Overcoming the Fear of Suffering

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…

5 Ways Ignatian Wisdom Can Help You Cultivate Work/Life Balance

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…

7 Simple Ways to Pray through Journaling

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.

Using Negative Feelings in Discernment

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…

The Transformative Power of a Visit: Reflections on Prison Ministry

“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…