Not Confusing Ends with Means

The endpoint for the Christian—one who follows Jesus of Nazareth—is to imitate him in bringing God’s kingdom to earth through loving God and all creation. “Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is.” (1 John 3:2) That endpoint of being “like him” is meant to […]

Why Ignatian Spirituality Appeals to Young People

Editor’s note: Tim Muldoon, theologian, professor, and Ignatian author, is being honored with the Writer’s Award in Spirituality from the Loyola Institute for Spirituality. His newest book is Living Against the Grain: How to Make Decisions That Lead to an Authentic Life. Today we look back at a video from 2013, in which Muldoon explains why Ignatian spirituality is appealing for young people. Why is Ignatian spirituality appropriate for young people and seekers? It’s a […]

Hold Firm

It’s now pretty much the dead of winter. The thrill of Christmas is past us and we wake each morning—some of us in harsh, cold temperatures—to get to work day in and day out. It’s a quiet time of year, and things seem less exciting. Boredom and apathy begin to wage a slow and subtle war upon us as the more energizing days of the past weeks slip from our consciousness. It certainly can be […]

Jean-Pierre de Caussade and My “Chance Encounter” with Divine Intervention

Many years ago, when I was a junior in college, I struck up a correspondence with a sister at Chigwell Convent in England. Actually, she struck up a correspondence with me; I just asked a question. I had asked if I could join the sisters in their missionary work after college for a couple of years. I learned that while I could join them, my student loans could not be deferred for this type of […]

Purpose in this Moment

This post is by Lisa Kelly, as she begins An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. So often in our lives we want that big picture, the clear road map, the understanding of the infinite, whether it is to know what the future will bring, what life’s purpose is, or even where this Ignatian Adventure might lead. But skipping to the end of the book would miss the point. Being human means we can’t know the whole picture. […]

Ordinary Lives, Extraordinary Purpose

Authenticity is the first test of my values and purpose. If I say I’m here on earth to repair the world or to be holy, do I really, really mean it? Do these ideas make me live and work differently, or do they ultimately hold no more significance than an empty slogan emblazoned across a glossy corporate annual report? Can I say that I’m here on earth for a reason, or am I simply drifting […]

Friday’s Reflection: You Are Loved

During this first week of our Lenten retreat, we have concentrated on what St. Ignatius called the Principle and Foundation. I’ve referred to this as our essential nature as people created by God for the purpose of living out Divine Love in our specific circumstances. Right now, give yourself a few quiet moments to reflect, using the video below. This post is part of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure, Week 1.

Does God Have a Plan for Your Life?

I grew up in a religious subculture that was very certain about who God was and how God operated. Very often I heard, “God loves you and has a plan for your life!” At times this was a comforting thought—after all, wouldn’t it be nice if someone else mapped out my life for me and made sure everything worked according to plan? But over the years I’ve come to appreciate God’s lack of pushiness. Yes, […]

Our Essential Nature

Christian spirituality in general and Ignatian spirituality in particular operate from an overarching assumption. We believe that humanity has inherent purpose. That purpose fueled our very creation. God desires our existence, and so . . . we are. In traditional Judeo-Christian language, God created humanity. And because we are generated from that Divine energy and desire, we are imbued with honor and beauty and a reason to exist. Don’t mistake me for a theologian, but […]

Living with Purpose

In my freshman seminar yesterday, my class and I were discussing Plato’s Republic, and specifically his strong focus on thinking about the good of the city over the good of the individual person.  As usual, my students found this focus somewhat confusing—they (like us) think as free individuals and so are unaccustomed to thinking about their lives being constrained for the purpose of an abstract “common good.” I suggested that the best analogy for our […]