Load-Bearing

If you ever watch programs on HGTV, you’ve heard the term “load-bearing wall.” That’s the wall in a house that is holding up the rest of the structure. The word bear means “to support.” It also means “to endure.” When we endure one another—with all our imperfections, quirks, disagreements—we are helping hold up the body of Christ. I admit, I flee when things get difficult in a relationship. But the older I get, the more […]

The Time Is Now

Somewhere nearby—perhaps a co-worker in the next cubicle; a friend across the room; a stranger in the chair next to you; a spouse beside you in bed; a child clawing at your leg for attention—there, now, is an opportunity for love. Before you is God’s invitation to know him. Do not delay; do not postpone love. Reach for it; give your whole self to it. Use your imagination, for love is not for the sluggish. […]

Expressing My Love for God

This post is based on Week Eight of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. Some of St. Ignatius’s most noted words can be found in one of the last meditations in the Exercises: “Love shows itself in deeds more than words.” (SE 230) As I reflect on these words, it reminds me that Jesus desires concrete acts in response to the abundant love and gifts God offers us. So how do we express our love for God […]

Practice, Love

I’d like to propose a juxtaposition of two ideas that emerge from the Spiritual Exercises: practice and love. Without getting into too much insider baseball on how Ignatius’s text emphasizes these themes, let me suggest a brief thought exercise that you might take into prayer. We learn anything by practicing: the piano, soccer, algebra. Jesus calls us to love one another as the Father has loved Jesus. How do you practice love? Notice that embedded […]

Harden Not Our Hearts

An antiphon that we often hear in Lent says, “If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts” (Hebrews 3:15 and Psalm 95:8). This line teaches me a way to think about the journey of Lent: to allow our hearts to be more open and responsive to whatever the Lord has to tell us and the world. Lent is a season of conversion. The Greek term for conversion, metanoia, means “turning around.” To convert […]

The Depth of God’s Love for Me

This post is by Becky Eldredge, author of Busy Lives & Restless Souls, as she begins An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. [There is a] kind of knowing that afterward you can never not know. The kind that, no matter what anyone says, you know what you know, and that deep foundational knowledge is unshakeable. You can stand on it. It is a rock. —Margaret Silf in The Other Side of Chaos Every time I read this […]

Love as if . . .

Love as if loving is the first thing on your to-do list. Love as if you have no other plan but to love. Love as if you are confident that love makes good things happen. Love as if this is your first opportunity to love. Love as if this is your last opportunity to love. Love as if loving can heal all wounds. Love as if loving is your first purpose on earth. Love as […]

One Reason Only: To Love God

Often, we talk so much about our lives and the lives of our neighbors—what we should do to fill our lives with God’s grace and peace and happiness, what we must do to make our neighbor’s life happy—that we forget the basic reason why you and I and all men live. We live and breathe and have our being for one reason only: to love God. God created us for this one reason, to love […]

Love, Relationship, and How We Live

The other day, I was sorting through some old papers and came across the “Fall in Love” prayer attributed to Pedro Arrupe, SJ. His thoughts are so simple yet so profound. I was glad to come across them again. The first time I read these words, though, I was completely intimidated. It was my first Ignatian retreat, and Arrupe’s words presented such a challenge that I had to fight the urge to hightail it out […]

Resting in the Lord’s Gaze

“How do you, Lord, look at me? What do you feel in your heart for me?” —John Eagan, SJ (from Hearts on Fire: Praying with Jesuits) As Christians, most of us desire to cultivate the capacity to love others well. We also have a deep desire to be loved, known, and seen as we really are. A simple practice that St. Ignatius Loyola encourages before prayer in the Spiritual Exercises is to begin by placing […]

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