An Ignatian Pilgrimage Week #3: Preparation for a Life’s Vocation

Ignatius Loyola went through a conversion experience while he was recuperating from battle wounds. However, the transformation was not over. In fact, the most critical months were ahead of him—months that would prepare him for the life to which God was calling him. After Ignatius laid down his sword before Our Lady of Montserrat, he traveled down the mountain to Manresa. There, a woman named Inez Pascual, who would remain a friend throughout his life, […]

Expressing My Love for God

This post is based on Week Eight of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. Some of St. Ignatius’s most noted words can be found in one of the last meditations in the Exercises: “Love shows itself in deeds more than words.” (SE 230) As I reflect on these words, it reminds me that Jesus desires concrete acts in response to the abundant love and gifts God offers us. So how do we express our love for God […]

Why the Son Came into Our Flesh

About discerning our call or vocation, the first thing to say is that we all share in the greatest one. God “calls humankind to seek him, to know him, and to love him with all our strength.” This is God’s call to all, and it tells about God’s dream: an earth peopled with lovers—with those who let the Holy Spirit lead them to love God, love one another, and love themselves—passionately and well. How is […]

Finding Your Vocation

It’s graduation season, and that means commencement speakers try to impart words of wisdom to graduates before they start the next phase of life. Wheeling Jesuit University welcomed Timothy Kesicki, SJ, president of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States, as its commencement speaker. Kesicki said: The stories of failed jobs and mismatched careers are legion. But finding your vocation is not simply about a good fit in the workplace or nailing your […]

We Can Be More Fully Ourselves

When I was a Jesuit, people often told me I had a higher calling. It seems common language for those who’ve felt called to priesthood or religious life, but I don’t believe anyone has a “higher” calling. We’re all simply called to be the people God made us. God calls us to all sorts of paths, choices, and careers, but none is higher than another. If we’ve truly discerned what we’re good at and confirm […]

Marriage as Conversion

A member of Contemplative Leaders in Action, my former student E. writes a lovely blog, A Call to Joy. In light of recent news about the Synod on the Family, which is addressing neuralgic questions about the Church’s ministry, it is fruitful to share her meditations on being called to marriage. On the one hand, it feels impossible to capture the intimate mix of joy and sacrifice, of both lighthearted and difficult conversations, of learning how to balance my […]

New Vocations Website

The Society of Jesus has launched a new vocations website. An interactive video “chat” headlines the site. While the site is primarily for men interested in exploring a vocation to the Jesuits, many features will be of interest to the wider Ignatian audience. Among these are graphics highlighting hallmarks of Jesuit spirituality and gifts of consolation and videos on discernment. Explore the site, and pass it on to a young man who might be interested.

The Pope Francis Effect on Vocations

Charles Frederico, SJ, is the Vocation Director for the Maryland / New England / New York Provinces of the Society of Jesus. He responds to the question of whether there is a “Pope Francis effect” increasing vocations. He says, “It is difficult to ascertain cause and effect with any certainty, but our vocations office has noticed two exciting trends since the election of our pope.” The first is that Jesuits are more aware and vocal […]

Pedro Arrupe and Perpetual Call

Pedro Arrupe, former Superior General of the Jesuits, wrote a great deal about vocation and mission. In one writing he speaks of Christ’s call as manifested in the Call of the King meditation in the Spiritual Exercises. “Each one of us, at one time or another, has heard that call,” Arrupe says. “Each has come to realize that, in responding to it, he is fulfilling a mission and thus giving to his life a depth […]

Fruits of the Spirit

I cannot help but smile as I remember a conversation I had with Abby on the way home from preschool the other day. Me: What did you learn about in chapel today? Abby: The fruits of the spirit. Me: Really? What are the fruits of the spirit? Abby: STRAWBERRIES! While Abby did not answer with a “Fruit of the Spirit” as we know it, she did provide me with an incredible moment of consolation: a […]

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