Congressman Cao’s Discernment

Anh “Joseph” Cao got a lot of attention last December when he became the first Vietnamese-American to be elected to Congress. He was in the news again recently when he became the only Republican to vote in favor of the health reform bill that passed the House of Representatives. Cao is a former Jesuit seminarian. In a recent interview, he talked about the importance of Ignatian discernment in his work: I still use the Ignatian […]


Every year some 100,000 undocumented minors are picked up by the U.S. Border Patrol as they try to enter the United States. Posada is a 55-minute documentary film that tells the story of three who stayed. The film was written, produced, and directed by Mark McGregor, SJ, who teaches film at Gonzaga University. He connects the journeys of the three youths to the annual Mexican “Posada” Christmas procession which depicts Mary and Joseph’s search for […]

Spiritual Direction

I’d like to respond to Autumn’s comment to my earlier post about living the “examen”ed life. She asks about what to do when it is difficult to find a spiritual director. Since she raises an important question I thought it more helpful to dedicate a new post to it, rather than bury my response below hers. So, Autumn, thanks for your question. I hope many people have the same problem you do. I don’t mean […]

Best Ignatian Songs: I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For

Our Ignatian song this week is U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” It’s a song of deep spiritual yearning. You broke the bonds And you loosed the chains Carried the cross Of my shame Oh my shame You know I believe it But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for Every time I hear it I think of St. Augustine’s famous saying, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and […]

Celebration of Matteo Ricci, SJ

Next year is the 400th anniversary of the death of Matteo Ricci, SJ, one of the most remarkable of the early Jesuit missionaries.  He was the first to bring European learning and culture to the Chinese.  This is a video marking a special exhibition at the Vatican in honor of Ricci.

The “Examen”ed Life

The fruit of the regular practice of the Examen—or more broadly, the life of regular, cumulative, formative reflection—is living with greater attentiveness, greater readiness, even greater anticipation of God’s whispers. I felt it this evening, running an errand with my older daughter Grace. We searched six stores for an item she needed for a science fair project—in the middle of rush hour!—when at one point it just occurred to me: “I am really enjoying this.” […]

The Conversion of David Neuhaus

David Neuhaus, SJ, is an unusual man.  He was born into a Jewish family in South Africa, which emigrated to Israel when he was teenager.  At age 15 he got to know an elderly Russian Orthodox nun named Mother Barbara.  He was impressed by her joy and serenity.  As he tells the story One day, I plucked up the courage and asked her: Why are you so joyful? She knew I was a Jew and […]

Welcome Tim Muldoon

I have been doing all the blogging at dotMagis since we launched the site in April.  Now I have some company.   Our new blogger is Tim Muldoon, a writer and theologian who works in the Office of Ministry and Mission at Boston College and teaches in the Honors Program. Tim’s first post is immediately below this one.  He will post here regularly. Tim is the author of The Ignatian Workout, an excellent book introducing Ignatian […]

Living with Purpose

In my freshman seminar yesterday, my class and I were discussing Plato’s Republic, and specifically his strong focus on thinking about the good of the city over the good of the individual person.  As usual, my students found this focus somewhat confusing—they (like us) think as free individuals and so are unaccustomed to thinking about their lives being constrained for the purpose of an abstract “common good.” I suggested that the best analogy for our […]

Best Ignatian Songs: Give Me Love

The Ignatian song this week is a ditty called “Give Me Love” by the Beatle George Harrison.  It’s a simple song. The words are not especially deep, but I like the twangy guitar and the upbeat cheer  Give me love–a very Ignatian prayer.   It makes me smile. Here’s a live performance by Harrison.

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