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 […]

Reviewing the Feelings of Our Day

Reviewing the events of our day, either to thank God or to know our sins, is familiar enough. Reviewing the feelings that those events generate is a new approach for many people. A good way to begin is, “Lord, where have I heard your voice, and how have I responded?” Sometimes a strong emotion immediately surfaces. I was deeply saddened to get a letter from the son of an old friend telling me of her […]

Finding God in Negative Emotions

While we often rightly emphasize the role of consolation in Ignatian spirituality, I have recently been thinking more about finding God in negative emotions. I don’t here mean when we feel sadness, anger, disappointment, or other strong emotions, that God comes to comfort, soothe, or encourage us. That’s also true, but here I am thinking of cases in which negative emotions—that is, emotions that don’t feel good—already indicate the presence of God. Here are three […]

The History of One Day

You can look at the day you just lived through, and notice certain things. The physical: What did you see? What did you hear? Taste? Smell? Touch? What was the weather like? How was the sky? What impact did all of these sensual elements have on you? The emotional: What were the primary emotions of the day? When did you feel most emotionally alive, and when were your emotions more muted? What part of your […]