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Prayer, Spiritual Direction, Retreats, and Good Decisions
Updated: 12 hours 10 min ago

Spiritual Direction Helps Us Notice God’s Movements

Tue, 03/28/2017 - 05:30

By dotMagis Editor

Writing for the Office of Ignatian Spirituality of the Maryland and USA Northeast Provinces of the Society of Jesus, Lisa Hastings states: Despite its historical roots and the popularity of Ignatian spirituality today, spiritual direction for many remains mysterious, even intimidating. Some assume that it is reserved for the “spiritually mature.” On the contrary, spiritual direction is an accessible means, much like the Ignatian examen, of noticing God movement in one’s life. Also like the [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

Authentic Gifts

Mon, 03/27/2017 - 05:30

By Jane Knuth

It is National Reading Month, and I am an author invited to speak to grade-school children at the local Catholic school. I am unsure what to talk about. I do not write books for children. But my own daughters attended this school when they were young, and I write books. Apparently, these are good enough credentials. I tell the attentive, upturned faces a story from the St. Vincent de Paul thrift store about a child [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

Stop-Sign Examen

Fri, 03/24/2017 - 05:30

By Michelle Francl-Donnay

It’s traditional to undertake the Examen in the middle of the day and just before bed, but for the last few weeks, I’ve found myself starting the day with a version of this reflective prayer. It starts as I watch yet another car blow through the stop sign at the edge of the neighborhood. Sometimes I honk; sometimes I sigh. Always, I am aware of God’s presence and grateful—as one should be at the start [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

I’m Having a Hard Time Sitting in the Desert This Lent

Thu, 03/23/2017 - 05:30

By Rebecca Ruiz

I’ve been trying to sit with Christ in the desert as St. Ignatius suggests. I can’t manage to stay with him for long. I’m uncomfortable. I’m hot. I’m thirsty. And, worst of all, I really just can’t stand to see him suffering. I want out. I’m ready to skip right ahead to the Resurrection. My Ignatian contemplation is hitting too close to home this year. When my mother passed in September of 2015, we brought [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

Mary Showed Me Jesus’ Humanity

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 05:30

By Becky Eldredge

This post is based on Week Four of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. I prayed most of the Spiritual Exercises with a baby in my arms. I began making them when our daughter, Abby, was one month old. When I began the Second Week of the Exercises, she was almost six months old and just starting to sit up. Most of my days at that time were spent sitting on the floor playing with her and [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

Dare to Look Inside Yourself

Tue, 03/21/2017 - 05:30

By dotMagis Editor

Fr. Michael Sparough, SJ, suggests the Examen as a tool to help us in daring to look inside ourselves. In explaining the steps of this foundational Ignatian prayer, Fr. Sparough tells us to pray from one or two dominant emotions: Those are the feelings that you especially want to pay attention to—those that are shouting at us and then those that are cowering, that say, “Don’t look at me.” Those are the ones we want [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

The Consequences of Seeing

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 05:30

By Loretta Pehanich

This story is inspired by John 9:1–41, the healing of the man born blind, and Mark 10:46–52, the healing of Bartimaeus. Bartimaeus and I talked about it. His healing was immediate. Not mine. I must have looked like a fool stumbling down the road, mud on my eyes. “What was the first thing you saw?” I asked Bartimaeus. “The face of Jesus. You?” “My own reflection in the pool.” As we sat looking—just looking—at the [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

Consolation and Desolation

Fri, 03/17/2017 - 05:30

By Vinita Hampton Wright

During Lent, we reflect upon our spiritual state and on our interior movement. Are we moving toward more doubt, fear, and anger? Or are we moving toward greater faith, hope, and love? The Ignatian principles of consolation and desolation can help us. A person dwells in a state of consolation when she or he is moving toward God’s active presence in the world. We know we are moving in this way when we sense the [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

Lenten Spring Cleaning

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 05:30

By Cara Callbeck

Most years, as I make my way to the Ash Wednesday service, it’s bitterly cold outside, and the hope of spring seems distant. With Easter a bit later this year, I was surprised to look out my window on Ash Wednesday to see the signs of spring quietly beginning its slow advance on winter. This little change shifts my perspective, and I begin to think about Lent in the context of spring rather than winter. [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

Not in Control

Wed, 03/15/2017 - 05:30

By Becky Eldredge

This post is based on Week Three of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. Recently I used one of the versions of the Examen found in Fr. Mark Thibodeaux’s book Reimagining the Ignatian Examen for my daily prayer. This particular Examen (Saving F.A.C.E.) invited me to take a close look at four things: My fears My attachments My need for control Illusions of entitlement It nudged me to take an honest assessment of my last few weeks [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

The Long Ride

Tue, 03/14/2017 - 05:30

By Tim Muldoon

I do some of my best thinking and praying while running or biking. This morning I considered how biking hills is not a bad analogy to the discernment of consolation and desolation in the spiritual life. Here’s the idea. Coming to the beginning of a long upward climb can be a daunting experience. You see it looming, and you see that it will be hard and tiring. There is a temptation to quit or turn around. This is [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

8 Pope Francis Quotes to Celebrate His Anniversary

Mon, 03/13/2017 - 05:30

By dotMagis Editor

Today, March 13, we celebrate Pope Francis’s fourth anniversary. To honor the occasion, enjoy some of his inspiring and challenging words. “When we receive and welcome him into our heart, the Holy Spirit immediately begins to make us sensitive to his voice and to guide our thoughts, our feelings, and our intentions according to the heart of God.” Read a reflection on this quote by Vinita Hampton Wright. “The Lord always chooses his way to [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

Applying the Examen to Praying the Stations of the Cross

Fri, 03/10/2017 - 05:30

By dotMagis Editor

In a National Review interview with Kathryn Jean Lopez about his new book Station to Station: An Ignatian Journey through the Stations of the Cross, author Gary Jansen states: Everyone has time for prayer. You can pray when you’re going to the bathroom or taking a shower. You asked about stillness. Well, take one particular station with you in the shower in the morning, or to the sink while you’re brushing your teeth, and think [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

Harden Not Our Hearts

Thu, 03/09/2017 - 05:30

By Marina McCoy

An antiphon that we often hear in Lent says, “If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts” (Hebrews 3:15 and Psalm 95:8). This line teaches me a way to think about the journey of Lent: to allow our hearts to be more open and responsive to whatever the Lord has to tell us and the world. Lent is a season of conversion. The Greek term for conversion, metanoia, means “turning around.” To convert [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

Awareness of God in All Things

Wed, 03/08/2017 - 05:30

By Becky Eldredge

This post is based on Week Two of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. My mom and dad are avid gardeners. On many occasions growing up, my weekends included a chore in the yard—raking leaves, weeding (my least-favorite job in the world), deadheading flowers, or picking up branches. My dad, especially, had this way of noticing the beauty that was unfolding right in our backyard, that I often missed because my attention was focused on getting my [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

Busy Lives & Restless Souls Free Mini-Posters

Tue, 03/07/2017 - 05:30

By dotMagis Editor

“The invitation to connect your faith with your daily life is an invitation God urges all of us to accept. All of us are invited to a relationship with God in the middle of our lives. God labors to fill us, complete us, and make us whole. God dreams that every aspect of our lives will be affected and energized by our relationship with God. And the great news is that God always acts first. [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

The Examen Curbs Anxiety

Mon, 03/06/2017 - 05:30

By dotMagis Editor

J. Michael Sparough, SJ, writes that “Cardinal Bernardin, the late, much-loved Archbishop of Chicago, once told a group of us priests that he was a chronic worrier. But he found that using the Ignatian Examen was of great benefit to him in curbing his anxiety.” Many others have also found the benefits of praying the daily Examen. If you’re praying through An Ignatian Prayer Adventure, this week invites you to reflect on the steps of [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

Following Jesus into the Desert

Fri, 03/03/2017 - 05:30

By Loretta Pehanich

After my baptism, I returned daily to the river and watched. When John said, “Behold the Lamb of God,” we applauded. Some danced. Some jumped into the water and splashed each other like children. People were so busy celebrating that they didn’t notice Jesus head toward the desert. I wondered why he left and followed. He walked for an hour and then stopped. I stayed back, hesitant to disturb him. He stood still, eyes closed, [...]

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Reverence and the Deer

Thu, 03/02/2017 - 05:30

By Joseph Durepos

I was walking early one morning, just as the sun was coming up. I was in a section of woods not too far from my home. I was trying to walk as soundlessly as possible. There was a mist that morning and the woods seemed hushed. Before I was aware of it, I came face-to-face with a large male deer. It was beautiful. I was startled; the deer just stood there and watched me. I [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

The Depth of God’s Love for Me

Wed, 03/01/2017 - 05:30

By Becky Eldredge

This post is by Becky Eldredge, author of Busy Lives & Restless Souls, as she begins An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. [There is a] kind of knowing that afterward you can never not know. The kind that, no matter what anyone says, you know what you know, and that deep foundational knowledge is unshakeable. You can stand on it. It is a rock. —Margaret Silf in The Other Side of Chaos Every time I read this [...]

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