Go Forth to Change the World

My favorite moment of graduation is that moment when the graduate, after receiving the diploma, looks out into the crowd to loved ones with pride and gratitude. In that moment, after years of focus on personal growth and accomplishments, the focus shifts outward to the world. With fresh outlooks and youthful energy, the graduates go forth, each with unique gifts, to change the world. Fr. William A. Barry, veteran Jesuit spiritual director, speaks of a […]

Into Me You See

This post is by Fiona Basile, author of Shhh…God Is in the Silence, as she begins An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. As I make my way through the First Week of the Spiritual Exercises, I am reminded of who I am in the eyes of God—my core identity: that I am God’s beloved daughter, his precious child. I am fearfully and wonderfully made! God delights in me and loves me. This is my inherent dignity. I […]

What the Principle and Foundation Calls Us To

The launching point of Ignatian spirituality is that God loves us fiercely, passionately, and unconditionally. Because of this love, God’s desires and hopes for us are based on who we are: our gifts, talents, preferences, and joys. What God wants for us is the same as our deepest desires. What, then, should our response to God be? In Ignatian spirituality, this response is known as the Principle and Foundation. Let’s unpack this, using a contemporary […]

An Invitation to Love

Very little in our culture makes it easy to love God and our neighbor. Too soon in childhood we learn to fear God and others. Fear gets in the way of love. Too soon also we learn to want things only because others have them; thus we are taught to be competitive with others. Fear, envy, and the desire to win out over others get in the way of loving others. Moreover, God can seem […]

Giving in God’s Name

A Room Filled with Treasure You showed me a room filled with treasure, precious, priceless, and told me it was mine; I marveled: what a gift! such abundance! a comfort to have it, but what would I do with it? then I knew it: I could give it away… You interrupted, insisted “This is yours.” “I can’t give it away?” I asked. “Beloved heart, this is yours; you’ve already given it away.” And so it […]

Love and Freedom

This post is by Barbara Lee, author of God Isn’t Finished with Me Yet: Discovering the Spiritual Graces of Later Life, as she begins An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. “I have called you by name, you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1). The prophet introduces us to a God whose love is tender and intimate, a love that was manifested at the moment when we received the names that tell us who we are. At Baptism, God called […]

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 […]

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