Marriage as Conversion

A member of Contemplative Leaders in Action, my former student E. writes a lovely blog, A Call to Joy. In light of recent news about the Synod on the Family, which is addressing neuralgic questions about the Church’s ministry, it is fruitful to share her meditations on being called to marriage. On the one hand, it feels impossible to capture the intimate mix of joy and sacrifice, of both lighthearted and difficult conversations, of learning how to balance my […]

Conversion and Car Keys

I’m a convert. Sometimes my conversion experience piques the interest of cradle Catholics, who are eager to hear about the idea of choosing a faith into which they were born (while I admire the depth of faith in which lifelong Catholics are steeped). Yet while my initial conversion was moving, it was but a brief moment. Conversion is not a single movement, but an ongoing experience. The Greek term for conversion, metanoia, means to turn […]

Praying with Your Feelings

In the Spiritual Exercises, Ignatius Loyola teaches ways to pray with our feelings. Engaging our emotions in prayer is key for conversion and discernment. I explain in today’s video contribution to An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. If you’re receiving this via e-mail, click through to watch the Week 7 video Praying with Your Feelings.

Radical Change

The radical change in Ignatius’s conversion story—his stark change from military man to extreme follower of Christ—intrigues young adults. I cannot count the number of times that a retreatant has approached me on a Charis retreat to find out more about this part of Ignatius’s story. As I share it with them, I often find us laughing at the length that Ignatius went to try to follow Christ and imitate St. Francis of Assisi and […]

Young Adult and Layman

One of my greatest joys in life is journeying with those in their 20s and 30s in my work with Charis Ministries, and even more specifically, sharing with them the gifts and joys of Ignatian spirituality. At the beginning of every Charis retreat, we take the time to share St. Ignatius’s story. I am always amazed at how much his story speaks to the young adults and how much they find encouragement and inspiration in […]

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 […]

The Power of a Book

Here is a fascinating conversion story by a blogger named Webster Bull.  The decisive moment in his spiritual journey came when he wandered into Borders and picked up a copy of My Life with the Saints by Jim Martin, SJ, the bestselling memoir about the author’s personal attachment to 24 saints. I began attending mass the morning after I bought the books, by which time the fire in my heart had burned away any trace […]