What Is Your Image of God?

Recently, I had an enlightening conversation with friends about how we envision God. It’s a really interesting question, because how we imagine God determines how we relate to God. For instance, if I see God as an old, bearded man on a cloud, I will find it pretty difficult to relate to him. I’m not really well-versed in talking with old men who live on clouds and, in fact, I don’t know anyone who lives […]

Picking Up the Ringing Phone of Prayer

At the Apostleship of Prayer, Philip Kosloski offers advice for What to do when nothing “happens” during prayer. Too often our problem with prayer is that we are not responding to God’s invitation to love and are searching for God in the clouds, not realizing that he is already here, waiting for us. God reassures us that he is here and waiting for our response through the prophet Jeremiah, “And you shall call upon me, […]

Relationship with Jesus

Let the risen Jesus enter your life—welcome him as a friend, with trust: he is life! If up till now you have kept him at a distance, step forward. He will receive you with open arms. If you have been indifferent, take a risk; you won’t be disappointed. If following him seems difficult, don’t be afraid. Trust him, be confident that he is close to you, that he is with you, and he will give […]

Prayer Is the Sharing of Presence

When I spend time with a friend, I want that person’s presence. After a while, a phone call or an e-mail just isn’t good enough—I want a body to hug, a face to gaze upon, the whole person behind the phone voice and the written words. God wants our whole presence, not just our thoughts flung heavenward when we have a second and just our emotional overflow when the day has gone sour. Prayer is […]

Andy Otto on the Fifth Week

The Spiritual Exercises are divided into four phases, called “weeks.” After the retreat experience is over, however, we face “the Fifth Week”—the rest of our lives. Andy Otto explains: A retreat director once told me as my retreat was ending that as I went back to daily life the graces I gained on the retreat were mine. I could go back to them any time I wanted. Our encounter with God whether on a retreat […]

Prayer Brings God into the Messy Rooms

When my son was in third grade, he was asked, “What would you do if you had an hour with Jesus?” Depicted with smiling stick figures of himself and Jesus, he wrote, “I would show him my room.” At the time his room was his pride and joy. He had decorated every inch of wall space with images from all the cultures he loved, newspaper headlines of sports victories, t-shirts that were too precious to […]

Arts & Faith: Lent—Fourth Sunday Imaginative Prayer Exercise

Each week of Lent, we’ll provide an Ignatian prayer for you, inspired by a video from Arts & Faith: Lent. The video and prayer for the Fourth Week of Lent, Cycle B, are based on John 3:14–21. The art is James Tissot’s “Interview between Jesus and Nicodemus.” Jesus said to Nicodemus: “And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light…For all who do evil hate […]

Lenten Meditation 1: Friendship with God

I maintain that God—out of the abundance of divine relational life, not any need for us—desires humans into existence for the sake of friendship. This thesis may sound strange, because it runs counter to much teaching about God. To be honest, I questioned it myself when I first began to think it through. But over the years, as my own relationship with God has deepened and I have listened to people talk about how God […]

God Came to Tea

God came and sat down with me. I asked God to tea. God sat there in the kitchen and smiled at me. But I stumbled and mumbled, afraid just to speak. It was my invitation, yet how could this be? I poured God some tea and started to cry. God patiently waited, but finally asked why. I couldn’t begin, I was afraid just to start. What could I say, since God knows my heart? Do […]

Friends with the Lord

Recall the last time you had a heart-to-heart conversation with a friend. It required the letting down of guards, and it probably involved the discussion of matters that were intimately personal. Perhaps you were seeking advice, and perhaps advices were given; what mattered at the end was the friend’s presence. Our hearts were exposed, but they were also transformed. The same goes for our friendship with God. It will change us, and changes can be […]

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