How Jesus Responds to Suffering

Perhaps you’ve participated in a Stations of the Cross service this Lent. This devotion is well-suited to an Ignatian approach, as Gary Jansen suggests. Jansen is the author of Station to Station: An Ignatian Journey through the Stations of the Cross. “As Jesus responds to his sorrow, he is expressing to us the best of what it means to be human,” writes Jansen. Consider how Jesus responds to suffering, taking the brief video below as […]

What Do You Really Want?

This post is based on Week Five of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. This week provides an opportunity to delve into a very deep question: What do you want? What do you really want? What is your heart’s deepest desire? This can be quite a confronting question. In today’s culture, we are bombarded with so many messages about whom we should be and what we should do in order to be happy: own this car, live […]

Wonder and Faith

“Faith is not fearful of reason.” —Pope Francis, in On Faith Every morning, I walk my son through the hallway of my school on his way to kindergarten next door. And often somewhere along the journey, he discovers a new machine that fascinates him. One morning, it was the printer. “Mom, what’s this white machine?” he asked. “A printer,” I replied. He went on to ask me about every piece of the printer, from the […]

Listening for God Through Spiritual Direction

There is nothing more beautiful than listening for God through spiritual direction. I understand this gift both from sitting in a chair as a spiritual director and as the one sitting in the directee’s chair, being listened to by the holy listener sitting across from me. Sitting in both chairs increases my faith and deepens my relationship with God. What is spiritual direction? This is a question people ask me often. Spiritual direction is holy […]

Encounters in Imaginative Prayer

This post is based on Week Four of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. When preparing to enter into imaginative prayer, I always pray that the Holy Spirit leads me and even surprises me. While I can think I know what the Gospel story is about, I pray that I may hand over my imagination so that I may experience myself in the scene, to be one of the people in Mary’s or Jesus’ presence. Allow me […]

Courage’s Role in Discernment

When it comes to discernment, sometimes another word for faith is courage. We ask the Holy Spirit to lead us to the best decision: the choice that honors God the choice that makes use of the gifts God has given us the choice that does the most to further God’s kingdom on earth. We go through various steps and processes through which discernment can take place. For instance: We explore the pros and cons of […]

Wandering into the Sweetness of Lent

Recently, I sat down with one of my favorite Gospel passages, Luke 6:27–38. One phrase caught my attention: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.” (Luke 6:38) This phrase brought to mind a vivid memory of my mother teaching me to make chocolate chip cookies. “You only […]

Sin, the Breaking of Relationship

This post is based on Week Three of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. Growing up, I understood sin to mean being “off the mark” or “off target.” I have an image of an archer lining up to shoot the arrow, which when released, abruptly lands on the outer edge of the target perimeter. I missed. And so it is with sin, particularly in my personal relationship with God. If I believe that God dwells within me […]

Letting Go of the Shades

I remember the time I was praying silently in the living room very early in the morning, before my little ones were awake. It was prior to my father’s death from cancer, when my sister and I, many miles apart, were praying simultaneously thanks to prearranged appointments on our calendars. I sat alone, criss cross-legged in the middle of the room, with sunlight just beginning to filter through the partially closed mini blinds in front […]

A Patient Lent

When March rolls around in New England, I eagerly look forward to the arrival of spring and new plant life, only to discover that, same as last year, meteorological spring comes a lot sooner than the “spring” soil that allows the ground to be workable and new life to emerge. I am not an especially patient person. I hate waiting and doing nothing and the frustration that ensues when the ground and cold weather seem […]

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