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Prayer, Spiritual Direction, Retreats, and Good Decisions
Updated: 11 hours 10 min ago

On Gratitude

Wed, 11/08/2017 - 05:30

By Cindy Ristroph

Driving home recently, I couldn’t help but notice that God seemed intent on slowing me down—behind a bus first, then a delivery truck; then a traffic light turned red just as I approached. Far from a waste of time, delays like this signal that God is trying to get my attention. I smile interiorly, grateful for the chance to ponder God’s presence in the brief moments of stillness the detainment affords. Every tree and flower, [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

Three Poems

Mon, 11/06/2017 - 05:30

By Mary Ellen Smajo

Jubilee You’ve multiplied the many fruits of every gift You’ve given me: music, service, intellect, with love-begetting-love multiplied most; and now like a plant in a pot You ask me to rest; and looking up I see Your hand and feel grace shower down restoration, emancipation, readying me for Your coaxing forth the new growth, the new buds, the new fruits, the new gifts-for-the-world. At rest I receive what I need for next, what serves [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

The Power of One

Fri, 11/03/2017 - 05:30

By dotMagis Editor

This whole universe, with its trillions of galaxies, began as a tiny speck of concentrated energy; smaller than a grain of salt. When you were first conceived, you were just a single cell, a mere pinpoint of life, barely visible to the naked eye but packed full of the potential for everything you would ever become—every action, choice, and relationship. You are just a drop in the ocean, but without you the ocean will not [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

Even in the Aftermath

Wed, 11/01/2017 - 05:30

By Cara Callbeck

Recently I attended the showing of a local organization’s documentary called After a Suicide—Moving Past Why. While this would not normally be on the top of my “must do” events for a Friday night, I was there with my husband to support a friend of ours who lost her son to suicide a couple of years ago, and who was featured in the documentary. I thought I would leave that night feeling sombre after focusing [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

When Do You Pray?

Mon, 10/30/2017 - 05:30

By Vinita Hampton Wright

So, when do you pray? Think about that for a few moments. Most of us pray when we feel in desperate need of help or rescue. At the apex of anxiety over a teenager who is two hours late getting home or the car that’s acting up on the expressway in the middle of a downpour, we send our most blunt and honest prayers. At the other end of the experience spectrum, we utter prayers [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

Remembering Alphonsus Rodriguez 400 Years Later

Fri, 10/27/2017 - 05:30

By dotMagis Editor

This month marks 400 years since the death of St. Alphonsus Rodriguez. A Jesuit brother, he served as a humble doorkeeper in Majorca, Spain, for 45 years. As Bert Ghezzi explains in Voices of the Saints, Rodriguez found joy even in hardship and wrote: Another exercise is very valuable for the imitation of Christ—for love of him, taking the sweet for the bitter and the bitter for sweet. So, I put myself in spirit before [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

Seven Tips for Communicating Well from St. Ignatius

Wed, 10/25/2017 - 05:30

By Rebecca Ruiz

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 [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

Prayer in Family Life

Mon, 10/23/2017 - 05:30

By Becky Eldredge

Over the last few months, I’ve had the opportunity to be with many groups discussing my book, Busy Lives & Restless Souls. Inevitably, after discussing how to make time for prayer in each person’s life, the conversation turns to, “How do we incorporate prayer in our family’s life?” I always chuckle and say, “I am not expert in how to incorporate prayer in family life, since so much of what we do is figuring it [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

God Deals with Us Directly

Fri, 10/20/2017 - 05:30

By dotMagis Editor

We can trust our experience because God deals with us directly. Ignatius certainly believed that the Church and Scripture are trustworthy teachers of truth, and that we need that truth to help us interpret our experience. He also believed that Christians receive spiritual nourishment in the sacraments and in devotional prayer. But he also believed that God communicates directly to each of us. We can have a personal relationship with him. Prayer in the Ignatian mode [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

Direction

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 05:30

By Tim Muldoon

A ship may be tossed on the seas, buffeted by storms of every sort. Its crew may be struggling mightily every day simply to keep it afloat, wearying themselves, becoming chilled to the bone. They may fear for their lives every day, and regret ever having set sail with the hopes of adventure and fame and wealth. There may be days when the supplies are running low when they fear starvation. Perhaps every now and [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

The Way of Pilgrimage

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 05:30

By Vinita Hampton Wright

A few months ago, I went on pilgrimage to Ireland and Scotland, to visit sites important to Celtic Christianity. I had been on pilgrimage before but had never been to this part of the world. I was with a group of Episcopalians from my sister-in-law’s church in Florida. So, in addition to absorbing the pilgrimage, I was making a number of new friends. How does a person “do” pilgrimage? For someone like me, from the [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

An Examen at the End of a Relationship

Fri, 10/13/2017 - 05:30

By Marina McCoy

When significant relationships come to an end, whether due to geographic distance, drifting apart, or brokenness through conflict, we have the task of integrating that relationship into our memories and identities. As Christians, we are formed to be people who exist in loving community, always reconciling mercifully with one another, but at times human limits prevent this from being possible. As we seek to make sense of where God is in broken relationships, an Examen [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

Church and Community

Wed, 10/11/2017 - 05:30

By Cara Callbeck

The other day at Mass we sang a song that brings me back to my youth, a World Youth Day theme song called, “We Are One Body.” The song stuck in my head for hours afterward, leading me to consider more deeply what the song is really about, particularly in the context of my life right now. The song is about community. When we sing it, we remember that we are in community with those [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

Four Signs That You Are Merciful

Mon, 10/09/2017 - 05:30

By Vinita Hampton Wright

God’s mercy, as Julian of Norwich put it, is “all love in love.” Mercy goes much further and deeper than taking pity on someone in need or reconciling with someone who has asked forgiveness. Mercy is a way of looking at life, a way of approaching our everyday experiences and relationships. There are many signs of a merciful spirit; let’s tackle a mere four of them today. You expect good (behavior, attitude, intention) from others [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

Autumn Stirs Interior Reflection

Fri, 10/06/2017 - 05:30

By Denise Gorss

Autumn brings with it changes in weather, sending many of us indoors more regularly. We experience bright, sunny days that are quickly followed by torrential rains, cooler temperatures, and even the first flakes of snow. As we move to the interiors of homes and workplaces for refuge from these weather events, it’s a good time to consider the interior of our hearts. God is present with us at all times, of course, but autumn invites [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

Miss Woodland

Wed, 10/04/2017 - 05:30

By dotMagis Editor

The strictest teacher I ever had is also the one I recall as the gentlest. For most of the time she taught us mathematics, and she tolerated no nonsense, no lapses of concentration, and no bungled homework. She looked the part: severe, almost to the point of ferocity, with her silver hair impeccably pinned back. But she had another side. Her second passion was the garden. Occasionally she would walk into class with shining eyes [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

Coffee Shop Encounter

Mon, 10/02/2017 - 05:30

By Loretta Pehanich

Mary and I were talking at the coffee shop about a ministry we lead. The tables were close together, but I forgot that as I was engrossed in conversation. We didn’t see the professionally dressed man at the table next to us, laptop open, until we noticed that he was crying. “God bless you!” he said emotionally when we made eye contact. “Obviously, you’re women of faith. I’m inspired.” “Are you eavesdropping on us?” I [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

Free at Last?

Fri, 09/29/2017 - 05:30

By Vinita Hampton Wright

There’s a meditation in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius called “Three Classes of People,” which is designed to help us understand our attachments. Three people are given a great fortune, and each decides, in a different way, what to do about the fortune. Let’s be clear. The problem isn’t the fortune; it’s the attraction to the fortune. This exercise doesn’t assume that God wants you to give the thing up. It may well be [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

Load-Bearing

Wed, 09/27/2017 - 05:30

By dotMagis Editor

If you ever watch programs on HGTV, you’ve heard the term “load-bearing wall.” That’s the wall in a house that is holding up the rest of the structure. The word bear means “to support.” It also means “to endure.” When we endure one another—with all our imperfections, quirks, disagreements—we are helping hold up the body of Christ. I admit, I flee when things get difficult in a relationship. But the older I get, the more [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

Four Essential Elements of a Prayer Routine

Mon, 09/25/2017 - 05:30

By Becky Eldredge

Many families with children are settling into their rhythm and routines of the school year. Women and men in ministry are often leaning into new ministry calendars at this time of year. Autumn is upon us, and it ushers in cooler weather, shorter days, and visible changes to our natural world. When the calendar begins anew or seasons change, I find it is helpful to take a brief check of the four essentials of my [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

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