Wandering into the Sweetness of Lent

Recently, I sat down with one of my favorite Gospel passages, Luke 6:27–38. One phrase caught my attention: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.” (Luke 6:38) This phrase brought to mind a vivid memory of my mother teaching me to make chocolate chip cookies. “You only […]

A Patient Lent

When March rolls around in New England, I eagerly look forward to the arrival of spring and new plant life, only to discover that, same as last year, meteorological spring comes a lot sooner than the “spring” soil that allows the ground to be workable and new life to emerge. I am not an especially patient person. I hate waiting and doing nothing and the frustration that ensues when the ground and cold weather seem […]

Joy in the Lord

As a couple of lone parents settled in to watch their children’s swim lesson through the glass and perhaps catch up on social media, I sat down nearby with one of my four-year-old twins to wait for one brother’s lesson to end and his to begin. “Mommy, what’s that? There’s a white pole near the pool; what’s it for? There’s a basketball in a bucket; why? The big guy’s in the water with the little […]

Getting Ready for Lent 2019

Ash Wednesday is March 6, 2019, 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 Fiona Basile (pictured), author of the book Shhh…God Is in the Silence, will share her experiences with the retreat through posts on Wednesdays. The retreat begins on the […]

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 […]

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 […]

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