Surviving Desolation

Some friends are having a hard time lately, so I reread this piece called “How to Survive Desolation.”  It’s an excellent summary of what Ignatius had to say about coping with hard times.  At the end the author says that Ignatius’ most profound insight was his focus on “sufficient grace.”  Says Ignatius:  “A person who is in desolation should recall that he can do much to withstand all of his enemies by using the sufficient […]

Different Sins for Different Sexes

Men and women struggle with different sins, according to research carried out by Roberto Busa, SJ, a Jesuit scholar.  Fr. Busa studied the sins men and women confess and found striking differences in the frequency of sins.  His list: Men 1. Lust 2. Gluttony 3. Sloth 4. Anger 5. Pride 6. Envy 7. Greed Women 1. Pride 2. Envy 3. Anger 4. Lust 5. Gluttony 6. Avarice 7. Sloth Fr. Jim Martin at America magazine […]

Jesuits as Soldiers

It’s a common misconception that Ignatius Loyola set up the Jesuits along military lines, with a warlike outlook, a rigid chain of command, and unthinking obedience. Wrong, as Nathan O’Halloran explains in this post. Ignatius may have used military language, but it meant something far different than it means today. The knights Ignatius admired were following a person: These knights were models for Ignatius precisely insofar as they made particular elections for the sake of […]

Spiritual Exercises in Art

This is a stained glass window created by Dennis McNally, SJ, depicting three of the principal meditations in the Spiritual Exercises.  The artist explains: The Principle and Foundation is depicted on the left as abstracted wheat and grapes cascading from heaven with two hands holding a terrestrial globe on which is planted the cross of Christ, with the Lord Crucified. All is gift to be seen against the backdrop of God’s purpose. The Two Standards […]

Best Ignatian Songs: Jesus Was an Only Son

“Some people pray, some people play music,” Bruce Springsteen once said, but it’s pretty obvious that Bruce prays with much of the music he makes. He went to St. Rose of Lima Elementary School in Freehold, New Jersey.  Catholic imagery often appears in his music.  One critic calls him the greatest Catholic poet of our time. But there’s more to it than imagery.  Springsteen appears to be a man of real spiritual depth.  This comes […]

Prayer for Humility

Let me have too deep a sense of humor ever to be proud. Let me know my absurdity before I act absurdly. Let me realize that when I am humble I am most human, most truthful, and most worthy of your serious consideration. —Daniel A. Lord, SJ From Hearts on Fire: Praying with Jesuits

More on Avery Dulles

I wasn’t the only one blogging about Avery Dulles yesterday.  Here is a fine post about his conversion to Catholicism while an undergraduate at Harvard.

Emergency at Homeboy Industries

The recession and California’s budget woes have devastated Homeboy Industries, the acclaimed non-profit that serves former gang members in Los Angeles.  Fr. Greg Boyle, SJ, founder of Homeboy, says that the organization has lost about 40 percent of its $9 million budget.  Donations have plummeted and the state and private companies have cancelled contracts because of their own budget problems.  Many services are about to be eliminated.  See this AP story for the ugly details. […]

Dulles on Faith

Cardinal Avery Dulles, SJ, who died late last year, was one of the most readable theologians. America magazine recently published a short essay of his on the nature of faith. In it, Dulles challenges the notion that we don’t have to understand what we believe. “Faith is not an empty sack that can equally well be filled by anything God chooses to say. The doctrines are articulations of what faith, in its inner reality, already is. They illuminate […]

Acting "As If"

When things aren’t going well we carry on anyway.  Sometimes friends advise us to act “as if” life was going better than it actually is.  It’s good advice, but acting “as if” sometimes feels like a ill-fitting suit.  It’s uncomfortable, somewhat hypocritical: George Aschenbrenner, SJ, would have us think again. Acting “as if” is a sign of maturity.  In an article about the “the spiritual blahs,” he says: Rather than hypocrisy, we are here in […]

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