What to Worship

Commencement speeches are rarely memorable. An exception is a speech delivered at Kenyon College in 2005 by the novelist David Foster Wallace. Here’s a gem from a speech full of insights: In the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of […]

The Examen with Children

The Examen works for children too. Kimberlee Conway Ireton writes about her experience with it.  “The examen creates a rich tradition for our family of listening and being heard—which is helping all of us learn how to hear and speak not just to one another, but to God as well.” Go here for another look at families praying the Examen together.

The most beautiful thing in the world

…is a child sleeping.  I am sometimes awed by just the feeling that rises up in me when beholding one of my daughters asleep; it is an intense experience of grace. What makes that statement more than pious nonsense, I think, is the fact that the experience can come unbidden even a short time after the child has had a tantrum.  Parenthood can sometimes feel like consolations and desolations on steroids, rushing frenetically on top […]

Ricci's Map

In 1602 the Jesuit Matteo Ricci created a map of the world and presented it to the Chinese emperor.   It was the first world map to combine the geographic knowledge of the west and east.  It is now on display the Library of Congress.  Go here for a Times review of the exhibition.  A scalable version of the map is online at the Tohoku University Library in Japan. Ricci was the first westerner admitted to […]

100,000 Saints

This week Loyola Press sold the 100,000th copy of My Life with the Saints by James Martin, SJ. Very few trade books come anywhere near this milestone. Terry Locke, associate publisher of Loyola Press, noted in a company-wide email that less than 1% of all trade books sell as many as 20,000 copies. The 100,000 mark is especially rare for books on religious themes from Catholic publishers. My Life with the Saints recounts Fr. Martin’s […]

Sexuality and Ignatian Spirituality

Tim Muldoon, who blogs here at dotMagis, has published an excellent article on sexuality and Ignatian spirituality in The Way, a journal published by the British Jesuits.  Here’s a taste: To imitate Christ and to feel as Christ would feel—these constitute the method the Exercises prescribe for deepening union with God. They amount to a discipline of all of one’s senses and emotions, so that these faculties may be put at the disposal of Christ […]

Ignatius Loyola: Saint at a Desk

After battle, vision, journey, and study experiences Ignatius did God’s will in a heroic challenge: He spent years doing administration duties. Writing the Spiritual Exercises Writing the Constitutions Lobbying to get them approved Organizing multiple ministries Constantly writing letters of encouragement Correction, advice to world-scattered  Jesuits And all the time united in prayer Finding God in all this Becoming a saint at a desk! Text by James Hasse, SJ

How to Think about Tiger Woods

Always look for the good in people, said Ignatius Loyola.  He said “be more eager to put a good interpretation on a neighbor’s statement than to condemn it.”  Needless to say, this isn’t always my instinctive response to what others say and do.  So I take to heart this advice from Anthony Bloom, an Orthodox theologian and bishop: Unless we look at a person and see the beauty there is in this person, we can […]

Shared Silence

I am on retreat with some 40 Boston College students. For five days, we are keeping silence together and attending to the mystery of God. During a meeting with other guides, an older Jesuit remarked that those who shared the long retreat–30 days in silence–emerge as lifelong friends, even without having spoken to each other. I believe I understand why. Contemplating the mystery of God in silence is like gazing together at the transfigured Jesus. Sharing such a […]

Christos of the City

I’ve been thinking about the unspeakable horror that has come to Haiti.   This painting, “Christos of the City,” by Dennis McNally, SJ, expresses a truth beyond words.

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