The Grace of Autumn

Autumn Leaves Summer’s end cathedral windows paint pale canvas, dapple our shadows with sight, for colors pieced and patched quilt earth to sky; precious colors once hidden within, made plain by grace, grace us. Fall’s Last Leaves Wild wind drives them, shakes loose last grips sending them hurtling heading who knows where when they catch, to gently find their rest. How like these fall’s last leaves are we, when struggle with wildwind Spirit or Fear […]

How Autumn Can Enhance Your Spiritual Retreat

Shifts between seasons can boost our ability to do spiritual retreat. For instance, in autumn, we experience a natural regrouping; many of us plan as enthusiastically during September as we do in January at the new year. Often, this is a time of assessment on many levels. Autumn is also a time of fade-out leading to winter dormancy. Those of us who live in climates that turn cold and barren feel a definite urge to […]

Autumn Stirs Interior Reflection

Autumn brings with it changes in weather, sending many of us indoors more regularly. We experience bright, sunny days that are quickly followed by torrential rains, cooler temperatures, and even the first flakes of snow. As we move to the interiors of homes and workplaces for refuge from these weather events, it’s a good time to consider the interior of our hearts. God is present with us at all times, of course, but autumn invites […]

Three Ways to Cultivate a Retreat State of Mind

Every year, when autumn rolls around, I want to go on retreat. Maybe it’s the smell of the autumn leaves clothed in brilliance, dancing down to earth, or maybe it’s the crisp air and waning light. Autumn is a feast for the senses, and God’s handiwork is apparent everywhere. Yet, every year without fail, autumn proves a time too busy to get away, even for a weekend. School has just begun, sports are in full […]

Harvesting Treasures

This fall, my two-year-old niece has taken up a fascination with acorns. She clutches as many acorns as she can possibly hold in her toddler-sized hand, leaving one hand free for picking up more. She calls them her “treasures.” As I watch her carefully turn over in her hand each acorn—studying it, delighting in it, proudly presenting her collection to me, and then eagerly looking for more—I feel invited to join her in harvesting treasures […]

September’s Fresh Start

September really is the best month of the year. With September comes that crisp, fresh air with a slight chill in its breath, whispering of the cold to come. The leaves change up our streets from blankets of green into glorious transient masterpieces of awesome color that seem to change just a little each day until one day the wind blows the canvas clean for another year. The children are all decked out in their […]

Pre-Prans with Ruthie

Looking for a tasty fall snack or autumn beverage? This episode of Pre-Prans with Ruthie, the Ignatian cooking show, has some ideas. Host Ruthie Blacksea is also featured in the Food and Faith series from Loyola Press, where she tells us her favorite meal to cook and shares some thoughts about how cooking is prayerful. If you’re receiving this via e-mail, click through to watch the video Pre-Prans with Ruthie.

Autumn Times of Prayer

Colorful foliage is at the heart of autumn where I live. In a good year with plenty of rain the past spring and summer, the hues are spectacular and varied. I remember learning some years ago that while we might think of green as the leaf’s “real” color, the chlorophyll that gives the leaf its color is masking the deeper colors beneath. Only when the chlorophyll disappears as the tree prepares to shed its leaves, […]