Listening for God in People

Do you ever have a moment when God speaks clearly to you through another person? I had one of those moments recently during lunch with friends. As is often the case, our conversation wove in and out of parenting woes and joys, to our children, to what was going on in our faith lives, to our hopes and our struggles, to what was going on in the world. My friend, Kelly, asked me at some […]

Seven Tips for Communicating Well from St. Ignatius

St. Ignatius must have thought a lot about how to manage oneself in the face of serious differences of opinion. Part of the answer was how he used his communication skills. What pearls of wisdom for communicating well can we glean from Ignatius for our own use? 1. Assume the best in others. Ignatius advised: It should be presupposed that every good Christian ought to be more eager to put a good interpretation on a […]

Little Gestures

Eight years ago, when I came back from making the 30-day retreat, a friend sent me an article about the Spiritual Exercises which featured an arresting still from the film The Mission, in which a priest tied to a cross is sent careening over a waterfall. What had I gotten myself into, she wondered. Perhaps that was one of the reasons I made the Exercises, I told her, to grasp more deeply what I was […]

An Idea for Meeting New People: What’s Your Story?

I stand at the door of the dreaded “networking lunch” at a conference. The feeling of isolation sweeps over me. I could make a thousand excuses for not being here now. I know not a soul in the room. I must be the out of place one. “Must”¦..get”¦”¦over”¦..yourself”¦.,” I struggle to pray in my head. I am not, by nature, an extrovert, so these situations are truly challenging for me. I have, however, found a […]


St. Ignatius, advising a young Jesuit about how to speak to others: “In dealing with people of position or influence, if you are to win their affection for the greater glory of God our Lord, look first to their disposition and accommodate yourselves to them. If they are of a lively temper, quick and merry of speech, follow their lead in your dealings with them when you talk of good and holy things, and do […]

How to Talk to People

Advice from Ignatius, writing to Jesuits participating in the Council of Trent: Be prudent. “When speaking in any conversation, do not think you are talking in private, but in public, so as to measure your words, and to say nothing you would not wish every one to know.” Know your audience. “In the method of teaching Catechism to children suit yourselves to their age, so as sweetly to teach them the mysteries of our faith, […]