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Prayer, Spiritual Direction, Retreats, and Good Decisions
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Days Hazed, When Such Winter Chill, and Light Too Bright to Behold

Wed, 01/17/2018 - 05:30

By Mary Ellen Smajo

Days Hazed days hazed, holding their knowing, known in hope only, open too slowly, while these days filled too full quit too quickly, knowing not yet caught. yet hazed days are wonders working, slowly seen, but granting sight so that in these days our lame leave burdens behind— and carry us; and hearts fill full; and knowing catches us. When Such Winter Chill when such winter chill creeps up close so swift slow-seeping, pausing, playing, [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

10 Reasons to Choose Ignatius

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 05:30

By Rebecca Ruiz

I was delighted to learn that St. Ignatius Loyola is among my son’s top three choices for his Confirmation saint. Of course, I wanted him to make an educated choice, so, in all fairness and with no partiality or favoritism, I directed him to my favorite Ignatian books and websites and procured a copy of the 2016 film, Ignacio de Loyola. As we sat down to watch the film, both of my teens aired their [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

The Imaginary Boy

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 05:30

By Jim Manney

The other day I came across a passage in a novel that brought me up short. The book is Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. The writer describes the thoughts of a nine-year-old boy: “His father always talked to him—so he felt—as if he were addressing some imaginary boy, one of those that exist in books, but quite unlike him. And he always tried, when he was with his father, to pretend he was that book [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

God in the Annoying

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 05:30

By Cara Callbeck

Take a minute to think of the person who annoys you most in your life, the one who always seems to find his or her way under your skin. That person who always seems to say the wrong thing at the wrong time and who most often brings out the worst in you. The person who knows every button to push to upset you. Now think about how you react when that person is in [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

Three Ignatian New Year’s Resolutions

Mon, 01/08/2018 - 05:30

By Marina McCoy

Here are three New Year’s resolutions grounded in the counsel of St. Ignatius Loyola. 1. Give others the benefit of the doubt. Ignatius said to be, “more ready to put a good interpretation on another’s statement than to condemn it as false” (Spiritual Exercises 22). What I am tempted to do: Correct others when I think they are wrong. After all, perhaps I am pretty sure I know the truth, especially if it is on [...]

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Categories: Things Jesuit

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

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