Praying Through Suffering

In his book, The Ignatian Adventure, Kevin O’Brien, SJ, writes: In the third week of the Exercises, Ignatius invites us to consider how Jesus’ divinity ‘hides itself’ (SE 196). We must not easily explain away the suffering we encounter. Jesus is not merely playacting his way through a passion play. We must take Jesus’ humanity seriously enough to realize just how much he loves us. (227) In what moment is Jesus’ divinity more hidden than […]

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 […]

Training Catherine

Catherine is a fairly new volunteer at the thrift store. I have taken her under my wing to train her in the spiritual path of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. She has a natural concern for the poor, so training her is really a matter of letting her absorb the joy of meeting the people who come into the shop. In almost every situation her heart bends toward compassion, and there is little […]

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 […]

Celebrating Five Years with Pope Francis

Loyola Press—the sponsor of—celebrates the fifth anniversary of the election of Pope Francis. In honor of the occasion, enjoy this brief video that describes the relationship between Pope Francis and Loyola Press. Watch the full version of the video here. On that page, you’ll also find mini-posters with some quotes from the Pope on the theme of hope, the How Well Do You Know Pope Francis? quiz, links to purchase books from the Pope […]

Cooking the Passover Meal for Jesus

“Who’s doing the haroset? These apples should’ve been chopped by now!” “Judith, where’s the rest of the matzah?” The tantalizing aroma of perfectly prepared lamb fills the crowded room. Noisy conversation buzzes all around. To paraphrase the youngest child, this night is different from every other Passover I’ve ever prepared. I’m standing in the doorway of the upper room, watching Jesus. It’s difficult to pay attention, because I’m so distracted. I wish I had another […]

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 […]

Mindfulness and the Holy Spirit

If you have paid much attention at all to articles, podcasts, and books on spirituality, then you have come across the word mindfulness. This is a general term for paying attention, being truly present to the moment at hand. And this word is used in various religious traditions. How can we consider mindfulness in our Christian faith? Paying attention and being present are perfectly in line with Christian belief and practice. I think, though, that […]

Pope Francis: His Five-Year Anniversary

As an editor for a Jesuit publisher, I was on high alert the moment the world learned that Argentinian Jesuit Jorge Bergoglio had become the new Pope Francis. Many of us didn’t know who this man was. What was he like? What kind of pope would he be? He did not leave us in suspense for long. From his first moments on that balcony at St. Peter’s, facing his new flock, when he gave a […]

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