Getting to Know Jesus

This post is based on Week Six of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. There was a time in my life when I didn’t really know Jesus. Though I had grown up in a Catholic home hearing of God, praying the Rosary, and hearing countless stories from my grandmother of how Mother Mary had interceded to protect her family on a number of significant occasions, I had rarely paid much attention to, or had really connected with, […]

Sin, the Breaking of Relationship

This post is based on Week Three of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. Growing up, I understood sin to mean being “off the mark” or “off target.” I have an image of an archer lining up to shoot the arrow, which when released, abruptly lands on the outer edge of the target perimeter. I missed. And so it is with sin, particularly in my personal relationship with God. If I believe that God dwells within me […]

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 […]

Where Have We Not Yet Surrendered Our Lives to God?

Many of us give up something as part of a Lenten fast. Fasting helps us in our almsgiving in having more to give away to others, serves as a penitential offer for past wrongdoing, and unites us in solidarity to those who are hungry. Fasting is good, especially if we keep in mind it is a means and not an end in itself. But as we move through these days and weeks of Lent, we […]

Connecting with the Stations of the Cross

We are all standing in front of a life-size image of Christ on the cross. For most of my life, the stations in churches I’ve visited have been small paintings or wall carvings placed at intervals, but at Xavier they’re much larger panels, and I find myself connecting with the scenes in a new way. In the spirit of St. Ignatius, I imagine all of us as extensions of the image before us, truly present […]

Forgiveness, Transformation, and Mercy

Mercy seems to be a recurring theme in my prayer. But what is mercy really? What does it mean when we say God is merciful? How am I called to be merciful? I am no theologian, but I think there are two words that describe what God’s mercy means—forgiveness and transformation. Forgiveness: God is a forgiving God. God’s love for us is unconditional and the very foundation upon which we are forgiven. No matter what […]

What Forgiveness Means

I have a friend whose family members hang onto grudges and slights. They are people who remember everything ever done to them, against them—and by whom. They just can’t let of the wrong that has been done to them and they carry it with them every day. “Refusing to forgive someone who has wronged you,” he says, “is like taking rat poison and hoping the rat dies.” Forgiveness is an incredibly difficult task, and for […]