An Authentic Life

The direction of an authentic life is always one that serves others. It may be a life of contemplative prayer in a cloister, in a service profession, parenting, or entrepreneurship that lifts people out of poverty. It may be solitary or familial. It may be some kind of engagement in politics or social activism. It may be in medicine, academia, business, entertainment, public service, law, or any number of other fields. But in the end, […]

Mother Teresa and Mom

From 1966 to 1970 my family lived in England. One of our favorite television journalists was Malcolm Muggeridge. Muggeridge was not known as an overly religious man. But he began broadcasting mesmerizing stories about an unusual nun in the streets of Calcutta. His news reports, along with his documentary, Something Beautiful for God, introduced the world to Mother Teresa, the saint of the streets. I was intrigued by Mother Teresa, as much as an adolescent […]

God Is Outside the Box

Do you ever imagine that your life is settled into nice, neat boxes? Here is my work box. Here is my family box. Here is my volunteer box. Here is my exercise box. And it seems the point is to keep all those boxes balanced, healthy, and safe. I faithfully do my Examen to find where God is present in each box as I go through my day. And just when I think I have […]

Men and Women for Others

It’s often said that people following an Ignatian path are working to become “men and women for others.” But what does that mean? The newest episode of the Ignatian Way series explains. Other presentations in the complete series address themes of Ignatian prayer, decision making, and finding God in all things. Continue your exploration of Ignatian spirituality with today’s 31 Days with St. Ignatius contribution, A Gratitude Deficit.

She Wasn’t Looking for a Rest

Grace Urbanski shares a beautiful story of an encounter in the check-out lane and the lesson it taught her as autumn moves toward winter. This experience has prompted me to reflect on how I complain about feeling tired. Surely there are times I legitimately need a rest–God himself took a breather on the seventh day, after all. And while I should never simply ignore the pangs telling me my body needs to relax, I need […]

Ministry of Presence

A few weeks ago, Beth Knobbe shared about her mission trip to Haiti. Today we share the video reflections of two Northwestern University students who accompanied Beth on the trip in a ministry of presence. As one of the students says, “Service is messy…[but] I found God present in the fact that he’s with us there, working through these challenges.”

We Learned a Lot on Haiti Mission Trip

This is a guest post. There are two phrases that I consistently use to describe our mission trip to Haiti—“it was interesting” and “we learned a lot.” One of our students recently attempted to call my bluff on this. “Beth, you do realize that those two phrases used in conjunction with one another are code for ‘it was terrible,’ right?” It was not terrible; it was in fact a really good trip. It was by […]

“Magis” Moment Leads to Haiti

This is a guest post. One of my greatest joys is leading college students on international service-immersion trips. I’ve traveled with 80 students to Nicaragua over the past seven years. I love seeing students’ lives transformed while walking with our brothers and sisters around the globe. I cannot imagine NOT doing this work. Truthfully though, I’ve had this itch to try something new, but no clear sense of what that “something else” might be. When […]

African Jesuit AIDS Network

This is a report on the work of the African Jesuit AIDS Network (AJAN), founded 10 years ago, and present in 30 countries.  Michael Czerny, SJ, founder of the network, says it stresses personal contact with victims and the vulnerable: From the outside we tend to use many zeros, we talk about huge numbers and alarming trends and we lose touch or we never get in touch with what it means for the individual, for the […]

Losing One’s Life

Luis Espinal, SJ, is a Jesuit hero I hadn’t heard about.  He was a Spanish Jesuit who worked for social justice in Bolivia.  He was murdered in 1980.  He wrote this. Losing one’s life means working for others, even though they don’t pay us back. It means doing a favor without it being returned. Losing one’s life means jumping in even when failure is the likely outcome – and doing it without being overly prudent. […]

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