Spirituality of the Ordinary Blog

Mercy for the Outcast: The Story God Wants Told

Mere moments on Twitter are enough to alert us that our culture is plagued with demons.  We live in a culture that responds to polarized politics and social values with contempt and hateful accusations that serve only to drive us further from one another, rather than seeking common ground.  Even voices claiming to speak for…

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 Body of Christ According to Edith Stein

Today is the feast of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, a religious sister who died in a concentration camp in Holland on August 9, 1942. She began life as Edith Stein, a Jewish atheist, philosopher, and professor. After her conversion in 1922, Stein spent 11 years writing, teaching and living as a witness to…

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…