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.

What the Spiritual Exercises Do

The Exercises give us the confidence that grows from personal experience, says Jim Conroy, SJ, on Busted Halo.  “It gives to men and women who have that experience of God the ability to speak out of that truth of their experience. It’s not what Father said or what Sister said; it’s what I know from my own relationship with God. Now that’s all informed by our theology and by our faith, but to have legitimate […]

Jesuits in Detroit

Time magazine profiles University of Detroit Jesuit High School, the only Catholic college-prep school left in the city.  Last year, 99 percent of its graduates were accepted into college.  Most students volunteer some of their time in community projects. Students are told hundreds of times during their education at U of D that they are training to become community leaders, what the Jesuits call “men for others.” The phrase comes up in nearly every conversation […]

Last Things

Before All Souls Day recedes too far, read this powerful piece by Michelle Francl-Donnay about  facing the reality of one’s death.  She refers to the last days of the Jesuit Alfred Delp, killed by the Nazis: Delp’s final writings, smuggled out of prison on bits of torn newspaper, speak poignantly of how difficult he found living in this liminal time, literally on the threshold between life and death. I’m coming to realize that this is […]

The Art of James Hasse, SJ

James Hasse, SJ, is an artist who has ministered in African-American parishes for more than 40 years. He says, “When I do my art I am surrounded by beautiful faces and souls. Friends, neighbors, and parishioners are both my inspiration and models. I believe that we are all God’s Work of Art, the Body of Christ, living Gospel, walking, singing, dancing Sacraments. My paintings are an attempt to give visual expression to these realities. Scripture […]

Best Ignatian Songs: Heavenly Day

This week’s Ignatian song is the lovely ballad “Heavenly Day,” written by the eclectic folk-county-rock artist Patty Griffin. I ran across it about the time I was reading an article on the Daily Examen. The Examen is a review of the day that begins with praise and thanksgiving. This song expresses that spirit perfectly. Lyrics here. Here is a performance by Griffin.

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