Seagulls as an Image of the Evil Spirit

I like to watch seagulls as they glide across the sky, but as with many of God’s creatures, we can have negative interactions with them as well. This past summer on retreat, I spent much of my time praying near the ocean. One day I watched as seagulls chased down a fishing boat. A flock of seagulls repeatedly dove in, attempting to steal some of the haul from the boat as it sailed forward in […]

Try Story

I love that Christianity is all about story. It is rooted in the immense narratives of the Old Testament and comes to bloom in the strange and wonderful story of Jesus. We believe that true life is not a string of truths or a complex philosophy or a system of rules and moral codes. No, our faith is best represented by a phrase such as, “In the beginning . . .” or, “There once was […]

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, […]

Six Ways to Let Children Lead Us in Finding God

As adults, we’re quite accomplished at making things complicated. Prayer, for example. Or, finding God in all things. We can turn a simple concept of paying attention into a theological puzzle, can’t we? Fortunately, God designed humans to start out small and grow up gradually. So the world is never populated only by adults. We have children to balance our adult-ness, which is a great blessing. Do you want to find God in all things […]

Breathing

While we’re often called to actively participate in God’s good work in the world, sometimes God tells us to stop for a bit and just receive. Sometimes I have a lot of trouble actually stopping. So, God makes it very clear, sending things like summer break, people who make a point of telling me to stop and recharge, and these poems. Stop Being Bound Stop being bound by the gift of time; unsnare yourself from […]

An Interview with Author Jim Manney—and Your Chance to Win an Ignatian Inspiration Pack!

As we draw near the close of our 31 Days with St. Ignatius celebration, we asked Ignatian Spirituality A to Z author Jim Manney a few questions. Check out his answers, and then scroll down for your chance to win an Ignatian Inspiration Pack, which includes a copy of Ignatian Spirituality A to Z. Loyola Press: What criteria did you use for deciding what terms or people made it into Ignatian Spirituality A to Z? […]

The Wisdom App

Have you heard about the app that turns you into a happier, more grateful person, that makes you feel more balanced and peaceful, and that keeps you focused and on track every day? I sometimes call it “The Wisdom App,” even though the app’s developer originally used a different name (more on that later). The app is free, and you don’t even need a smartphone to use it. Here’s how it works: you commit to […]

Ignatian Gratitude: Encounter and Response

With rapt attention, I watched the rescue of the boys’ soccer team in Thailand. The boys were stranded by rising waters in a cave. People from all over the world came together in treacherous conditions to pull the boys back from the brink of death into the light of day. When all of the boys finally emerged safely, it seemed the whole world breathed a sigh of relief. Joyful prayers of gratitude arose from around […]

Pilgrimage

Immediately after his recovery from the wounds of battle sustained at Pamplona, St. Ignatius set out to make a pilgrimage to the Benedictine monastery of Montserrat in Spain. There he spent an all-night vigil before the Black Madonna and surrendered his sword to her. This marked the formal ending to any hopes of a military career and his total dedication to serving Christ under the patronage of Our Lady. It also marked Ignatius’s recognition that […]

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