Epiphany on the Metro

A friend of mine sent me this piece in the Washington Post written several years ago by William Blazek, SJ.  It’s the account of a ride one morning on the DC Metro–a delightful example of finding God in all things, including a moment of epiphany: That ordinary morning, on a plunging high-speed run through Foggy Bottom, three stops north of the Pentagon, but before the Red Line transfer at Metro Center, the engines wound up […]

Best Ignatian Songs: All Along the Watchtower

My Ignatian song pick this week pays homage to one of the greatest songwriters. He’s Bob Dylan, and the song is the haunting and enigmatic classic “All Along the Watchtower.” Dylan wrote it and performed it in the sixties, and it’s been covered by Jimi Hendrix, U2, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, and other rockers. The lyrics are evocative: There must be some way out of here, said the joker to the thief, There’s too much […]

Ignatius the Intense

At his People for Others blog, my friend Paul Campbell has trouble coming up with “five fun facts” about Ignatius Loyola.  One of them is the fact that Ignatius was hauled up several times before the Spanish Inquisition. This got me thinking about the personalities of saints.  There aren’t many  “fun” facts about Ignatius because Ignatius was probably not much of a fun guy.  I think he was pretty intense.  He seems to have had […]

Jesuit Vocations

About 280 men are currently in Jesuit formation in the United States.  The Jesuits are praying for more.  Being good disciples of Ignatius Loyola, they are also working to encourage vocations as well as praying for them.  An article in Holy Cross Magazine describes how this works on one Jesuit campus.  The idea of a vocation gets “mentioned.”  One of the most effective “mentioners” isn’t even a Jesuit.

Best Ignatian Songs: Holy Now

Ignatius Loyola experienced a profound mystical vision on the banks of the Cardoner river in northern Spain.  He did not describe it any detail.  He merely remarked in his autobiography that he learned more about God in the brief moments of this vision than he did in years of study and prayer. The vision seems to have opened Ignatius’ eyes to the presence of God everywhere.  It’s what he was getting at in the Contemplation […]

Finding God in ALL Things?

The Ignatian phrase “Finding God in All Things” is like the mysterious verse of St. Paul’s: “pray without ceasing” (followed immediately in 1 Thessalonians by “In all circumstances give thanks”). You ask, “how is that possible?” and “what does that really mean?” There’s no pat answer to these questions, but this video has much insight into the incarnational quality of Ignatian spirituality that gives rise to the idea that we can find God in all things. Take […]

The New Atheists on YouTube

Fr. Robert Barron writes in America magazine’s new Books and Culture section about the response to his YouTube videos on the reasonableness of faith.  The reaction, at least according to the comments, has been overwhelmingly negative. Most objectors show one one of four attitudes:  scientism, ecclesial angelism, biblical fundamentalism, and Marcionism (distaste for the supposedly violent and unforgiving God of the Old Testament). Here’s what he says to critics who ask him how we know […]

Best Ignatian Songs: For Unto Us a Child Is Born

Christ is at the center of Ignatian spirituality. Much of the Spiritual Exercises consists of meditations on the gospel accounts of the life of Jesus. The first of these is a meditation on Jesus’ birth. In David Fleming’s paraphrase: To be able to enter into the deep-down stillness of this night, to be able to see this very human baby with all the wonder which comes from eyes of faith, to watch how Mary and […]

Billy Collins

I wasn’t surprised to find out that the poet Billy Collins is a Jesuit alum (Holy Cross ’63).  There’s a distinctly Ignatian tone in this quote: “I feel now that my sense of the spiritual is directly connected to my sense of wonder, my ability to be amazed by the fact of my existence in all its vital impermanence and by the spectacular environment I wake up to every morning. I am guessing that this […]

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