A Lenten Invitation from William Barry, SJ

Just think about this: God, the creator of our vast universe, made each of us in his own image and likeness to be his friend and to cooperate with God in the great adventure of developing this planet. Moreover, after thousands of years of seeing how often human beings mess things up, God still delights in us so much that God became one of us in Jesus of Nazareth. God becomes as vulnerable as any […]

Light and Contemplation

You might spend time outside on a sunny day, seeing the sunlight illuminating everything, feeling its warmth on your body, and imagining how God is creating and bathing you in love. Again, tell God what’s in your mind and heart. This kind of contemplation can lead us to want to love God with our whole mind and heart and soul, to become the friend God wants us to be. Ignatius suggests a prayer that may […]

The Steps of the Examen

Today let’s explore the Examen through the lens of brief reflections pertaining to each step. The steps in this version of the Examen match what is presented in A Simple, Life-Changing Prayer by Jim Manney. Ask God for light. If we attune ourselves to look and listen, we may find God present within us, all around us, and speaking to us constantly. But if we don’t bother to look, it will seem that there is […]

Spiritual Directors in Conversation

Spiritual directors William A. Barry, SJ, and Bernadette Miles discuss Ignatian spirituality, understandings of Jesus, and spiritual direction in this nine-minute video from Spiritual Directors International. Barry is the author of multiple books on Ignatian spirituality, including A Friendship Like No Other and Changed Heart, Changed World.

Discipline Our Hearts

William A. Barry, SJ, writes for the Ignatian Volunteer Corps blog: Ignatian discernment of spirits is one way to discipline our hearts so that we become more adult in our desires and thus more in tune with reality, which is God’s dream for our world. We can attune our hearts to God’s ways and thus become images of God, human beings who are friends of God, of one another and of the rest of creation. […]

The Transfiguration

Let us look at the Transfiguration (Mark 9:2–8) with its obvious reference to the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan (Mark 1:9). At the baptism we read: “And just as [Jesus] was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased’ ” (Mark 1:10–11). How […]

God’s Intimate Presence

Prayer is a matter of relationship. Intimacy is the basic issue, not answers to problems or resolutions “to be better.” Many of life’s problems and challenges have no answers; we can only live with and through them. Problems and challenges, however, can be faced and lived through with more peace and resilience if people know that they are not alone. A man’s wife will not return from the dead, but the pain is more bearable […]

Lenten Meditation 7: Accepting the Offer

Throughout this Lenten journey, I have maintained that God wants all human beings to be “holy souls,” and thus “friends of God, and prophets.” I hope that you have experienced God’s desire for your friendship and your corresponding desire to be God’s friend. I am convinced that the only way to the fulfillment of God’s dream for our world is for more and more human beings to accept God’s offer of friendship and to begin […]

Lenten Meditation 6: Scripture as a Thin Place

We should be aware of the thin places in our lives because they make experiences of God’s desire for each one of us, and our desire for God, more possible by capturing our attention and pulling us out of our ordinary routines and concerns. Scripture, either heard or read, can be a thin place if we let the words capture our imagination and attention. Scripture will not be a thin place if we read it […]

Lenten Meditation 5: Job and the Question of Evil

I don’t have an answer to the question of why there is so much evil and pain in this world. All I can do is encourage you to speak directly to God if you have questions about God’s ways. Speak as one friend to another, even if anger is the only emotion you can voice. The book of Job, I believe, encourages such honest relating with friends and indicates that God is willing to respond, […]

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