Five Things the Spiritual Exercises Taught Me About Jesus

Editor’s note: Celebrate the 10th anniversary of with us. For 10 weeks, we’ll be “Counting the Gifts of Ignatian Spirituality” by bringing you special content on our website and special offers from our sponsor, Loyola Press. Learn more here. On more occasions than I care to count, people will comment to me, “Ignatian spirituality does not have enough to do with Jesus. All you hear about is finding God in all things.” While in my head I […]

Light out of Darkness

This post is based on Week Seven of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. In Jerusalem, a short walk from the Garden of Gethsemane, is the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu (“at cock crow”). It is built above the remains of an ancient structure that many believe to have been the palace of the High Priest Caiaphas. Archaeologists have uncovered subterranean levels including storehouses, pillars that appear to have been used for scourging, observation posts for […]

After the Fever, Service

This post is based on Week Six of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. It’s the Sabbath. Jesus must surely have been looking forward to a peaceful Sabbath meal at Simon Peter’s house, after teaching in the synagogue, curing a demoniac, and enduring the commotion that ensued (Mark 1:21–28). Instead, they told him about Simon’s mother-in-law, who “lay sick with a fever,” and he “came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the […]

Who Do You Say That I Am?

This post is based on Week Four of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. When I was first introduced to Ignatian spirituality more than 40 years ago, I had to answer the question, “Who is God for you?” I realized that my prayer had always been directed to Jesus. I had a general idea of God the Father, and I sometimes experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit, but it had always been Jesus whom I addressed […]

Jesus Approaches

One of the great gifts of my life as an editor is the opportunity to meet and get to know the wise and compassionate people who write the books Loyola Press publishes. One of my “wise women”—also a good friend—is Elizabeth Kelly, author of one of our newest books, Jesus Approaches: What Contemporary Women Can Learn about Healing, Freedom & Joy from the Women of the New Testament. Elizabeth explores our relationship with Jesus by […]

Jesus Announces His Mission of Mercy

In Luke 4:18–19, Jesus stands up in the Temple, unrolls the scroll and reads: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” Upon completion of reading this passage, he rolls up the scroll […]

Embracing My Image of Jesus

Years ago on retreat, the director asked me what Jesus looked like to me. I thought about it a moment and then described the stereotypical Jesus—long hair, scruffy, sandals, robe. As I gave the description, the director seemed to deflate before my eyes, and I knew I had disappointed him. Perhaps my description led him to believe I couldn’t possibly have a personal connection with Jesus. Later, the question resurfaced in the early stages of […]

Rocking Babies in Church

My husband and I were at Mass on Saturday night and during the opening hymn, I noticed the woman in the pew ahead of us holding her baby daughter. As the music grew, the mother rocked back and forth to the music. Up in the front row, I noticed another woman holding a baby close, dipping and rocking to the swells of the music, her participation in the liturgy adding to my own. I remembered […]

Holding Baby Jesus

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). That one sentence took on a whole new meaning for me when I experienced the Spiritual Exercises. Sadly lacking in imagination, I found myself struggling greatly with contemplation, and I was dragging our poor director along with me to the point that I thought he was going to “excuse” me from the Exercises altogether. Nearing Christmas, he had me discard all previous attempts and […]

Three Things the Holy Family Can Teach Us About Saying Yes to God

Advent is one of my favorite seasons of the year, and it a season that invites us to celebrate and remember the story of the Holy Family—Mary, Joseph, and Jesus. We know this story by heart. This year, however, I invite us to take a deeper look and to celebrate and remember the yeses of the Holy Family. There are three things the Holy Family can teach us about our own yes to God. 1. […]

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