Eight Tools for Combatting Desolation

Editor’s note: Celebrate the 10th anniversary of IgnatianSpirituality.com with us. For 10 weeks, we’ll be “Counting the Gifts of Ignatian Spirituality” by bringing you special content on our website and special offers from our sponsor, Loyola Press. Learn more here. Once called “Devil’s Valley,” California’s Desolation Wilderness is a 100-square-mile protected “forest” near one of the most beautiful spots on earth (in my opinion): Lake Tahoe. I see this topography within my home state as a metaphor for […]

10 Things to Love About Ignatian Spirituality

Editor’s note: Celebrate the 10th anniversary of IgnatianSpirituality.com with us. For the next 10 weeks, we’ll be “Counting the Gifts of Ignatian Spirituality” by bringing you special content on our website and special offers from our sponsor, Loyola Press. Learn more here. Here are 10 things I love about Ignatian spirituality. 1. It promotes lasting happiness. One of my friends gave me a coffee mug that reads “Do more of what makes you happy.” Every […]

Listening for God When We’re Stuck

Have you ever had a moment when desolation hit you so hard you felt like you were stuck in the mud? Just a few weeks ago, I rode the wave of creative energy for several days in a row. Words poured out of me as I wrote talks for a retreat. More words came as I dug into another writing project. I can remember feeling the lightness and joy of living a call and thanking […]

Ignatian Indifference

Often, we think about freedom as freedom from interference from others, but St. Ignatius understood freedom differently. For him, human freedom is a freedom to grow in relationship with God and share in God’s redemptive work. This requires internal freedom or what Ignatius called “indifference.” Indifference means being detached enough from things, people, or experiences to be able either to take them up or to leave them aside, depending on whether they help us to […]

The Awareness Prayer

This post is based on Week Two of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. What does it mean to “find God in all things”? We’re all familiar with spiritual literature that speaks of finding God in nature, in art, in the birth of a child, and in many other concrete examples of creation—most of which we take for granted. The graces we pray for each day this week of our Ignatian Prayer Adventure emphasize a much deeper […]

When We Can’t Have What We Want

You’d think that people of faith would know how to deal with basic disappointments. We have been trained to think in the long-term and welcome ordinary hardships that provide character-building opportunities. But, alas, most of us aren’t skilled at remaining calm and positive when we don’t get what we want. Those of us in first-world situations have bought into the culture of consumerism and instant gratification. We expect fast Internet service, medications that will make […]

Being People for Others

St. Ignatius Loyola understood that, even when we strive to do glorious deeds, often the motivation is selfish. Or at least it’s self-focused. In his early years, he trained to be a soldier and a knight. He wanted to sacrifice himself for country and for some beautiful lady he could defend and honor. But years later, as he meditated, prayed, and discovered God, who created and loved him, Ignatius dismantled old ways of thinking. Rather […]