Walking Through Lent with the Risen Christ

Wrapping up an Ignatian retreat shortly before the start of Lent, I said to a priest-friend, “How am I supposed to go from feeling the joy of Easter right back into Lent?” He reminded me that Jesus is always risen and alive. We should always carry the joy of the risen Christ with us. I find it challenging to reconcile Easter and then Lent in this order. Of course, God has no problem with this […]

We Are Such a Mix

Each year at the start of Lent, I notice again my need for God’s grace to bring me back from all the ways I’ve wandered away or gotten lost. These poems describe three of those experiences. Sometimes I Feel So Frail sometimes I feel so frail; and what does God do but win with a look my wonder, will, all; again; You have made it all as You have made it, and built us to […]

Letting This Lent Be God’s

What if this Lent we didn’t approach the practices of prayer, almsgiving, and fasting with an eye to what we can do to transform ourselves, but rather with an eye to what God wants to do in order to transform us? Too often we approach Lent as though it were a series of New Year’s resolutions: to give up a particular bad habit, or share more with the poor, or be more faithful to prayer. […]

Still Us as We Approach Lent

A recent New Yorker cartoon shows a couple in their swimsuits lounging under an umbrella on some beach. The caption reads: “Oh, no. We’re still us.” I think this captures very well how many of us are feeling by February or March of any given year. We thought we’d do better this year! We planned more carefully for those projects we want to complete. We were more realistic with the New Year’s resolutions. But we’re […]

Getting Ready for Lent 2018

Ash Wednesday is February 14, 2018, so today we’re highlighting just a few of the many Ignatian-inspired features designed to help you observe Lent. An Ignatian Prayer Adventure Join in an adapted version of the Spiritual Exercises, perfectly timed as a Lent and Easter retreat. This year Barbara Lee (pictured), author of the new book God Isn’t Finished with Me Yet: Discovering the Spiritual Graces of Later Life, will share her experiences with the retreat […]

A Lenten Invitation from William Barry, SJ

Just think about this: God, the creator of our vast universe, made each of us in his own image and likeness to be his friend and to cooperate with God in the great adventure of developing this planet. Moreover, after thousands of years of seeing how often human beings mess things up, God still delights in us so much that God became one of us in Jesus of Nazareth. God becomes as vulnerable as any […]

I’m Having a Hard Time Sitting in the Desert This Lent

I’ve been trying to sit with Christ in the desert as St. Ignatius suggests. I can’t manage to stay with him for long. I’m uncomfortable. I’m hot. I’m thirsty. And, worst of all, I really just can’t stand to see him suffering. I want out. I’m ready to skip right ahead to the Resurrection. My Ignatian contemplation is hitting too close to home this year. When my mother passed in September of 2015, we brought […]

The Consequences of Seeing

This story is inspired by John 9:1–41, the healing of the man born blind, and Mark 10:46–52, the healing of Bartimaeus. Bartimaeus and I talked about it. His healing was immediate. Not mine. I must have looked like a fool stumbling down the road, mud on my eyes. “What was the first thing you saw?” I asked Bartimaeus. “The face of Jesus. You?” “My own reflection in the pool.” As we sat looking—just looking—at the […]

Lenten Spring Cleaning

Most years, as I make my way to the Ash Wednesday service, it’s bitterly cold outside, and the hope of spring seems distant. With Easter a bit later this year, I was surprised to look out my window on Ash Wednesday to see the signs of spring quietly beginning its slow advance on winter. This little change shifts my perspective, and I begin to think about Lent in the context of spring rather than winter. […]

Applying the Examen to Praying the Stations of the Cross

In a National Review interview with Kathryn Jean Lopez about his new book Station to Station: An Ignatian Journey through the Stations of the Cross, author Gary Jansen states: Everyone has time for prayer. You can pray when you’re going to the bathroom or taking a shower. You asked about stillness. Well, take one particular station with you in the shower in the morning, or to the sink while you’re brushing your teeth, and think […]

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