Bodies, Beauty, and the Grace of the First Week

Sticking with the theme of new year’s resolutions, I’ve been thinking about a common one: getting fit. It struck me yesterday, while watching a Boston College women’s basketball game with my two girls, 10 and 7.  Lots of talent on the floor, on both sides of the ball; it was fun to watch, especially with my ten year-old, who was watching with her own basketball team. It’s kind of a truism that sports are good […]

A Jesuit Off-Broadway

A Jesuit Off-Broadway is Fr. Jim Martin’s account of his involvement with a theater troupe putting on the play “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot.”  The play has a compelling premise; at the behest of St. Monica, Judas is plucked out of hell and put on trial for his act of betrayal.  Fr. Martin was asked to help the playwright and actors understand the theological and historical issues.  The book is a fascinating look at […]

Weekend Reading

Jim Martin, SJ, on finding God in hard times. An evangelical compares three versions of the Anima Christi prayer. What Nathan O’Halloran, SJ, learned in 2009. Jake Martin, SJ, on Crazy Heart. Joe Koczera, SJ, on Alfred Delp’s idea of happiness.

The Spiritual Exercises and Ignatian Work

Maureen Waldron of Creighton University thinks that Jesuits should make special efforts to expand the ministry of the Spiritual Exercises to include the lay people who work in Jesuit/Ignatian ministries. “Freely offering them the Exercises, will support partners in ministry in exploring more deeply the roots of Ignatian spirituality and help them have a clearer understanding of the spirit and mission of these shared ministries,” she writes. Read the whole thing. Waldron, who blogs here […]

Resolutions?

I’m not one to make new year’s resolutions, but because my calendar now says 2010 I can’t help but think a little about them. I just finished a review of Christopher Jamison’s fine book Finding Happiness, which is perfect for those of a resolution frame of mind. Written by a Benedictine abbot (of Worth Abbey, in Sussex), the book looks at the development of the philosophy of happiness in the West, from the Greeks into […]

An Akpan Story

Last week the New Yorker published a short story by Uwem Akpan, SJ, a Nigerian Jesuit who made the news last September when Oprah Winfrey picked his short story collection Say You’re One of Them for her book club.  The new story is called “Baptizing the Gun.”  It’s narrated by a Nigerian priest who wishes he had donned clerical garb before setting off on a journey across Lagos.

The Grace of a Cheerful Heart

Let us seek the grace of a cheerful heart, an even temper, sweetness, gentleness, and brightness of mind, as walking in His light, and by His grace. Let us pray Him to give us the spirit of ever-abundant, ever-springing love, which overpowers and sweeps away the vexations of life by its own richness and strength, and which above all things unites us to Him Who is the fountain and the center of all mercy, loving-kindness […]

Best Ignatian Songs: Jesus Ahatonhia

“Jesus ahatonhia,” our last Christmas song of the season, is probably the first Christmas carol written in North America. The title means “Jesus, he is born” in the language of the Huron/Wendat native people of Canada. The Jesuit martyr St. Jean de Brébeuf wrote the song in that language. It is a good example of the way the early Jesuit missionaries adapted the ideas and imagery of native people to express Christian concepts. Here is […]

Peter Canisius

December 21 is the feast of another great Jesuit saint, Peter Canisius. Let this post represent a shout-out to Buffalo’s Canisius College and Canisius High School; Jakarta’s Canisius College (secondary school); and Berlin’s Canisius Kolleg (secondary school). The Dutch-born Canisius (1521-1597) was one of the early first-generation Jesuits. He met Pierre Favre, one of Ignatius’ roommates at the University of Paris and one of the original seven members of the Society; Pierre led him through […]

Ron Hansen on Faith and Fiction

“Faith and Fiction” is a wonderful lecture by Ron Hansen delivered some years ago and recently posted on the web by the University of Santa Clara, where Hansen teaches.  If you have a liking for religious fiction, I urge you to read his novels Mariette in Ecstasy and Atticus.  The lecture concludes with this: Writing with faith is a form of praying. Evelyn Waugh maintained prayer ought to consist of adoration, contrition, thanksgiving, and supplication. […]

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