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Prayer, Spiritual Direction, Retreats, and Good Decisions
Updated: 11 hours 7 min ago

Like a Trapeze Artist When We Begin Something New

Fri, 01/05/2018 - 05:30

By Becky Eldredge

Years ago, when I was leaning into a new season of life, my spiritual director compared going through a season of change to being a trapeze artist. She offered that as we make changes and go through transitions, it’s like a trapeze artist swinging from bar to bar. Sometimes, we can easily make the transition from one bar to the other. Other times, we cling to the old bar with an arm outstretched for the [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

Open-Eyed Wonder

Wed, 01/03/2018 - 05:30

By dotMagis Editor

Seeing God in all things is about challenging the concepts we have formed about God over the course of our lives, recognizing that they are always limited. Part of the way we as human beings think is to break down our world into manageable chunks; we develop a sense of how things work based on what we are able to understand. If God is God, though, our understanding of God will always be very limited. [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

Mary’s Lesson of the Present Moment

Sun, 12/31/2017 - 05:30

By Vinita Hampton Wright

For most people who celebrate Christmas, this season becomes a time of surviving tasks and events. We spend days, if not weeks, planning parties, lunches and dinners out, lunches and dinners in (involving grocery shopping, cooking, prepping the house), making our lists and checking them multiple times, buying gifts, sending gifts, writing letters, sending cards, traveling to others’ homes or hosting others in our homes, and so on. Add to that the difficulties that often [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

Go for Wonder

Fri, 12/29/2017 - 05:30

By Vinita Hampton Wright

Sometime this weekend, do something that fills you with wonder. Allow yourself to experience awe. This can be one of the best medicines for whatever ails us. I present workshops and retreats to writers and other artistic types, and I tell them that the best way to fill up a creative well that’s gone dry is to do something that fills you with wonder. Witness something that fills you with wonder. Let your heart be [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

The Return Home

Wed, 12/27/2017 - 05:30

By Mary Ellen Smajo

That Christmas, when we were in love, he gave me a watercolor he’d done some years before of the Holy Family’s return from Egypt. He explained that, while he was painting it, he knew it was to be given away, but he didn’t then know to whom. As he painted, he was thinking about what it would be like to be really at home, to be in the place where you belong for all time. [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

The Shepherd Girl’s Experience

Sun, 12/24/2017 - 05:30

By dotMagis Editor

“In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night” (Luke 2:8). I try to imagine night in an ancient land and myself in it, millennia before the mechanical hum of machines and motors entered the world. I try to think of the most natural quiet I have ever known, maybe after a fresh nighttime snow. Maybe the expectant hush that falls over the crowd as the houselights [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

Simply Advent: Simple Celebrations

Fri, 12/22/2017 - 05:30

By Vinita Hampton Wright

We’re approaching the end of Advent, and even though you probably have your Christmas plans set, here are a few ideas for simple celebrations. First, consider making some adjustments to grand-scale plans, and then, savor the here and now. Make a Few Adjustments Is there a simple way to celebrate Advent and Christmas? Every time I consider inviting people over, this machine turns on in my head, and it churns out these huge events with [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

Gratitude and Solidarity

Wed, 12/20/2017 - 05:30

By Tim Muldoon

Last week I was in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) to learn about the damage wrought by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. These two category 5 storms devastated the islands, leaving them entirely denuded of foliage and causing massive structural damage to buildings and infrastructure. Yet in light of the disasters that affected Texas, Puerto Rico, California, and Mexico—to name only those in our hemisphere—many have forgotten the USVI, and some are feeling abandoned. I was [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

Jesus Asked Me to Pray He Gets a Home

Mon, 12/18/2017 - 05:30

By Loretta Pehanich

I blasted out of my office with a broken heart and crestfallen face. I needed a break to calm my agitated spirit. As I took off down the street, a homeless man sitting on the sidewalk said something to me. I stopped and bent closer. “I’m sorry; I didn’t hear you,” I said. He asked if I had any prayer needs, because he would pray for me. Have you ever had a homeless person offer [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

Simply Advent: Simple Practices

Fri, 12/15/2017 - 05:30

By Vinita Hampton Wright

We continue trying to keep things simple this Advent with suggestions for simple practices this season. Linger with the Nativity Story This seems simple enough, but why not be quite intentional about taking in, once more, the story of Jesus’ birth? Read it in Scripture. Read a children’s book version of the story. Watch a film about it, such as The Nativity Story or Jesus of Nazareth (first part). Read about it in poetry form. [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

How Do We Wait?

Wed, 12/13/2017 - 05:30

By Marina McCoy

Advent is a time of awaiting the Lord. But there are many ways in which we can wait. Zechariah awaited the fulfillment of the angel’s words with confusion and doubt. Yet the Lord delivered on his promise. Elizabeth awaited expectantly and greeted Mary with hope. And the infant leapt in her womb. Mary awaited faithfully, pondering and trusting in the angel’s reassurance not to be afraid. And the Lord was with her and within her. [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

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Tue, 12/12/2017 - 15:22

By Tim Muldoon

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Categories: Things Jesuit

Men and Women of Hope

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 05:30

By Cara Callbeck

It seems like most of us have a friend or family member who, despite having lousy luck at times, is nearly always smiling and is constantly giving of him or herself, even when he or she is the one who could really use a little help. I am blessed to count a few of these kind souls as my friends. But what makes these people so sweet and generous despite whatever life throws at them? [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

Simply Advent: Simple Encouragements

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 05:30

By Vinita Hampton Wright

This week, plan to make a single phone call. Just one call, to one person you care about. The purpose? To express your appreciation and concern. The person you call could be a family member, someone from church, a person in your neighborhood, a coworker, a friend you don’t see often enough, or someone else you know through a shared interest or organization. You will call to say, essentially two things: I appreciate you and [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

Hope Opens New Horizons

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 05:30

By Rebecca Ruiz

On December 7, 2016, Pope Francis began a catechetical series on Christian hope. He opened with the following words: It is very important, because hope never disappoints. Optimism disappoints, but hope does not! We have such need, in these times which appear dark, in which we sometimes feel disoriented at the evil and violence which surrounds us, at the distress of so many of our brothers and sisters. We need hope! We feel disoriented and [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

Waiting Well

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 05:30

By Cindy Ristroph

“For you, O Lord, my soul in stillness waits; truly my hope is in you.” —Marty Haugen, “My Soul in Stillness Waits,” based on Psalm 62 Tick…tick….tick… Won’t we ever get out of here? How long until my order arrives? When will he come home? When is the baby due? Will this fog never lift? When will this traffic move? Won’t she ever call back? When will they finally get here? How long will it [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

Simply Advent: Simple Prayers

Fri, 12/01/2017 - 05:30

By Vinita Hampton Wright

This Advent, I want to help you keep things simple. Each week I’ll share ideas for simple prayers, encouragements, practices, and celebrations. Today, as we anticipate the start of Advent this weekend, I offer suggestions for simple Advent prayers. Prayer Bowl Choose a bowl, basket, or box that you can set in a central spot in your home. If this will be a family activity, you might place the container on the table where you [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

Taking Advent Seriously

Wed, 11/29/2017 - 05:30

By Jim Manney

Advent begins on December 3, 2017. Years ago, I gave up on Advent. It was hard to maintain the Advent frame of mind (quiet longing for the coming of Christ) in the midst of the Christmas tumult, which seems to get started around Columbus Day. I remember listening to a priest one Sunday urging us to take Advent seriously by waiting until Christmas Eve to put up the tree and other decorations. You don’t live [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

Prayer While Grieving

Mon, 11/27/2017 - 05:30

By Becky Eldredge

Praying during a season of loss can be hard. When I think of my own seasons of loss or of listening to others’ prayer during their seasons of grief, I can think of multiple descriptions of prayer that sounded something like: I cannot even sit down to pray, because my mind races everywhere when I try to pray. Being still is hard, because so much hits me at once that I don’t know where to [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

God’s Grace and Our Efforts

Fri, 11/24/2017 - 05:30

By Vinita Hampton Wright

I have watched myself and other people swing back and forth between two extremes of expectation when it comes to spiritual growth. One expectation is that God will do everything if only I have faith and wait patiently. This view goes out of balance when, in my waiting and believing, I become passive. I pray but do not act. I pray but do not engage with the realities in my daily life. When I become [...]

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