Four Signs That You Are Merciful

God’s mercy, as Julian of Norwich put it, is “all love in love.” Mercy goes much further and deeper than taking pity on someone in need or reconciling with someone who has asked forgiveness. Mercy is a way of looking at life, a way of approaching our everyday experiences and relationships. There are many signs of a merciful spirit; let’s tackle a mere four of them today. You expect good (behavior, attitude, intention) from others […]

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 […]

Control

I led them with cords of human kindness, with bands of love. I was to them like those who lift infants to their cheeks. I bent down to them and fed them. —Hosea 11:4 If I had just a little more control, I’d be happier. Sound familiar? How often we blame our misery on a lack of control over our lives. We need to get a handle on our schedules; we need to get more […]

A Ministry of Mercy

This post is based on Week Six of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. Last year Pope Francis called for the Jubilee Year of Mercy, and much of my online writing and retreat work centered around the topic of mercy. As a result, I understand Jesus’ ministry in a whole new way as a ministry of mercy. Jesus’ public ministry had elements to it that were based in the message of mercy, such as: Seeing with compassionate […]

Mercy and Relationships

Becky Eldredge has been observing the Year of Mercy at her blog through a series of posts on the works of mercy, many by guest bloggers. In a reflection on clothing the naked, Beth Knobbe begins: Welcomed or unexpected, mercy invites us into relationship with one another. Even the best of relationships are complex, filled with ups and downs, and take a lot of effort. When we enter into relationship with those in need of […]

Examen for the Year of Mercy

Thanks to Pope Francis, the Catholic Church is making its way through the Year of Mercy. During this time, we look for ways to show mercy and to enact, through our physical, ordinary lives, God’s compassion for those who suffer and forgiveness for those who have caused harm. This is a wonderful theme for any year—or any given day—and we are grateful for a pope who leads us in this outpouring of holy love. However, […]

The Fatigue of Mercy

We’re nearing the halfway mark for the Year of Mercy, and for those of us regularly tapped into the Catholic world, all this talk of mercy can start to feel tiring. Even the demands of mercy can be tiring: trying to live out the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, giving attention to those in need—all of it can be very exhausting. My fatigue of mercy is made apparent when my wife’s heavy workload moves […]

Arts & Faith: Lent—Fifth Sunday Imaginative Prayer Exercise

Each week of Lent, we’ll provide an Ignatian prayer for you, inspired by a video from Arts & Faith: Lent. The video and prayer for the Fifth Week of Lent, Cycle C, are based on John 8:1–11. The art is Palma il Vecchio’s Christ and the Adulteress. Preparation Prepare for a period of meditation by sitting comfortably, closing your eyes, and breathing deeply for a moment or two. Allow any present concerns to move across […]

Zacchaeus: Surprised by Mercy

One of my favorite Gospel stories that lends itself so well to Ignatian contemplation is the story of Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1–10). This man appeals to me because love and acceptance took him by surprise and changed him. Zacchaeus is a wealthy man of Jericho. His job as chief tax collector puts him in a position to get “perks” through extortion and by overstating moneys due from powerless citizens. Zacchaeus hears that Jesus, a charismatic teacher […]

Five Ideas for Responding to a Refusal to Reconcile

Pope Francis declared this year to be a Jubilee Year of Mercy, a time to extend mercy to others through both acts of forgiveness and care for those who are poor or most in need. We also know ourselves to be in need of mercy as sinners. My favorite definition of mercy is that of my colleague Jim Keenan, SJ, who says that mercy is the willingness to enter into the chaos of another. In […]

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