Trust and Freedom

Jesus’ instruction to pray to God, “thy will be done” is an essential part of Christian practice. Many saints, like Ignatius, have asked God to assist them in letting go of their own wills in favor of God’s will, as we find in the Suscipe: “Take, Lord, and receive, my memory, my understanding, my entire will.” This is both a difficult and worthwhile enterprise. Giving up one’s own will requires deep trust that in all […]

Trust in the Poor Jesus

Jesus’ poverty is central for Ignatius’s Christology; it is at the heart of his being “Eternal King” and “Lord of all the world.” In the meditation on the “two Standards,” riches are the allurement of “the enemy.” One stands with Jesus by one’s willingness to share his poverty. Recall here from his memoirs how determined Inigo was to live by begging while on his pilgrimage to Jerusalem, going so far as to leave behind his […]

Four Things to Remember if Life Doesn’t Have You in Easter Season

Our lives do not always align with the liturgical seasons. Easter season is upon us, but life might have us in Lent. Perhaps we are living a Good Friday moment or we are still in the tomb, waiting in hope for our Easter moment to arrive. What can we do when our lives are not congruent with the Easter season we are celebrating? Having lived “off-season” many times before, here are four things I find […]

Going Off Road in Advent

As we experience this season of Advent, the metaphor of a journey stands out to me. I think about the different journeys, both geographical and interior, that the Gospels describe even before Jesus arrives. Zechariah journeys from distrust and silence into belief and joyful proclamation. Mary travels to visit Elizabeth, who, like Mary, undergoes the deep internal changes of pregnancy and the slow transition into motherhood. Joseph dreams. Mary ponders. Eventually, they both travel to […]

Trust in God

What does it mean to trust in God? Christians who call themselves faithful may say they place their uncertainties or difficult decisions in the “hands of God.” But trusting in God does not mean stepping out of the picture. St. Ignatius tells a story in his autobiography that gives an example of an immature understanding of trust in God. On the road to Montserrat, at the beginning of his new life as a follower (or […]

Quiet Nothingness

There are times in our prayer lives that we feel God is absent, or we struggle to feel or hear God in prayer. Those dry periods of prayer are incredibly challenging, especially when trying to discern. It is not until the dry period of prayer ends that I understand the value of what feels like God’s silence. In a conversation once with my spiritual director, we celebrated the end of a dry period of prayer. […]

My Day in Purgatory

I took my girls to a place called Purgatory Chasm and had a metaphor experience.  Metaphor experiences are of course those things you do which, once they are accomplished, emerge as perfect metaphors for life.  And I tend to encounter them frequently because I look for them, and that, according to my wife, makes me unusual. Entering the place I had visions of Dante running through my mind (purgatory and all that, though the place […]