Riding the Wave of God’s Surprises

Today the Lord invites us to assume an attitude of humble listening and docile waiting, because the grace of God often presents itself to us in surprising ways, which don’t line up with our expectations. —Pope Francis, July 8, 2018 I am most aware of God’s handiwork in my day when I remember Pope Francis’s advice to let God surprise us. So, when he revisited this theme last month, it renewed my resolve to step […]

Staying Curious

In his ministry, Jesus often asks others what they want. For example, he asks the blind Bartimaeus, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10:51) On another occasion, James and John approach Jesus, and he asks them, “What is it you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10:36) Both in his healing ministry and with his friends, Jesus displays a kind of openness and curiosity toward others. Until recently, I had […]

Holy Incident Was No Accident

It was the kind of day when everything was going wrong. I could recite a litany of all the mishaps and disasters. I knew I needed a lifeline by 10 a.m., so I phoned a friend, my sister, who is a Daughter of Charity and a powerful pray-er. I had just shared (spilled) coffee with someone in a failed work meeting, so I sat in my car in the Starbucks parking lot as Sister Julie […]

Star Certified

I was praying on the freeway, as I often do, driving to work. The trees lining the road held me like the walls of a church. I traveled up “the aisle,” remembering the day I met Jesus in Communion at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Why did this tree-lined freeway remind me of that unforgettable day? The cars processed up the lanes, bumper-to-bumper to our destinations where we would be perhaps blessed, broken, and shared. […]

Waiting for Daybreak

This post is based on Week Eight of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. I wonder what the time between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning was like for the disciples of Jesus. They witnessed his death and buried his body, and they waited for the first daybreak after the Sabbath to visit the tomb. Were they speaking with each other, trying to make sense of what had happened, or did they sit in silence? Did they comfort […]

God Surprises in Peas and Teas

“You know I don’t eat anything green,” insisted my youngest son, pushing his plate of mashed potatoes, meat loaf, and green peas away from him with a single finger. Arms crossed, six-year-old Chris glared at me across the dining room table. His older brother stuck a fork in the meat loaf, and startled, peered more closely at his plate and grinned. He, at least, was on to me. “You want to try them, trust me,” […]

God’s Surprises

In celebration of the release of Pope Francis’s book, The Church of Mercy, several of our dotMagis bloggers will be sharing reflections this month based on the words of Pope Francis. In Pope Francis’s 2013 Pentecost homily, he challenged us, “Let us ask ourselves today: are we open to ‘God’s surprises’?” When our hearts are open, and we are able to get beyond the fear of change and submit ourselves to God’s plan—even when it […]

Mad Men’s Lesson on Ignatian Awareness

Ignatian spirituality seems to be all about looking. We look for God in the ordinary, in our feelings, in the people and things around us. But sometimes we look too hard for God rather than being aware of the surprise moments God’s presence is made known. In the premiere episode of this season’s Mad Men, Peggy is trying to recover from a failed tag line for a TV commercial created for a set of headphones. […]

“The Flowers Appear on the Earth”

While God seems to be woven into my daily life, it’s never when I expect it, like at the “holy” moments. I pray in the mornings but am sometimes distracted by my to-do list for the day. At Mass I want so much to focus and be transformed by the reality of what is happening, but too often I am halfway through Mass before I realize that I am still silently humming the opening hymn. […]