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, […]

More Stillness

What if, instead of more action, what we need is more stillness? What if, instead of more speech, we need more silence? What if all of our words—whether spoken, in an article, blog post, or group message—will make more sense if understood by attending to the Word underneath all words, the Word that gives rise to language itself? Could it be that paying more attention to silence might actually make us more attentive to one […]

Open-Eyed Wonder

Seeing God in all things is about challenging the concepts we have formed about God over the course of our lives, recognizing that they are always limited. Part of the way we as human beings think is to break down our world into manageable chunks; we develop a sense of how things work based on what we are able to understand. If God is God, though, our understanding of God will always be very limited. […]

Storytime

The third installment of Tim and Sue Muldoon’s series on “Why Children Need Ignatian Spirituality” is about the power of stories. Ignatius wanted people to use all their senses when contemplating the gospels. Stories are a powerful way for children to do this. Don’t just teach forgiveness; tell the story of the Lost Son and then practice forgiveness—really practice it—at home. Take time when they are calm, teach the meaning of saying “I forgive you” (instead of […]

Children and the Examen

Tim and Sue Muldoon write about using the examen as a way of cultivating children’s spiritual lives: Why is it that dinner conversations frequently involve talking to our loved ones about what happened during the day? What is it about talking about past experiences that helps us form bonds of relationships? On some level all of us intuit a basic point: there is something about memory that is distinctive about the way we make sense […]

What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?

Tim and Sue Muldoon think that Ignatian-style imaginative reflection is good for children too. When parents or other adults invite children to use their imagination, they are not only stimulating their cognitive capacities; they are also giving their children a way of contrasting various possibilities for their lives. What desires, hopes, or fears emerge in their imagination? How do they relate to other children, adults, or fantasy figures, and how do those relationships impact the […]

What They’re Saying about Pope Francis

Like you, I’ve been reading a lot of commentary about Pope Francis in the past week.  I thought I’d pass along four pieces that seem especially enlightening.  All four concern themselves with the question that I’m most interested in: What can we expect from a Jesuit pope? In “This Ignatian Franciscan Pope,” Tim Muldoon looks at the connection between Francis of Assisi and Ignatius Loyola. Ignatius’s order was an order of mission, with a special […]

Something for Lay People

Yesterday I gave talks about Ignatian spirituality to the parents of children in our parish’s religious education program.  While their kids were in class, the parents listened to me.  I enjoyed it very much.  One point I made is that Ignatian spirituality is a spirituality for lay people.  Ignatius was a layman when he wrote the Spiritual Exercises.  The people he worked with were lay people.  This idea seemed to resonate with at least some […]

Advent Video: Waiting

For the Second Week of Advent, writer and theologian Tim Muldoon shares his thoughts about waiting. This reflection originally appeared as the dotMagis post “Waiting.”

Wrestling with God

Tim Muldoon, theologian and dotMagis blogger, thinks that all the arguments for and against the existence of God are inadequate, “like trying to fit the ocean into a spoon.”  And that’s OK: Jesus reminds us that ultimately thinking is not the aim of faith; rather, living in love is, which he described with the metaphor of “the Kingdom of God.” At the end of the day, when I put down books with ponderous titles, having […]

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