Who, Me?

This post is based on Week Five of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. The Gospel stories of the call of the first disciples are often cited as models of the call to a religious vocation: an explicit call (“Come, follow me,” Matthew 4:19) and an immediate response that takes the form of leaving everything behind (“at once they left their nets;” “immediately they left the boat and their father,” 4:20, 4:22). In Luke’s version, they “left […]

Letting This Lent Be God’s

What if this Lent we didn’t approach the practices of prayer, almsgiving, and fasting with an eye to what we can do to transform ourselves, but rather with an eye to what God wants to do in order to transform us? Too often we approach Lent as though it were a series of New Year’s resolutions: to give up a particular bad habit, or share more with the poor, or be more faithful to prayer. […]

Saying “Yes” to the Call

This post is based on Week Five of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. It is a gift to witness the profound transformation that happens in a person when he or she grows deeper in relationship with God and makes the Spiritual Exercises. Walking others through them also gives me a deeper appreciation for my own experience of making the Spiritual Exercises. The graces of the Exercises are still abundantly present in my life today. I look […]

Why the Son Came into Our Flesh

About discerning our call or vocation, the first thing to say is that we all share in the greatest one. God “calls humankind to seek him, to know him, and to love him with all our strength.” This is God’s call to all, and it tells about God’s dream: an earth peopled with lovers—with those who let the Holy Spirit lead them to love God, love one another, and love themselves—passionately and well. How is […]

No Monopoly on Holiness

Sometimes the hardest part of the day is getting out of bed. The weight of my anxiety is sometimes so heavy that it paralyzes. There’s so much to do, so much to accomplish, so many people to help, so much that is required of me that staying in bed sounds like a good option, but it’s the biggest barrier to my own greatness. Some days are worse than others. However, on my good days, instead […]

Holy Stretching

St. Ignatius opens his Spiritual Exercises with a comparison of the work of bodily exercises to the effort of our spiritual lives: For just as taking a walk, journeying on foot, and running are bodily exercises, so we call Spiritual Exercises every way of preparing and disposing the soul to rid of itself of all inordinate attachments. (SE 1) I feel like there is something Ignatius forgot to mention in his comparison of physical exercises […]

Listening and Continuously Engaging the Call

Some years ago, I became aware of the call to return to college for a Masters degree in Religious Education. At first it was a nudge, then a pressing thought, until it had soon become a burning desire which I could no longer ignore. An Ivy League grad and mother of three, I had spent the last 12 years as a teacher both to my own children and as a catechist to many of the […]

We Can Be More Fully Ourselves

When I was a Jesuit, people often told me I had a higher calling. It seems common language for those who’ve felt called to priesthood or religious life, but I don’t believe anyone has a “higher” calling. We’re all simply called to be the people God made us. God calls us to all sorts of paths, choices, and careers, but none is higher than another. If we’ve truly discerned what we’re good at and confirm […]

Our Human Need for Happiness and Fulfillment (A Letter)

A reader wrote and asked: How does Ignatian spirituality address the human need for happiness and fulfillment of the whole person? Dear Ignatian Friend, Thank you for this question! While I know I do not have all the answers nor the space to give as thorough an answer as I would like, I do want to offer a few ideas on how I believe Ignatian spirituality helps us address our human need for happiness and […]

Take Courage

One thing about Ignatius—he had courage. Common sense isn’t always apparent in his early life; humility came later, too, and Ignatius grew into his relationship with God, as we all do. But whether it was misdirected or not in his youth, his fearlessness has always been apparent. Maybe because I never feel like I have enough courage, Mark’s Gospel about Bartimaeus caught my attention recently. The blind man sits at the side of the road […]