All of my shoes have been removed from my closet. They now sit in a pile at the foot of bed. My toddler, shoe relocation engineer, beams up at me with pride, handing me the last remaining shoe. And I'm surprised by what I feel. Not frustration about the mess, or preoccupation with the burden … Continue reading Love in a Pile of Shoes
Discerning a Lenten prayer practice? Try adding one of these prayers to your daily routine. Litany of Humility I first learned the Litany of Humility as a LifeTeen Summer Staff Missionary, but its power didn't really hit me until my second year of teaching. I remember feeling overwhelmed by all the competing pressures of students, … Continue reading Daily Prayers for Lent
I’ve always wanted to be a runner. Despite my lack of skill or experience, the romance of a morning run appealed to me: simple, solitary, and powerful. I wanted to emulate that. When I finally started running, it was hard - harder than I expected. It still is sometimes. In my enthusiasm, I start out … Continue reading The Key to a More Contemplative Advent
“Blessed are all who wait for the Lord.” Is. 30:18d My one-year-old eats a waffle for breakfast every morning. Despite that I have never failed to feed him, he inevitably wails for the entire two minutes it takes to pop up from the toaster. I sing and dance, trying to distract him. I explain that … Continue reading Waiting and Wailing for Waffles
I hesitated to write this letter for a long time because I see my life as “normal.” No, not normal. Privileged would be a better word, if I’m being honest. For most of my life, suffering has been an abstract and unfamiliar concept. I usually associate the word with traumatic experiences like war, abuse, or … Continue reading Overcoming the Fear of Suffering
Dear Student, Does it feel strange to be addressed as a student, even though you’ve been out of school for a while? Does the word send a rush of adrenaline down your spine, as you remember pop quizzes and lunch room drama? Or does it spark a memory in you of a curious, younger version … Continue reading Why Study Theology?
I stumbled over the toys strewn across the living room floor before sneaking into my daughter’s dark room to kiss her goodnight. I had looked forward to this night “off” all week, but now that it was over, I found myself coveting missed bedtime cuddles. I crept back out to the living room and collapsed … Continue reading 5 Ways Ignatian Wisdom Can Help You Cultivate Work/Life Balance
Prayer through writing is a favorite of the saints, and one of the ways God uses to capture our hearts. The intimacy expressed in writing like the Psalms and the Diary of St. Faustina inspires us. The Lord wants that kind of intimacy with you, too. Whether you've never written a prayer or you've been journaling for years, the tips below will invite you deeper. It's true that we can't make prayer happen; prayer is the work of the Holy Spirit in our souls. But that fact doesn't mean that we don't have any responsibility when it comes to prayer! While God is the one who plants the seeds in our hearts, we can till the soil of our lives, cultivating more fertile ground for his love to grow and flourish. By taking these small steps, we can create space within ourselves to be more open to the promptings of the Spirit. The tips below work for journaling, and many of them will work for your other favorite forms of prayer as well.
The word "discernment" is like the word "vocation." We hear it and immediately think of the priesthood or religious life - something specific and set apart. We do this even though we know that God is calling us, too. Yes, we are all called to a life of holiness, and some of us live that … Continue reading Using Negative Feelings in Discernment
“I was in prison and you visited me…” (MT 25:36) “Thanks for visiting me.” There’s nothing like the gift of someone’s presence. In my experience, this is most powerful when I’m struggling, whether it’s because I’m sick or upset, depressed or doubtful. It’s always a gift to have someone there beside me lending an empathetic … Continue reading The Transformative Power of a Visit: Reflections on Prison Ministry