Listening for God in People

Do you ever have a moment when God speaks clearly to you through another person? I had one of those moments recently during lunch with friends. As is often the case, our conversation wove in and out of parenting woes and joys, to our children, to what was going on in our faith lives, to our hopes and our struggles, to what was going on in the world. My friend, Kelly, asked me at some […]

How Shall We Live?

As I entered my dorm on my first day at college, I read the writing on the wall: “How, then, shall we live?” I interpreted it as a simple question relating to dorm life, something akin to, “How are you going to live together, being conscious of your roommate?” By the time I finished my four years of Jesuit education, I realized that this question was much more complex than I had understood it to […]

An Ignatian Pilgrimage Week #4: The Legacy of St. Ignatius

One year after Pope Paul III approved the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits elected Ignatius Loyola to be Superior General of their Society, in 1541. Ignatius tried to reject this appointment, but after he was voted to the position three times, he accepted that this was God’s will for him and the Jesuits. The man who had dreamed first of serving God in Jerusalem and then of spreading the Gospel throughout the world would, for […]

Imaginative Prayer: Lunch with Christ

As a child I felt God’s presence strongly. I remember digging in my sandbox with Jesus or reading a picture book with him. It seemed every good thing was a delight God had left just for me to discover. I felt assured of God’s love as I felt his presence close. Now, as an adult, the world’s volume is much louder than it was for me as a child. It has become more difficult to […]

Finding Space for Play and Wonder

In Plato’s dialogue Theaetetus, Socrates says, “All philosophy begins in wonder” (155d). I recently thought of this in the midst of a discussion of Jesus’ idea that one must be a child to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 18:3). Children love to ask “why” questions. Why are there clouds in the sky? Why do birds sing? Why do all the flowers not bloom at the same time? Some questioning is about a desire […]

An Ignatian Pilgrimage Week #3: Preparation for a Life’s Vocation

Ignatius Loyola went through a conversion experience while he was recuperating from battle wounds. However, the transformation was not over. In fact, the most critical months were ahead of him—months that would prepare him for the life to which God was calling him. After Ignatius laid down his sword before Our Lady of Montserrat, he traveled down the mountain to Manresa. There, a woman named Inez Pascual, who would remain a friend throughout his life, […]

How to Get Unstuck

I believe that one of the biggest obstacles to a person living her values is the ease at which we get stuck on any given day. And it’s rarely the big events that hold us back but the smaller, relentless thoughts, attitudes, and fears that show up all the time. When I encounter a big problem, such as a job change or a death in the family, I’m on high alert for whatever opposes God’s […]

The Devil in a Piece of Pie

Waiting for a friend at a local coffee shop, I used my smartphone to read a portion of the first letter of John. God took the initiative to sit with me in that moment. My heart was deeply at peace. I was aware of a presence beyond myself. I was warmed by God loving me. I breathed deeply, looked out the window at freshly mown grass and marveled. I was glad my friend was late. […]

An Ignatian Pilgrimage Week #2: The Injury That Changed Everything

Ignatius Loyola became a soldier, and in 1521 he found himself and his small group of fellow warriors defending the fortress of Pamplona against the French. They were seriously outnumbered, and a more prudent—and less zealous—leader might have negotiated a surrender, but Ignatius was not the type to do anything halfway. They were roundly defeated by the French, and during the battle a cannonball ripped through Ignatius’s legs, leaving a mangled mess. Because Ignatius was […]

Learning from Our Elders as Mentors

In her post, “Five Tips for Beating Loneliness from St. Ignatius,” Rebecca Ruiz quotes Mark Thibodeaux, SJ, on the need for “good mentors, good companions, and a strong link to the church.” A mentor may well be someone from an older generation. At the 2018 Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, Loyola Press asked people about Pope Francis’s message to honor the wisdom and lives of the older generations. One of the questions was, “What is […]

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