There is a brilliant scene in the first Harry Potter book in which ten-year-old Harry receives a letter in the mail that his Uncle Vernon refuses to let him read, only to have another very similar envelope arrive the next day, and another and another and another. The letter, very clearly addressed as a formal invitation to Harry, keeps coming by every means possible—mail, owl, through the windows, even down the chimney, until hundreds of […]
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 […]
It’s the end of the semester where I teach, and while there are many goodbyes, there are also many invitations. There are invitations to the final meetings for student organizations; to formal dinners to celebrate particular campus groups; a sudden flurry of invitations to lunch with colleagues whom I have been meaning to see all semester; an invitation to celebrate a retirement; and then, of course, graduation. I recently hosted 20 students from one of […]
Mary, in the midst of your life, you heard your call. In hearing it, you were told, “Do not be afraid.” (Luke 1:30) In the busyness of your life, God offered you an invitation. On one ordinary evening, you were able to say “yes.” What about me, Mary? Will I be able to hear God’s call in the midst of my life? Will God utter the same words of comfort delivered through another that the […]
A priest was obsessed about reminding parishioners to turn off their cell phones before Mass. He mentioned it at least three or four times before the service started. Then just as he stepped up to give his homily, in a moment of total silence, a jiggling ring tone emanated from his own cell phone. Red-faced, he waded through his vestments, pulled the device from the holder on his hip, and in an audible whisper said […]
Caravaggio’s painting “The Calling of St. Matthew” is a great work of art that captures the truth of a great Ignatian theme–the power of Christ’s personal invitation to follow him. This brief slide show features reflections on the painting by Fr. Jim Grummer, SJ. (Click here to view it on YouTube.) Go here for a wonderful imaginative reflection on the scripture passage describing Matthew’s call.
What should someone expect from spiritual direction? Becky Eldredge explains that the conversations in spiritual direction help a person identify where God is and what God’s invitation is. If you’re receiving this via e-mail, click through to watch the video What to Expect from Spiritual Direction.