Praying on Holy Saturday

After the powerful days of Holy Thursday and Good Friday, knowing how to pray on Holy Saturday can feel a bit uncertain. Easter has not yet arrived, and yet the intensity of praying with the Passion has passed. Although surely there are practical things to do in order to get ready for Easter—clothes to press, a meal to prepare—skipping over Holy Saturday never feels quite right to me. At the same time, how to proceed […]

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 […]

Triduum Poems

Sunsong (Gethsemane prayer, Holy Thursday) sunlight pours upon the field in early autumn. wheat grows thin, nourishing the wind. soft-spoken daffodils wait for the tide, sheltered only by a song. now shall my song be lifted. poems of dawn born on spirit’s breath tremble in the darkness. winter-cold night lies deep upon us. petals torn, my heart has been rent from me. yet I will trust a little longer, clinging to this song, that you […]

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 IgnatianSpirituality.com—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 […]

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