well from St. Ignatius

St. Ignatius must have thought a lot about how to manage oneself in the face of serious differences of opinion. Part of the answer was how he used his communication skills. What pearls of wisdom for communicating well can we glean from Ignatius for our own use? 1. Assume the best in others. Ignatius advised: It should be presupposed that every good Christian ought to be more eager to put a good interpretation on a […]

Little Lesson from St. Ignatius of Loyola

“We should not prefer health to sickness, riches to poverty, honor to dishonor, a long life to a short life. . . . Our one desire and choice should be what is more conducive to the end for which we are created.” —St. Ignatius of Loyola, The Spiritual Exercises We talk a lot about freedom in the United States. Our nation was founded on the principles of freedom and liberty. Ignatius of Loyola recognized that […]

Challenged by Ignatius

I’ve heard Jesuits joke that they’re not afraid to meet Jesus in the hereafter, but they are a bit anxious about meeting St. Ignatius. Jesuits go through rigorous training for many years, and the principles of spirituality Ignatius laid out in the Spiritual Exercises are reinforced again and again. Those of us who are laypeople familiar with the Exercises understand that they are demanding, but we are not likely to experience them as intensely as […]

Writing Letters

Yesterday I sent off 15 letters, one to each of the students in my just-completed course on contemplative traditions in the West. I wrote to give them comments on their final projects and on their overall academic performance, but I closed each note with a few lines appreciating the particular gifts the student had shared with the class. I thanked the student who could be relied on to have brought a map when we were […]

Trust in the Poor Jesus

Jesus’ poverty is central for Ignatius’s Christology; it is at the heart of his being “Eternal King” and “Lord of all the world.” In the meditation on the “two Standards,” riches are the allurement of “the enemy.” One stands with Jesus by one’s willingness to share his poverty. Recall here from his memoirs how determined Inigo was to live by begging while on his pilgrimage to Jerusalem, going so far as to leave behind his […]

The Cave of St. Ignatius

The Jesuits of Catalunya produced a 11-minute video outlining the life story of St. Ignatius Loyola. What differentiates it from other videos on the saint is its focus on Manresa, Spain, with footage from the cave and surrounding area where Ignatius had his vision of “finding God in all things” and composed the Spiritual Exercises. If you’re receiving this via e-mail, click through to watch the video The Cave of St. Ignatius.

Happy Feast Day, St. Ignatius!

Today, on the Feast Day of St. Ignatius Loyola, I offer a prayer. Creator God, who loves pilgrims everywhere, thank you for the journey of your saint, Ignatius of Loyola, who marked the path for those of us who follow his example in following Jesus. Thank you for drawing Ignatius to your grace and to a life of spiritual discovery. Thank you for teaching him about prayer so that he could teach us. Thank you […]

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