The Examen with Fr. James Martin, SJ

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Description

The examen is an ancient prayer practice that enables you to find God in your daily life. Our podcast is based on a technique that St. Ignatius Loyola outlined in the "Spiritual Exercises," his classic manual for prayer. Each week Fr. Martin will provide you with a new reflection and guide you through the examen prayer.

Episode Date
20th Monday in Ordinary Time
17:52

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Sunday.  

Aug 20, 2018
20th Sunday in Ordinary Time
17:52

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Sunday.  

Aug 19, 2018
19th Saturday in Ordinary Time
17:58

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Sunday.  

In the next few weeks, I’m going to talk a little bit about what happens in prayer. In other words, what happens when you close your eyes? The Examen is a prayer of noticing where God has been during your day, but what happens in other prayer periods, where you are meditating on the Bible or just being in the presence of God? Well, one of the most common experiences are emotions. All sorts of emotions come up in prayer. If you read a story about Jesus healing someone, you might feel sadness that you’re not healed. If you are meditating on God’s presence in nature, you might feel a sense of comfort. If you’re at Mass and are praying along with the congregation you might feel joy. All of these are ways of God speaking to you. So can you see in that sadness an invitation to be honest with God about your feelings? Can you see in that comfort God comforting you? And can you feel in that joy an invitation to experience new life. A lot of times people dismiss such prayer experiences as, “Oh I was just being emotional.” Usually that’s not the case.  It’s probably communicating God with you. So pay attention.

Aug 18, 2018
19th Friday in Ordinary Time
17:58

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Sunday.  

In the next few weeks, I’m going to talk a little bit about what happens in prayer. In other words, what happens when you close your eyes? The Examen is a prayer of noticing where God has been during your day, but what happens in other prayer periods, where you are meditating on the Bible or just being in the presence of God? Well, one of the most common experiences are emotions. All sorts of emotions come up in prayer. If you read a story about Jesus healing someone, you might feel sadness that you’re not healed. If you are meditating on God’s presence in nature, you might feel a sense of comfort. If you’re at Mass and are praying along with the congregation you might feel joy. All of these are ways of God speaking to you. So can you see in that sadness an invitation to be honest with God about your feelings? Can you see in that comfort God comforting you? And can you feel in that joy an invitation to experience new life. A lot of times people dismiss such prayer experiences as, “Oh I was just being emotional.” Usually that’s not the case.  It’s probably communicating God with you. So pay attention.

Aug 17, 2018
19th Thursday in Ordinary Time
17:58

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Sunday.  

In the next few weeks, I’m going to talk a little bit about what happens in prayer. In other words, what happens when you close your eyes? The Examen is a prayer of noticing where God has been during your day, but what happens in other prayer periods, where you are meditating on the Bible or just being in the presence of God? Well, one of the most common experiences are emotions. All sorts of emotions come up in prayer. If you read a story about Jesus healing someone, you might feel sadness that you’re not healed. If you are meditating on God’s presence in nature, you might feel a sense of comfort. If you’re at Mass and are praying along with the congregation you might feel joy. All of these are ways of God speaking to you. So can you see in that sadness an invitation to be honest with God about your feelings? Can you see in that comfort God comforting you? And can you feel in that joy an invitation to experience new life. A lot of times people dismiss such prayer experiences as, “Oh I was just being emotional.” Usually that’s not the case.  It’s probably communicating God with you. So pay attention.

Aug 16, 2018
19th Wednesday in Ordinary Time
17:58

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Sunday.  

In the next few weeks, I’m going to talk a little bit about what happens in prayer. In other words, what happens when you close your eyes? The Examen is a prayer of noticing where God has been during your day, but what happens in other prayer periods, where you are meditating on the Bible or just being in the presence of God? Well, one of the most common experiences are emotions. All sorts of emotions come up in prayer. If you read a story about Jesus healing someone, you might feel sadness that you’re not healed. If you are meditating on God’s presence in nature, you might feel a sense of comfort. If you’re at Mass and are praying along with the congregation you might feel joy. All of these are ways of God speaking to you. So can you see in that sadness an invitation to be honest with God about your feelings? Can you see in that comfort God comforting you? And can you feel in that joy an invitation to experience new life. A lot of times people dismiss such prayer experiences as, “Oh I was just being emotional.” Usually that’s not the case.  It’s probably communicating God with you. So pay attention.

Aug 15, 2018
19th Tuesday in Ordinary Time
17:58

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Sunday.  

In the next few weeks, I’m going to talk a little bit about what happens in prayer. In other words, what happens when you close your eyes? The Examen is a prayer of noticing where God has been during your day, but what happens in other prayer periods, where you are meditating on the Bible or just being in the presence of God? Well, one of the most common experiences are emotions. All sorts of emotions come up in prayer. If you read a story about Jesus healing someone, you might feel sadness that you’re not healed. If you are meditating on God’s presence in nature, you might feel a sense of comfort. If you’re at Mass and are praying along with the congregation you might feel joy. All of these are ways of God speaking to you. So can you see in that sadness an invitation to be honest with God about your feelings? Can you see in that comfort God comforting you? And can you feel in that joy an invitation to experience new life. A lot of times people dismiss such prayer experiences as, “Oh I was just being emotional.” Usually that’s not the case.  It’s probably communicating God with you. So pay attention.

Aug 14, 2018
19th Monday in Ordinary Time
17:58

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Sunday.  

In the next few weeks, I’m going to talk a little bit about what happens in prayer. In other words, what happens when you close your eyes? The Examen is a prayer of noticing where God has been during your day, but what happens in other prayer periods, where you are meditating on the Bible or just being in the presence of God? Well, one of the most common experiences are emotions. All sorts of emotions come up in prayer. If you read a story about Jesus healing someone, you might feel sadness that you’re not healed. If you are meditating on God’s presence in nature, you might feel a sense of comfort. If you’re at Mass and are praying along with the congregation you might feel joy. All of these are ways of God speaking to you. So can you see in that sadness an invitation to be honest with God about your feelings? Can you see in that comfort God comforting you? And can you feel in that joy an invitation to experience new life. A lot of times people dismiss such prayer experiences as, “Oh I was just being emotional.” Usually that’s not the case.  It’s probably communicating God with you. So pay attention.

Aug 13, 2018
19th Sunday in Ordinary Time
17:58

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Sunday.  

In the next few weeks, I’m going to talk a little bit about what happens in prayer. In other words, what happens when you close your eyes? The Examen is a prayer of noticing where God has been during your day, but what happens in other prayer periods, where you are meditating on the Bible or just being in the presence of God? Well, one of the most common experiences are emotions. All sorts of emotions come up in prayer. If you read a story about Jesus healing someone, you might feel sadness that you’re not healed. If you are meditating on God’s presence in nature, you might feel a sense of comfort. If you’re at Mass and are praying along with the congregation you might feel joy. All of these are ways of God speaking to you. So can you see in that sadness an invitation to be honest with God about your feelings? Can you see in that comfort God comforting you? And can you feel in that joy an invitation to experience new life. A lot of times people dismiss such prayer experiences as, “Oh I was just being emotional.” Usually that’s not the case.  It’s probably communicating God with you. So pay attention.

Aug 12, 2018
18th Saturday in Ordinary Time
18:09

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Sunday. 

This week we celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration. The Transfiguration is a beautiful, mysterious and even confusing story, told in all three of the Synoptic Gospels: Matthew, Mark and Luke. In the story, Jesus calls three of his disciples together—Peter, James and John—and leads them up on a mountain, the traditional place of revelation in the Bible, where he is “transfigured” before them. His face shines like the sun, his clothes become dazzling white, and he appears to be speaking with Moses and Elijah. Peter is so thunderstruck that he says, “Let’s build three booths here,” so that they can worship Jesus. But Jesus tells them that they need to come down off the mountain.

Believe it or not, that’s very much like our own experiences in the spiritual life.  Sometimes we have a powerful spiritual experience—a moment in prayer, a special insight, an emotional time in church—and we want to do just what the disciples did. They say, “Lord, it is good for us to be here.” They want to stay. So do we. But God invites us to see that while we can enjoy the experience, at some point it’s time to get back to our daily lives. To bring the fruits of what we’ve experienced to others: by loving, forgiving and showing mercy. In short, after these experiences, beautiful as they are, it’s time to come down off the mountain.

Aug 11, 2018
18th Friday in Ordinary Time
18:09

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Sunday. 

This week we celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration. The Transfiguration is a beautiful, mysterious and even confusing story, told in all three of the Synoptic Gospels: Matthew, Mark and Luke. In the story, Jesus calls three of his disciples together—Peter, James and John—and leads them up on a mountain, the traditional place of revelation in the Bible, where he is “transfigured” before them. His face shines like the sun, his clothes become dazzling white, and he appears to be speaking with Moses and Elijah. Peter is so thunderstruck that he says, “Let’s build three booths here,” so that they can worship Jesus. But Jesus tells them that they need to come down off the mountain.

Believe it or not, that’s very much like our own experiences in the spiritual life.  Sometimes we have a powerful spiritual experience—a moment in prayer, a special insight, an emotional time in church—and we want to do just what the disciples did. They say, “Lord, it is good for us to be here.” They want to stay. So do we. But God invites us to see that while we can enjoy the experience, at some point it’s time to get back to our daily lives. To bring the fruits of what we’ve experienced to others: by loving, forgiving and showing mercy. In short, after these experiences, beautiful as they are, it’s time to come down off the mountain.

Aug 10, 2018
18th Thursday in Ordinary Time
18:09

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Sunday. 

This week we celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration. The Transfiguration is a beautiful, mysterious and even confusing story, told in all three of the Synoptic Gospels: Matthew, Mark and Luke. In the story, Jesus calls three of his disciples together—Peter, James and John—and leads them up on a mountain, the traditional place of revelation in the Bible, where he is “transfigured” before them. His face shines like the sun, his clothes become dazzling white, and he appears to be speaking with Moses and Elijah. Peter is so thunderstruck that he says, “Let’s build three booths here,” so that they can worship Jesus. But Jesus tells them that they need to come down off the mountain.

Believe it or not, that’s very much like our own experiences in the spiritual life.  Sometimes we have a powerful spiritual experience—a moment in prayer, a special insight, an emotional time in church—and we want to do just what the disciples did. They say, “Lord, it is good for us to be here.” They want to stay. So do we. But God invites us to see that while we can enjoy the experience, at some point it’s time to get back to our daily lives. To bring the fruits of what we’ve experienced to others: by loving, forgiving and showing mercy. In short, after these experiences, beautiful as they are, it’s time to come down off the mountain.

Aug 09, 2018
18th Wednesday in Ordinary Time
18:09

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Sunday. 

This week we celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration. The Transfiguration is a beautiful, mysterious and even confusing story, told in all three of the Synoptic Gospels: Matthew, Mark and Luke. In the story, Jesus calls three of his disciples together—Peter, James and John—and leads them up on a mountain, the traditional place of revelation in the Bible, where he is “transfigured” before them. His face shines like the sun, his clothes become dazzling white, and he appears to be speaking with Moses and Elijah. Peter is so thunderstruck that he says, “Let’s build three booths here,” so that they can worship Jesus. But Jesus tells them that they need to come down off the mountain.

Believe it or not, that’s very much like our own experiences in the spiritual life.  Sometimes we have a powerful spiritual experience—a moment in prayer, a special insight, an emotional time in church—and we want to do just what the disciples did. They say, “Lord, it is good for us to be here.” They want to stay. So do we. But God invites us to see that while we can enjoy the experience, at some point it’s time to get back to our daily lives. To bring the fruits of what we’ve experienced to others: by loving, forgiving and showing mercy. In short, after these experiences, beautiful as they are, it’s time to come down off the mountain.

Aug 08, 2018
18th Monday in Ordinary Time
18:09

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Sunday. 

This week we celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration. The Transfiguration is a beautiful, mysterious and even confusing story, told in all three of the Synoptic Gospels: Matthew, Mark and Luke. In the story, Jesus calls three of his disciples together—Peter, James and John—and leads them up on a mountain, the traditional place of revelation in the Bible, where he is “transfigured” before them. His face shines like the sun, his clothes become dazzling white, and he appears to be speaking with Moses and Elijah. Peter is so thunderstruck that he says, “Let’s build three booths here,” so that they can worship Jesus. But Jesus tells them that they need to come down off the mountain.

Believe it or not, that’s very much like our own experiences in the spiritual life.  Sometimes we have a powerful spiritual experience—a moment in prayer, a special insight, an emotional time in church—and we want to do just what the disciples did. They say, “Lord, it is good for us to be here.” They want to stay. So do we. But God invites us to see that while we can enjoy the experience, at some point it’s time to get back to our daily lives. To bring the fruits of what we’ve experienced to others: by loving, forgiving and showing mercy. In short, after these experiences, beautiful as they are, it’s time to come down off the mountain.

Aug 07, 2018
18th Tuesday in Ordinary Time
18:09

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Sunday. 

This week we celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration. The Transfiguration is a beautiful, mysterious and even confusing story, told in all three of the Synoptic Gospels: Matthew, Mark and Luke. In the story, Jesus calls three of his disciples together—Peter, James and John—and leads them up on a mountain, the traditional place of revelation in the Bible, where he is “transfigured” before them. His face shines like the sun, his clothes become dazzling white, and he appears to be speaking with Moses and Elijah. Peter is so thunderstruck that he says, “Let’s build three booths here,” so that they can worship Jesus. But Jesus tells them that they need to come down off the mountain.

Believe it or not, that’s very much like our own experiences in the spiritual life.  Sometimes we have a powerful spiritual experience—a moment in prayer, a special insight, an emotional time in church—and we want to do just what the disciples did. They say, “Lord, it is good for us to be here.” They want to stay. So do we. But God invites us to see that while we can enjoy the experience, at some point it’s time to get back to our daily lives. To bring the fruits of what we’ve experienced to others: by loving, forgiving and showing mercy. In short, after these experiences, beautiful as they are, it’s time to come down off the mountain.

Aug 07, 2018
18th Sunday in Ordinary Time: Feast of the Transfiguration
18:09

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Sunday. 

This week we celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration. The Transfiguration is a beautiful, mysterious and even confusing story, told in all three of the Synoptic Gospels: Matthew, Mark and Luke. In the story, Jesus calls three of his disciples together—Peter, James and John—and leads them up on a mountain, the traditional place of revelation in the Bible, where he is “transfigured” before them. His face shines like the sun, his clothes become dazzling white, and he appears to be speaking with Moses and Elijah. Peter is so thunderstruck that he says, “Let’s build three booths here,” so that they can worship Jesus. But Jesus tells them that they need to come down off the mountain.

Believe it or not, that’s very much like our own experiences in the spiritual life.  Sometimes we have a powerful spiritual experience—a moment in prayer, a special insight, an emotional time in church—and we want to do just what the disciples did. They say, “Lord, it is good for us to be here.” They want to stay. So do we. But God invites us to see that while we can enjoy the experience, at some point it’s time to get back to our daily lives. To bring the fruits of what we’ve experienced to others: by loving, forgiving and showing mercy. In short, after these experiences, beautiful as they are, it’s time to come down off the mountain.

Aug 05, 2018
17th Saturday in Ordinary Time
17:52

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday. 

On July 31 in 1556, St. Ignatius of Loyola, the Founder of the Jesuit Order, died at the Jesuit residence in Rome, after decades of serving the Jesuits, the Catholic Church and the whole People of God. He was at various points in his life a soldier, a mystic, a beggar, a pilgrim, a student, a priest, a fundraiser, a spiritual director, and an administrator. As it was for nearly all of the saints, life was sometimes tough.  And confusing.  When he was a young man, he thought he was going to be a great soldier, but a cannonball shattered his leg and ended his military career. Later, he thought that he should live like an ascetic, but he found it harmed his health and he had to start eating better. He thought he would move to the Holy Land, but he was turned away. 


At each juncture, Ignatius had to discern what to do when it seemed like his path was blocked. As a result, he is sometimes called the “Patron Saint of Plan B.” Ignatius shows us that the path to holiness can sometimes be confusing and rather circuitous. So don’t worry too much about changing your mind or your course. Ignatius and many others did it before you did—and reached their destination all the same. 

Aug 04, 2018
17th Friday in Ordinary Time
17:52

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday. 

On July 31 in 1556, St. Ignatius of Loyola, the Founder of the Jesuit Order, died at the Jesuit residence in Rome, after decades of serving the Jesuits, the Catholic Church and the whole People of God. He was at various points in his life a soldier, a mystic, a beggar, a pilgrim, a student, a priest, a fundraiser, a spiritual director, and an administrator. As it was for nearly all of the saints, life was sometimes tough.  And confusing.  When he was a young man, he thought he was going to be a great soldier, but a cannonball shattered his leg and ended his military career. Later, he thought that he should live like an ascetic, but he found it harmed his health and he had to start eating better. He thought he would move to the Holy Land, but he was turned away. 


At each juncture, Ignatius had to discern what to do when it seemed like his path was blocked. As a result, he is sometimes called the “Patron Saint of Plan B.” Ignatius shows us that the path to holiness can sometimes be confusing and rather circuitous. So don’t worry too much about changing your mind or your course. Ignatius and many others did it before you did—and reached their destination all the same. 

Aug 03, 2018
17th Thursday in Ordinary Time
17:52

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday. 

On July 31 in 1556, St. Ignatius of Loyola, the Founder of the Jesuit Order, died at the Jesuit residence in Rome, after decades of serving the Jesuits, the Catholic Church and the whole People of God. He was at various points in his life a soldier, a mystic, a beggar, a pilgrim, a student, a priest, a fundraiser, a spiritual director, and an administrator. As it was for nearly all of the saints, life was sometimes tough.  And confusing.  When he was a young man, he thought he was going to be a great soldier, but a cannonball shattered his leg and ended his military career. Later, he thought that he should live like an ascetic, but he found it harmed his health and he had to start eating better. He thought he would move to the Holy Land, but he was turned away. 


At each juncture, Ignatius had to discern what to do when it seemed like his path was blocked. As a result, he is sometimes called the “Patron Saint of Plan B.” Ignatius shows us that the path to holiness can sometimes be confusing and rather circuitous. So don’t worry too much about changing your mind or your course. Ignatius and many others did it before you did—and reached their destination all the same. 

Aug 02, 2018
17th Wednesday in Ordinary Time
17:52

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday. 

On July 31 in 1556, St. Ignatius of Loyola, the Founder of the Jesuit Order, died at the Jesuit residence in Rome, after decades of serving the Jesuits, the Catholic Church and the whole People of God. He was at various points in his life a soldier, a mystic, a beggar, a pilgrim, a student, a priest, a fundraiser, a spiritual director, and an administrator. As it was for nearly all of the saints, life was sometimes tough.  And confusing.  When he was a young man, he thought he was going to be a great soldier, but a cannonball shattered his leg and ended his military career. Later, he thought that he should live like an ascetic, but he found it harmed his health and he had to start eating better. He thought he would move to the Holy Land, but he was turned away. 


At each juncture, Ignatius had to discern what to do when it seemed like his path was blocked. As a result, he is sometimes called the “Patron Saint of Plan B.” Ignatius shows us that the path to holiness can sometimes be confusing and rather circuitous. So don’t worry too much about changing your mind or your course. Ignatius and many others did it before you did—and reached their destination all the same. 

Aug 01, 2018
17th Tuesday in Ordinary Time
17:52

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday. 

On July 31 in 1556, St. Ignatius of Loyola, the Founder of the Jesuit Order, died at the Jesuit residence in Rome, after decades of serving the Jesuits, the Catholic Church and the whole People of God. He was at various points in his life a soldier, a mystic, a beggar, a pilgrim, a student, a priest, a fundraiser, a spiritual director, and an administrator. As it was for nearly all of the saints, life was sometimes tough.  And confusing.  When he was a young man, he thought he was going to be a great soldier, but a cannonball shattered his leg and ended his military career. Later, he thought that he should live like an ascetic, but he found it harmed his health and he had to start eating better. He thought he would move to the Holy Land, but he was turned away. 


At each juncture, Ignatius had to discern what to do when it seemed like his path was blocked. As a result, he is sometimes called the “Patron Saint of Plan B.” Ignatius shows us that the path to holiness can sometimes be confusing and rather circuitous. So don’t worry too much about changing your mind or your course. Ignatius and many others did it before you did—and reached their destination all the same. 

Jul 31, 2018
17th Monday in Ordinary Time
17:52

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday. 

On July 31 in 1556, St. Ignatius of Loyola, the Founder of the Jesuit Order, died at the Jesuit residence in Rome, after decades of serving the Jesuits, the Catholic Church and the whole People of God. He was at various points in his life a soldier, a mystic, a beggar, a pilgrim, a student, a priest, a fundraiser, a spiritual director, and an administrator. As it was for nearly all of the saints, life was sometimes tough.  And confusing.  When he was a young man, he thought he was going to be a great soldier, but a cannonball shattered his leg and ended his military career. Later, he thought that he should live like an ascetic, but he found it harmed his health and he had to start eating better. He thought he would move to the Holy Land, but he was turned away. 


At each juncture, Ignatius had to discern what to do when it seemed like his path was blocked. As a result, he is sometimes called the “Patron Saint of Plan B.” Ignatius shows us that the path to holiness can sometimes be confusing and rather circuitous. So don’t worry too much about changing your mind or your course. Ignatius and many others did it before you did—and reached their destination all the same. 

Jul 30, 2018
17th Sunday in Ordinary Time
17:52

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday. 

On July 31 in 1556, St. Ignatius of Loyola, the Founder of the Jesuit Order, died at the Jesuit residence in Rome, after decades of serving the Jesuits, the Catholic Church and the whole People of God. He was at various points in his life a soldier, a mystic, a beggar, a pilgrim, a student, a priest, a fundraiser, a spiritual director, and an administrator. As it was for nearly all of the saints, life was sometimes tough.  And confusing.  When he was a young man, he thought he was going to be a great soldier, but a cannonball shattered his leg and ended his military career. Later, he thought that he should live like an ascetic, but he found it harmed his health and he had to start eating better. He thought he would move to the Holy Land, but he was turned away. 


At each juncture, Ignatius had to discern what to do when it seemed like his path was blocked. As a result, he is sometimes called the “Patron Saint of Plan B.” Ignatius shows us that the path to holiness can sometimes be confusing and rather circuitous. So don’t worry too much about changing your mind or your course. Ignatius and many others did it before you did—and reached their destination all the same. 

Jul 29, 2018
16th Saturday in Ordinary Time
17:52

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 16th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

What’s your favorite image of God in prayer? By that I mean: when you close your eyes to pray, who or what do you think of? For many people, God is a kind of presence, beside them, or around them, or above them. One terrific way to start your prayer comes from St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits. He says that before we begin to pray we should look at the place in which we’re going to be praying—a chair, a place on the floor, a bed, a church pew—and imagine God looking at us there. For a whole minute. After you do that, you’ll find that when you finally sit down, or lie down on kneel down, having imagined God looking at you, it really deepens your prayer. It reminds you who is with you. Some people like to think of Jesus with them while they pray, perhaps sitting next to them, or in a chair across the room. One young Jesuit, who was a pretty outdoorsy type, told me that he likes to think of Jesus and him sitting across a campfire from him, just talking. A few years ago, on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, I found a picnic bench I liked to pray at, right by the Sea of Galilee. So that’s where I return to pray sometimes, in my mind. Whatever image of God you have in prayer is fine. Because there’s no one better than the other. Just trust that whatever image you use—God will meet you there.

Jul 28, 2018
16th Friday in Ordinary Time
17:52

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 16th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

What’s your favorite image of God in prayer? By that I mean: when you close your eyes to pray, who or what do you think of? For many people, God is a kind of presence, beside them, or around them, or above them. One terrific way to start your prayer comes from St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits. He says that before we begin to pray we should look at the place in which we’re going to be praying—a chair, a place on the floor, a bed, a church pew—and imagine God looking at us there. For a whole minute. After you do that, you’ll find that when you finally sit down, or lie down on kneel down, having imagined God looking at you, it really deepens your prayer. It reminds you who is with you. Some people like to think of Jesus with them while they pray, perhaps sitting next to them, or in a chair across the room. One young Jesuit, who was a pretty outdoorsy type, told me that he likes to think of Jesus and him sitting across a campfire from him, just talking. A few years ago, on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, I found a picnic bench I liked to pray at, right by the Sea of Galilee. So that’s where I return to pray sometimes, in my mind. Whatever image of God you have in prayer is fine. Because there’s no one better than the other. Just trust that whatever image you use—God will meet you there.

Jul 27, 2018
16th Thursday in Ordinary Time
17:52

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 16th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

What’s your favorite image of God in prayer? By that I mean: when you close your eyes to pray, who or what do you think of? For many people, God is a kind of presence, beside them, or around them, or above them. One terrific way to start your prayer comes from St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits. He says that before we begin to pray we should look at the place in which we’re going to be praying—a chair, a place on the floor, a bed, a church pew—and imagine God looking at us there. For a whole minute. After you do that, you’ll find that when you finally sit down, or lie down on kneel down, having imagined God looking at you, it really deepens your prayer. It reminds you who is with you. Some people like to think of Jesus with them while they pray, perhaps sitting next to them, or in a chair across the room. One young Jesuit, who was a pretty outdoorsy type, told me that he likes to think of Jesus and him sitting across a campfire from him, just talking. A few years ago, on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, I found a picnic bench I liked to pray at, right by the Sea of Galilee. So that’s where I return to pray sometimes, in my mind. Whatever image of God you have in prayer is fine. Because there’s no one better than the other. Just trust that whatever image you use—God will meet you there.

Jul 26, 2018
16th Wednesday in Ordinary Time
17:52

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 16th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

What’s your favorite image of God in prayer? By that I mean: when you close your eyes to pray, who or what do you think of? For many people, God is a kind of presence, beside them, or around them, or above them. One terrific way to start your prayer comes from St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits. He says that before we begin to pray we should look at the place in which we’re going to be praying—a chair, a place on the floor, a bed, a church pew—and imagine God looking at us there. For a whole minute. After you do that, you’ll find that when you finally sit down, or lie down on kneel down, having imagined God looking at you, it really deepens your prayer. It reminds you who is with you. Some people like to think of Jesus with them while they pray, perhaps sitting next to them, or in a chair across the room. One young Jesuit, who was a pretty outdoorsy type, told me that he likes to think of Jesus and him sitting across a campfire from him, just talking. A few years ago, on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, I found a picnic bench I liked to pray at, right by the Sea of Galilee. So that’s where I return to pray sometimes, in my mind. Whatever image of God you have in prayer is fine. Because there’s no one better than the other. Just trust that whatever image you use—God will meet you there.

Jul 25, 2018
16th Tuesday in Ordinary Time
17:52

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 16th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

What’s your favorite image of God in prayer? By that I mean: when you close your eyes to pray, who or what do you think of? For many people, God is a kind of presence, beside them, or around them, or above them. One terrific way to start your prayer comes from St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits. He says that before we begin to pray we should look at the place in which we’re going to be praying—a chair, a place on the floor, a bed, a church pew—and imagine God looking at us there. For a whole minute. After you do that, you’ll find that when you finally sit down, or lie down on kneel down, having imagined God looking at you, it really deepens your prayer. It reminds you who is with you. Some people like to think of Jesus with them while they pray, perhaps sitting next to them, or in a chair across the room. One young Jesuit, who was a pretty outdoorsy type, told me that he likes to think of Jesus and him sitting across a campfire from him, just talking. A few years ago, on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, I found a picnic bench I liked to pray at, right by the Sea of Galilee. So that’s where I return to pray sometimes, in my mind. Whatever image of God you have in prayer is fine. Because there’s no one better than the other. Just trust that whatever image you use—God will meet you there.

Jul 24, 2018
16th Monday in Ordinary Time
17:52

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 16th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

What’s your favorite image of God in prayer? By that I mean: when you close your eyes to pray, who or what do you think of? For many people, God is a kind of presence, beside them, or around them, or above them. One terrific way to start your prayer comes from St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits. He says that before we begin to pray we should look at the place in which we’re going to be praying—a chair, a place on the floor, a bed, a church pew—and imagine God looking at us there. For a whole minute. After you do that, you’ll find that when you finally sit down, or lie down on kneel down, having imagined God looking at you, it really deepens your prayer. It reminds you who is with you. Some people like to think of Jesus with them while they pray, perhaps sitting next to them, or in a chair across the room. One young Jesuit, who was a pretty outdoorsy type, told me that he likes to think of Jesus and him sitting across a campfire from him, just talking. A few years ago, on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, I found a picnic bench I liked to pray at, right by the Sea of Galilee. So that’s where I return to pray sometimes, in my mind. Whatever image of God you have in prayer is fine. Because there’s no one better than the other. Just trust that whatever image you use—God will meet you there.

Jul 23, 2018
16th Sunday in Ordinary Time
17:52

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 16th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

What’s your favorite image of God in prayer? By that I mean: when you close your eyes to pray, who or what do you think of? For many people, God is a kind of presence, beside them, or around them, or above them. One terrific way to start your prayer comes from St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits. He says that before we begin to pray we should look at the place in which we’re going to be praying—a chair, a place on the floor, a bed, a church pew—and imagine God looking at us there. For a whole minute. After you do that, you’ll find that when you finally sit down, or lie down on kneel down, having imagined God looking at you, it really deepens your prayer. It reminds you who is with you. Some people like to think of Jesus with them while they pray, perhaps sitting next to them, or in a chair across the room. One young Jesuit, who was a pretty outdoorsy type, told me that he likes to think of Jesus and him sitting across a campfire from him, just talking. A few years ago, on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, I found a picnic bench I liked to pray at, right by the Sea of Galilee. So that’s where I return to pray sometimes, in my mind. Whatever image of God you have in prayer is fine. Because there’s no one better than the other. Just trust that whatever image you use—God will meet you there.

Jul 22, 2018
15th Saturday in Ordinary Time
17:23

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

How kind are you?  That’s an important question to ask as you look back over your day. Many Christians get obsessed with following a variety of rules—Did I take the name of the Lord in vain? Did I tell any white lies? Did I make it to Mass today?—that they forget that one of the most basic requirements about the Christian life is to be kind. That’s not the only thing that is required of course, but without that the rest of the Christian life doesn’t make much sense. Are you kind and charitable and respectful to people? Or are you a jerk, talking behind their backs, putting your needs ahead of theirs, and maybe even short or rude or mean with people? Here in New York the great sin is sarcasm, and some days it seems like everyone wants to make fun or get the best of someone.  So maybe today you could ask yourself: Was I kind? 

Jul 21, 2018
15th Friday in Ordinary Time
17:23

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

How kind are you?  That’s an important question to ask as you look back over your day. Many Christians get obsessed with following a variety of rules—Did I take the name of the Lord in vain? Did I tell any white lies? Did I make it to Mass today?—that they forget that one of the most basic requirements about the Christian life is to be kind. That’s not the only thing that is required of course, but without that the rest of the Christian life doesn’t make much sense. Are you kind and charitable and respectful to people? Or are you a jerk, talking behind their backs, putting your needs ahead of theirs, and maybe even short or rude or mean with people? Here in New York the great sin is sarcasm, and some days it seems like everyone wants to make fun or get the best of someone.  So maybe today you could ask yourself: Was I kind? 

Jul 20, 2018
15th Thursday in Ordinary Time
17:23

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

How kind are you?  That’s an important question to ask as you look back over your day. Many Christians get obsessed with following a variety of rules—Did I take the name of the Lord in vain? Did I tell any white lies? Did I make it to Mass today?—that they forget that one of the most basic requirements about the Christian life is to be kind. That’s not the only thing that is required of course, but without that the rest of the Christian life doesn’t make much sense. Are you kind and charitable and respectful to people? Or are you a jerk, talking behind their backs, putting your needs ahead of theirs, and maybe even short or rude or mean with people? Here in New York the great sin is sarcasm, and some days it seems like everyone wants to make fun or get the best of someone.  So maybe today you could ask yourself: Was I kind? 

Jul 19, 2018
15th Wednesday in Ordinary Time
17:23

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

How kind are you?  That’s an important question to ask as you look back over your day. Many Christians get obsessed with following a variety of rules—Did I take the name of the Lord in vain? Did I tell any white lies? Did I make it to Mass today?—that they forget that one of the most basic requirements about the Christian life is to be kind. That’s not the only thing that is required of course, but without that the rest of the Christian life doesn’t make much sense. Are you kind and charitable and respectful to people? Or are you a jerk, talking behind their backs, putting your needs ahead of theirs, and maybe even short or rude or mean with people? Here in New York the great sin is sarcasm, and some days it seems like everyone wants to make fun or get the best of someone.  So maybe today you could ask yourself: Was I kind? 

Jul 18, 2018
15th Tuesday in Ordinary Time
17:23

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

How kind are you?  That’s an important question to ask as you look back over your day. Many Christians get obsessed with following a variety of rules—Did I take the name of the Lord in vain? Did I tell any white lies? Did I make it to Mass today?—that they forget that one of the most basic requirements about the Christian life is to be kind. That’s not the only thing that is required of course, but without that the rest of the Christian life doesn’t make much sense. Are you kind and charitable and respectful to people? Or are you a jerk, talking behind their backs, putting your needs ahead of theirs, and maybe even short or rude or mean with people? Here in New York the great sin is sarcasm, and some days it seems like everyone wants to make fun or get the best of someone.  So maybe today you could ask yourself: Was I kind? 

Jul 17, 2018
15th Monday in Ordinary Time
17:23

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

How kind are you?  That’s an important question to ask as you look back over your day. Many Christians get obsessed with following a variety of rules—Did I take the name of the Lord in vain? Did I tell any white lies? Did I make it to Mass today?—that they forget that one of the most basic requirements about the Christian life is to be kind. That’s not the only thing that is required of course, but without that the rest of the Christian life doesn’t make much sense. Are you kind and charitable and respectful to people? Or are you a jerk, talking behind their backs, putting your needs ahead of theirs, and maybe even short or rude or mean with people? Here in New York the great sin is sarcasm, and some days it seems like everyone wants to make fun or get the best of someone.  So maybe today you could ask yourself: Was I kind? 

Jul 16, 2018
15th Sunday in Ordinary Time
17:23

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

How kind are you?  That’s an important question to ask as you look back over your day. Many Christians get obsessed with following a variety of rules—Did I take the name of the Lord in vain? Did I tell any white lies? Did I make it to Mass today?—that they forget that one of the most basic requirements about the Christian life is to be kind. That’s not the only thing that is required of course, but without that the rest of the Christian life doesn’t make much sense. Are you kind and charitable and respectful to people? Or are you a jerk, talking behind their backs, putting your needs ahead of theirs, and maybe even short or rude or mean with people? Here in New York the great sin is sarcasm, and some days it seems like everyone wants to make fun or get the best of someone. So maybe today you could ask yourself: Was I kind? 

Jul 15, 2018
14th Saturday in Ordinary Time
17:29

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

Do you pray to the saints much?  I know that this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if you don’t pray to the saints, let me encourage you to do so.  In the Catholic tradition, the saints are both our patrons and our companions.  As companions, they show us the way to live a Christian life, by their examples.  The Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner said that a saint shows us what it means to be holy “in this particular way.”  But the patron model is also an important one.  The saints pray for us in heaven.  And if you have trouble with that, like many people do, you might think about it this way: you probably ask for people on earth to pray for you—you might ask a friend for his or her prayers.  Why wouldn’t you ask for someone in heaven to pray for you too?  There’s nothing strange about that.  If you’re in trouble, or even if you need help in your spiritual life, ask the saints for help. Try it.  I do it all the time.  Besides, they’re praying for you already! 

Jul 14, 2018
14th Friday in Ordinary Time
17:29

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

Do you pray to the saints much?  I know that this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if you don’t pray to the saints, let me encourage you to do so.  In the Catholic tradition, the saints are both our patrons and our companions.  As companions, they show us the way to live a Christian life, by their examples.  The Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner said that a saint shows us what it means to be holy “in this particular way.”  But the patron model is also an important one.  The saints pray for us in heaven.  And if you have trouble with that, like many people do, you might think about it this way: you probably ask for people on earth to pray for you—you might ask a friend for his or her prayers.  Why wouldn’t you ask for someone in heaven to pray for you too?  There’s nothing strange about that.  If you’re in trouble, or even if you need help in your spiritual life, ask the saints for help. Try it.  I do it all the time.  Besides, they’re praying for you already! 

Jul 13, 2018
14th Thursday in Ordinary Time
17:29

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

Do you pray to the saints much?  I know that this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if you don’t pray to the saints, let me encourage you to do so.  In the Catholic tradition, the saints are both our patrons and our companions.  As companions, they show us the way to live a Christian life, by their examples.  The Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner said that a saint shows us what it means to be holy “in this particular way.”  But the patron model is also an important one.  The saints pray for us in heaven.  And if you have trouble with that, like many people do, you might think about it this way: you probably ask for people on earth to pray for you—you might ask a friend for his or her prayers.  Why wouldn’t you ask for someone in heaven to pray for you too?  There’s nothing strange about that.  If you’re in trouble, or even if you need help in your spiritual life, ask the saints for help. Try it.  I do it all the time.  Besides, they’re praying for you already! 

Jul 12, 2018
14th Wednesday in Ordinary Time
17:29

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

Do you pray to the saints much?  I know that this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if you don’t pray to the saints, let me encourage you to do so.  In the Catholic tradition, the saints are both our patrons and our companions.  As companions, they show us the way to live a Christian life, by their examples.  The Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner said that a saint shows us what it means to be holy “in this particular way.”  But the patron model is also an important one.  The saints pray for us in heaven.  And if you have trouble with that, like many people do, you might think about it this way: you probably ask for people on earth to pray for you—you might ask a friend for his or her prayers.  Why wouldn’t you ask for someone in heaven to pray for you too?  There’s nothing strange about that.  If you’re in trouble, or even if you need help in your spiritual life, ask the saints for help. Try it.  I do it all the time.  Besides, they’re praying for you already! 

Jul 11, 2018
14th Tuesday in Ordinary Time
17:29

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

Do you pray to the saints much?  I know that this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if you don’t pray to the saints, let me encourage you to do so.  In the Catholic tradition, the saints are both our patrons and our companions.  As companions, they show us the way to live a Christian life, by their examples.  The Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner said that a saint shows us what it means to be holy “in this particular way.”  But the patron model is also an important one.  The saints pray for us in heaven.  And if you have trouble with that, like many people do, you might think about it this way: you probably ask for people on earth to pray for you—you might ask a friend for his or her prayers.  Why wouldn’t you ask for someone in heaven to pray for you too?  There’s nothing strange about that.  If you’re in trouble, or even if you need help in your spiritual life, ask the saints for help. Try it.  I do it all the time.  Besides, they’re praying for you already!

Jul 10, 2018
14th Monday in Ordinary Time
17:29

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

Do you pray to the saints much?  I know that this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if you don’t pray to the saints, let me encourage you to do so.  In the Catholic tradition, the saints are both our patrons and our companions.  As companions, they show us the way to live a Christian life, by their examples.  The Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner said that a saint shows us what it means to be holy “in this particular way.”  But the patron model is also an important one.  The saints pray for us in heaven.  And if you have trouble with that, like many people do, you might think about it this way: you probably ask for people on earth to pray for you—you might ask a friend for his or her prayers.  Why wouldn’t you ask for someone in heaven to pray for you too?  There’s nothing strange about that.  If you’re in trouble, or even if you need help in your spiritual life, ask the saints for help. Try it.  I do it all the time.  Besides, they’re praying for you already! 

Jul 09, 2018
14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
17:29

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

Do you pray to the saints much?  I know that this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if you don’t pray to the saints, let me encourage you to do so.  In the Catholic tradition, the saints are both our patrons and our companions.  As companions, they show us the way to live a Christian life, by their examples.  The Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner said that a saint shows us what it means to be holy “in this particular way.”  But the patron model is also an important one.  The saints pray for us in heaven.  And if you have trouble with that, like many people do, you might think about it this way: you probably ask for people on earth to pray for you—you might ask a friend for his or her prayers.  Why wouldn’t you ask for someone in heaven to pray for you too?  There’s nothing strange about that.  If you’re in trouble, or even if you need help in your spiritual life, ask the saints for help. Try it. I do it all the time.  Besides, they’re praying for you already!

 

Jul 08, 2018
13th Saturday in Ordinary Time
17:29

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 13th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

Where did God speak to you today? As you know, that’s the main question that you ponder when you do the Examen prayer every day. You look back over the day and try to see where God was present. But oftentimes we forget that when we pray to see where God was active or present, we are also seeing where God spoke to us. In other words, these moments of deep emotion, or surprising insight or even a moment of clarity, are more than moments to recall God. Rather, it’s God speaking to you in that moment during the Examen, now. So when you notice something in the Examen, it’s not simply noticing something interesting or seeing something that helps you see where God is at work, it’s something much more. It’s God inviting you to look at this particular part of your day, or have this particular insight, or notice this particular facet of your day. Experiences like that in the Examen, in other words, are God speaking directly to you. So, as my first spiritual director often said to me, “Pay attention!”

Jul 07, 2018
13th Friday in Ordinary Time
17:29

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 13th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

Where did God speak to you today? As you know, that’s the main question that you ponder when you do the Examen prayer every day. You look back over the day and try to see where God was present. But oftentimes we forget that when we pray to see where God was active or present, we are also seeing where God spoke to us. In other words, these moments of deep emotion, or surprising insight or even a moment of clarity, are more than moments to recall God. Rather, it’s God speaking to you in that moment during the Examen, now. So when you notice something in the Examen, it’s not simply noticing something interesting or seeing something that helps you see where God is at work, it’s something much more. It’s God inviting you to look at this particular part of your day, or have this particular insight, or notice this particular facet of your day. Experiences like that in the Examen, in other words, are God speaking directly to you. So, as my first spiritual director often said to me, “Pay attention!”

Jul 06, 2018
13th Thursday in Ordinary Time
17:29

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 13th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

Where did God speak to you today? As you know, that’s the main question that you ponder when you do the Examen prayer every day. You look back over the day and try to see where God was present. But oftentimes we forget that when we pray to see where God was active or present, we are also seeing where God spoke to us. In other words, these moments of deep emotion, or surprising insight or even a moment of clarity, are more than moments to recall God. Rather, it’s God speaking to you in that moment during the Examen, now. So when you notice something in the Examen, it’s not simply noticing something interesting or seeing something that helps you see where God is at work, it’s something much more. It’s God inviting you to look at this particular part of your day, or have this particular insight, or notice this particular facet of your day. Experiences like that in the Examen, in other words, are God speaking directly to you. So, as my first spiritual director often said to me, “Pay attention!”

Jul 05, 2018
13th Wednesday in Ordinary Time
17:29

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 13th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

Where did God speak to you today? As you know, that’s the main question that you ponder when you do the Examen prayer every day. You look back over the day and try to see where God was present. But oftentimes we forget that when we pray to see where God was active or present, we are also seeing where God spoke to us. In other words, these moments of deep emotion, or surprising insight or even a moment of clarity, are more than moments to recall God. Rather, it’s God speaking to you in that moment during the Examen, now. So when you notice something in the Examen, it’s not simply noticing something interesting or seeing something that helps you see where God is at work, it’s something much more. It’s God inviting you to look at this particular part of your day, or have this particular insight, or notice this particular facet of your day. Experiences like that in the Examen, in other words, are God speaking directly to you. So, as my first spiritual director often said to me, “Pay attention!”

 

Jul 04, 2018
13th Tuesday in Ordinary Time
17:29

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 13th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

Where did God speak to you today? As you know, that’s the main question that you ponder when you do the Examen prayer every day. You look back over the day and try to see where God was present. But oftentimes we forget that when we pray to see where God was active or present, we are also seeing where God spoke to us. In other words, these moments of deep emotion, or surprising insight or even a moment of clarity, are more than moments to recall God. Rather, it’s God speaking to you in that moment during the Examen, now. So when you notice something in the Examen, it’s not simply noticing something interesting or seeing something that helps you see where God is at work, it’s something much more. It’s God inviting you to look at this particular part of your day, or have this particular insight, or notice this particular facet of your day. Experiences like that in the Examen, in other words, are God speaking directly to you. So, as my first spiritual director often said to me, “Pay attention!”

 

Jul 03, 2018
13th Monday in Ordinary Time
17:29

13th Monday in Ordinary Time

Where did God speak to you today? As you know, that’s the main question that you ponder when you do the Examen prayer every day. You look back over the day and try to see where God was present. But oftentimes we forget that when we pray to see where God was active or present, we are also seeing where God spoke to us. In other words, these moments of deep emotion, or surprising insight or even a moment of clarity, are more than moments to recall God. Rather, it’s God speaking to you in that moment during the Examen, now. So when you notice something in the Examen, it’s not simply noticing something interesting or seeing something that helps you see where God is at work, it’s something much more. It’s God inviting you to look at this particular part of your day, or have this particular insight, or notice this particular facet of your day. Experiences like that in the Examen, in other words, are God speaking directly to you. So, as my first spiritual director often said to me, “Pay attention!”

Jul 02, 2018
13th Sunday in Ordinary Time
17:55

A new reflection for the 13th week in Ordinary Time will be added on Monday.

How grateful are you in life?  Now, that question is something of a spoiler alert, as people say about movies, since the first step of the Examen is one of gratitude.  But the question can be asked not simply about your life, day by day, but overall. Do you have, as the saying goes, an “attitude of gratitude?” Thirty years ago, as a Jesuit novice, I was working in a hospital in Boston for seriously ill people.  Many of them had profound physical limitations thanks to injuries or illnesses. During my time there, I met a woman named Doris, who was severely physically disabled. Doris, who used a wheelchair to get around, was incredibly cheerful and kind. At one point, I participated in a Bible study with her and about ten other patients, and we started to talk about sacrifice. Doris said that she used to see her wheelchair as a sacrifice and a burden, but now, she said with a huge smile, she was so grateful for it, since it helped her get around.  I’m not embarrassed to say that I’ve been thinking about that remark for the last 30 years. It was so challenging to me, someone who has the tendency to be focused on the negative. I’m not saying that you need to think exactly like Doris does. But I wonder if her way of looking at life might help us be more grateful. Even just a little bit.

 

Jul 01, 2018
12th Saturday in Ordinary Time
17:55

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

How grateful are you in life?  Now, that question is something of a spoiler alert, as people say about movies, since the first step of the Examen is one of gratitude.  But the question can be asked not simply about your life, day by day, but overall. Do you have, as the saying goes, an “attitude of gratitude?” Thirty years ago, as a Jesuit novice, I was working in a hospital in Boston for seriously ill people.  Many of them had profound physical limitations thanks to injuries or illnesses. During my time there, I met a woman named Doris, who was severely physically disabled. Doris, who used a wheelchair to get around, was incredibly cheerful and kind. At one point, I participated in a Bible study with her and about ten other patients, and we started to talk about sacrifice. Doris said that she used to see her wheelchair as a sacrifice and a burden, but now, she said with a huge smile, she was so grateful for it, since it helped her get around.  I’m not embarrassed to say that I’ve been thinking about that remark for the last 30 years. It was so challenging to me, someone who has the tendency to be focused on the negative. I’m not saying that you need to think exactly like Doris does. But I wonder if her way of looking at life might help us be more grateful. Even just a little bit.

 

Jun 30, 2018
12th Friday in Ordinary Time
17:55

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

How grateful are you in life?  Now, that question is something of a spoiler alert, as people say about movies, since the first step of the Examen is one of gratitude.  But the question can be asked not simply about your life, day by day, but overall. Do you have, as the saying goes, an “attitude of gratitude?” Thirty years ago, as a Jesuit novice, I was working in a hospital in Boston for seriously ill people.  Many of them had profound physical limitations thanks to injuries or illnesses. During my time there, I met a woman named Doris, who was severely physically disabled. Doris, who used a wheelchair to get around, was incredibly cheerful and kind. At one point, I participated in a Bible study with her and about ten other patients, and we started to talk about sacrifice. Doris said that she used to see her wheelchair as a sacrifice and a burden, but now, she said with a huge smile, she was so grateful for it, since it helped her get around.  I’m not embarrassed to say that I’ve been thinking about that remark for the last 30 years. It was so challenging to me, someone who has the tendency to be focused on the negative. I’m not saying that you need to think exactly like Doris does. But I wonder if her way of looking at life might help us be more grateful. Even just a little bit.

 

Jun 29, 2018
12th Thursday in Ordinary Time
17:55

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

How grateful are you in life?  Now, that question is something of a spoiler alert, as people say about movies, since the first step of the Examen is one of gratitude.  But the question can be asked not simply about your life, day by day, but overall. Do you have, as the saying goes, an “attitude of gratitude?” Thirty years ago, as a Jesuit novice, I was working in a hospital in Boston for seriously ill people.  Many of them had profound physical limitations thanks to injuries or illnesses. During my time there, I met a woman named Doris, who was severely physically disabled. Doris, who used a wheelchair to get around, was incredibly cheerful and kind. At one point, I participated in a Bible study with her and about ten other patients, and we started to talk about sacrifice. Doris said that she used to see her wheelchair as a sacrifice and a burden, but now, she said with a huge smile, she was so grateful for it, since it helped her get around.  I’m not embarrassed to say that I’ve been thinking about that remark for the last 30 years. It was so challenging to me, someone who has the tendency to be focused on the negative. I’m not saying that you need to think exactly like Doris does. But I wonder if her way of looking at life might help us be more grateful. Even just a little bit.

 

Jun 28, 2018
12th Wednesday in Ordinary Time
17:55

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

How grateful are you in life?  Now, that question is something of a spoiler alert, as people say about movies, since the first step of the Examen is one of gratitude.  But the question can be asked not simply about your life, day by day, but overall. Do you have, as the saying goes, an “attitude of gratitude?” Thirty years ago, as a Jesuit novice, I was working in a hospital in Boston for seriously ill people.  Many of them had profound physical limitations thanks to injuries or illnesses. During my time there, I met a woman named Doris, who was severely physically disabled. Doris, who used a wheelchair to get around, was incredibly cheerful and kind. At one point, I participated in a Bible study with her and about ten other patients, and we started to talk about sacrifice. Doris said that she used to see her wheelchair as a sacrifice and a burden, but now, she said with a huge smile, she was so grateful for it, since it helped her get around.  I’m not embarrassed to say that I’ve been thinking about that remark for the last 30 years. It was so challenging to me, someone who has the tendency to be focused on the negative. I’m not saying that you need to think exactly like Doris does. But I wonder if her way of looking at life might help us be more grateful. Even just a little bit.

Jun 27, 2018
12th Tuesday in Ordinary Time
17:55

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

How grateful are you in life?  Now, that question is something of a spoiler alert, as people say about movies, since the first step of the Examen is one of gratitude.  But the question can be asked not simply about your life, day by day, but overall. Do you have, as the saying goes, an “attitude of gratitude?” Thirty years ago, as a Jesuit novice, I was working in a hospital in Boston for seriously ill people.  Many of them had profound physical limitations thanks to injuries or illnesses. During my time there, I met a woman named Doris, who was severely physically disabled. Doris, who used a wheelchair to get around, was incredibly cheerful and kind. At one point, I participated in a Bible study with her and about ten other patients, and we started to talk about sacrifice. Doris said that she used to see her wheelchair as a sacrifice and a burden, but now, she said with a huge smile, she was so grateful for it, since it helped her get around.  I’m not embarrassed to say that I’ve been thinking about that remark for the last 30 years. It was so challenging to me, someone who has the tendency to be focused on the negative. I’m not saying that you need to think exactly like Doris does. But I wonder if her way of looking at life might help us be more grateful. Even just a little bit.

 

Jun 26, 2018
12th Monday in Ordinary Time
17:55

Because today is Monday, we have a new reflection of the week.

How grateful are you in life?  Now, that question is something of a spoiler alert, as people say about movies, since the first step of the Examen is one of gratitude.  But the question can be asked not simply about your life, day by day, but overall. Do you have, as the saying goes, an “attitude of gratitude?” Thirty years ago, as a Jesuit novice, I was working in a hospital in Boston for seriously ill people.  Many of them had profound physical limitations thanks to injuries or illnesses. During my time there, I met a woman named Doris, who was severely physically disabled. Doris, who used a wheelchair to get around, was incredibly cheerful and kind. At one point, I participated in a Bible study with her and about ten other patients, and we started to talk about sacrifice. Doris said that she used to see her wheelchair as a sacrifice and a burden, but now, she said with a huge smile, she was so grateful for it, since it helped her get around.  I’m not embarrassed to say that I’ve been thinking about that remark for the last 30 years. It was so challenging to me, someone who has the tendency to be focused on the negative. I’m not saying that you need to think exactly like Doris does. But I wonder if her way of looking at life might help us be more grateful. Even just a little bit.

Jun 25, 2018
Birth of St. John the Baptist
17:54

A new reflection for the 12th week in Ordinary Time will be added on Monday.

Have you ever had a mystical experience? I ask that not to make you feel inadequate in your spiritual life, much less bad about yourself, but to remind you that mystical experiences are lot more common than you might think. You don’t have to be a saint to have them. A mystical experience, basically, is one that makes us feel like a sudden flash of truth or light that releases you from your limited sense of self and gives you a taste of a reality that somehow feels more real. It doesn’t mean seeing things or hearing things, but a kind of being taken out of yourself, or seeing things in a new way. And in my experience as a spiritual director, they are, while not common, but also not uncommon. One young man told that he felt like he was a vase filled with water about to overflow. One woman told me that she looked around at Mass and suddenly realized that everyone had once been a child. Sometimes it’s just an intense feeling of rightness, or understanding, or connection with God. I would say I’ve had them about three times in my life. I’m not going to encourage you to look for a mystical experience this week; they’re gifts, and rare ones at that. But if it happens, whether this week, this month or this year, just be open to it. And grateful.

Jun 24, 2018
11th Saturday of Ordinary Time
17:54

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 11th Week of Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

Have you ever had a mystical experience? I ask that not to make you feel inadequate in your spiritual life, much less bad about yourself, but to remind you that mystical experiences are lot more common than you might think. You don’t have to be a saint to have them. A mystical experience, basically, is one that makes us feel like a sudden flash of truth or light that releases you from your limited sense of self and gives you a taste of a reality that somehow feels more real. It doesn’t mean seeing things or hearing things, but a kind of being taken out of yourself, or seeing things in a new way. And in my experience as a spiritual director, they are, while not common, but also not uncommon. One young man told that he felt like he was a vase filled with water about to overflow. One woman told me that she looked around at Mass and suddenly realized that everyone had once been a child. Sometimes it’s just an intense feeling of rightness, or understanding, or connection with God. I would say I’ve had them about three times in my life. I’m not going to encourage you to look for a mystical experience this week; they’re gifts, and rare ones at that. But if it happens, whether this week, this month or this year, just be open to it. And grateful.

Jun 23, 2018
11th Friday of Ordinary Time
17:54

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 11th Week of Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

Have you ever had a mystical experience? I ask that not to make you feel inadequate in your spiritual life, much less bad about yourself, but to remind you that mystical experiences are a lot more common than you might think. You don’t have to be a saint to have them. A mystical experience, basically, is one that makes us feel like a sudden flash of truth or light that releases you from your limited sense of self and gives you a taste of a reality that somehow feels more real. It doesn’t mean seeing things or hearing things, but a kind of being taken out of yourself, or seeing things in a new way. And in my experience as a spiritual director, they are, while not common, but also not uncommon. One young man told that he felt like he was a vase filled with water about to overflow. One woman told me that she looked around at Mass and suddenly realized that everyone had once been a child. Sometimes it’s just an intense feeling of rightness, or understanding, or connection with God. I would say I’ve had them about three times in my life. I’m not going to encourage you to look for a mystical experience this week; they’re gifts, and rare ones at that. But if it happens, whether this week, this month or this year, just be open to it. And grateful.

Jun 22, 2018
11th Thursday of Ordinary Time
17:54

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 11th Week of Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

Have you ever had a mystical experience? I ask that not to make you feel inadequate in your spiritual life, much less bad about yourself, but to remind you that mystical experiences are a lot more common than you might think. You don’t have to be a saint to have them. A mystical experience, basically, is one that makes us feel like a sudden flash of truth or light that releases you from your limited sense of self and gives you a taste of a reality that somehow feels more real. It doesn’t mean seeing things or hearing things, but a kind of being taken out of yourself, or seeing things in a new way. And in my experience as a spiritual director, they are, while not common, but also not uncommon. One young man told that he felt like he was a vase filled with water about to overflow. One woman told me that she looked around at Mass and suddenly realized that everyone had once been a child. Sometimes it’s just an intense feeling of rightness, or understanding, or connection with God. I would say I’ve had them about three times in my life. I’m not going to encourage you to look for a mystical experience this week; they’re gifts, and rare ones at that. But if it happens, whether this week, this month or this year, just be open to it. And grateful.

Jun 21, 2018
11th Wednesday of Ordinary Time
17:54

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 11th Week of Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

Have you ever had a mystical experience? I ask that not to make you feel inadequate in your spiritual life, much less bad about yourself, but to remind you that mystical experiences are a lot more common than you might think. You don’t have to be a saint to have them. A mystical experience, basically, is one that makes us feel like a sudden flash of truth or light that releases you from your limited sense of self and gives you a taste of a reality that somehow feels more real. It doesn’t mean seeing things or hearing things, but a kind of being taken out of yourself, or seeing things in a new way. And in my experience as a spiritual director, they are, while not common, but also not uncommon. One young man told that he felt like he was a vase filled with water about to overflow. One woman told me that she looked around at Mass and suddenly realized that everyone had once been a child. Sometimes it’s just an intense feeling of rightness, or understanding, or connection with God. I would say I’ve had them about three times in my life. I’m not going to encourage you to look for a mystical experience this week; they’re gifts, and rare ones at that. But if it happens, whether this week, this month or this year, just be open to it. And grateful.

Jun 20, 2018
11th Tuesday of Ordinary Time
17:54

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 11th Week of Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

Have you ever had a mystical experience? I ask that not to make you feel inadequate in your spiritual life, much less bad about yourself, but to remind you that mystical experiences are lot more common than you might think. You don’t have to be a saint to have them. A mystical experience, basically, is one that makes us feel like a sudden flash of truth or light that releases you from your limited sense of self and gives you a taste of a reality that somehow feels more real. It doesn’t mean seeing things or hearing things, but a kind of being taken out of yourself, or seeing things in a new way. And in my experience as a spiritual director, they are, while not common, but also not uncommon. One young man told that he felt like he was a vase filled with water about to overflow. One woman told me that she looked around at Mass and suddenly realized that everyone had once been a child. Sometimes it’s just an intense feeling of rightness, or understanding, or connection with God. I would say I’ve had them about three times in my life. I’m not going to encourage you to look for a mystical experience this week; they’re gifts, and rare ones at that. But if it happens, whether this week, this month or this year, just be open to it. And grateful.

Jun 19, 2018
11th Monday of Ordinary Time
17:54

Because today is Monday, we have a new reflection of the week.

Have you ever had a mystical experience? I ask that not to make you feel inadequate in your spiritual life, much less bad about yourself, but to remind you that mystical experiences are lot more common than you might think. You don’t have to be a saint to have them. A mystical experience, basically, is one that makes us feel like a sudden flash of truth or light that releases you from your limited sense of self and gives you a taste of a reality that somehow feels more real. It doesn’t mean seeing things or hearing things, but a kind of being taken out of yourself, or seeing things in a new way. And in my experience as a spiritual director, they are, while not common, but also not uncommon. One young man told that he felt like he was a vase filled with water about to overflow. One woman told me that she looked around at Mass and suddenly realized that everyone had once been a child. Sometimes it’s just an intense feeling of rightness, or understanding, or connection with God. I would say I’ve had them about three times in my life. I’m not going to encourage you to look for a mystical experience this week; they’re gifts, and rare ones at that. But if it happens, whether this week, this month or this year, just be open to it. And grateful.

Jun 18, 2018
11th Sunday of Ordinary Time
17:54

A new reflection for the 11th week of Ordinary Time will be added on Monday.

Are you ever distracted in prayer? I bet I know that answer to that question. Yes, of course! Everyone is. It’s one of the most common concerns, or complaints, that I hear about prayer. So how do you deal with them? Well, first you need to discern what kind of distraction it is. To my mind, there are two kinds: important and not so important. What do I mean by important ones? Well, some distractions may not be distractions. A few years ago, a young Jesuit told me he kept trying to do his examen but a guy in community that he was angry about kept coming up in his prayer. Well, I said, maybe God wants you to look at that. It may be an important distraction.

But there are other distractions that may not be so important: thinking about what you’re going to have for dinner, for example. The invitation here is to let them go. But sometimes that’s hard. Even impossible, for example if you’re in physical pain. In that case, maybe you can just let them be. And remember that God can be with you even if you’re distracted. Think about it: If you were with a friend who said she was distracted, you’d be forgiving, wouldn’t you? You’d understand. So how much more forgiving and understanding is God? So don’t worry too much about being distracted, especially if you can’t help it. Just be with God.

Jun 17, 2018
10th Saturday of Ordinary Time
17:54

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 10th Week of Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

Are you ever distracted in prayer? I bet I know that answer to that question. Yes, of course! Everyone is. It’s one of the most common concerns, or complaints, that I hear about prayer. So how do you deal with them? Well, first you need to discern what kind of distraction it is. To my mind, there are two kinds: important and not so important. What do I mean by important ones? Well, some distractions may not be distractions. A few years ago, a young Jesuit told me he kept trying to do his examen but a guy in community that he was angry about kept coming up in his prayer. Well, I said, maybe God wants you to look at that. It may be an important distraction.

But there are other distractions that may not be so important: thinking about what you’re going to have for dinner, for example. The invitation here is to let them go. But sometimes that’s hard. Even impossible, for example if you’re in physical pain. In that case, maybe you can just let them be. And remember that God can be with you even if you’re distracted. Think about it: If you were with a friend who said she was distracted, you’d be forgiving, wouldn’t you? You’d understand. So how much more forgiving and understanding is God? So don’t worry too much about being distracted, especially if you can’t help it. Just be with God.

Jun 16, 2018
10th Friday of Ordinary Time
17:54

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 10th Week of Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

Are you ever distracted in prayer? I bet I know that answer to that question. Yes, of course! Everyone is. It’s one of the most common concerns, or complaints, that I hear about prayer. So how do you deal with them? Well, first you need to discern what kind of distraction it is. To my mind, there are two kinds: important and not so important. What do I mean by important ones? Well, some distractions may not be distractions. A few years ago, a young Jesuit told me he kept trying to do his examen but a guy in community that he was angry about kept coming up in his prayer. Well, I said, maybe God wants you to look at that. It may be an important distraction.

But there are other distractions that may not be so important: thinking about what you’re going to have for dinner, for example. The invitation here is to let them go. But sometimes that’s hard. Even impossible, for example if you’re in physical pain. In that case, maybe you can just let them be. And remember that God can be with you even if you’re distracted. Think about it: If you were with a friend who said she was distracted, you’d be forgiving, wouldn’t you? You’d understand. So how much more forgiving and understanding is God? So don’t worry too much about being distracted, especially if you can’t help it. Just be with God.

Jun 15, 2018
10th Thursday of Ordinary Time
17:54

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 10th Week of Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

Are you ever distracted in prayer? I bet I know that answer to that question. Yes, of course! Everyone is. It’s one of the most common concerns, or complaints, that I hear about prayer. So how do you deal with them? Well, first you need to discern what kind of distraction it is. To my mind, there are two kinds: important and not so important. What do I mean by important ones? Well, some distractions may not be distractions. A few years ago, a young Jesuit told me he kept trying to do his examen but a guy in community that he was angry about kept coming up in his prayer. Well, I said, maybe God wants you to look at that. It may be an important distraction.

But there are other distractions that may not be so important: thinking about what you’re going to have for dinner, for example. The invitation here is to let them go. But sometimes that’s hard. Even impossible, for example if you’re in physical pain. In that case, maybe you can just let them be. And remember that God can be with you even if you’re distracted. Think about it: If you were with a friend who said she was distracted, you’d be forgiving, wouldn’t you? You’d understand. So how much more forgiving and understanding is God? So don’t worry too much about being distracted, especially if you can’t help it. Just be with God.

Jun 14, 2018
10th Wednesday of Ordinary Time
17:54

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 10th Week of Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

Are you ever distracted in prayer? I bet I know that answer to that question. Yes, of course! Everyone is. It’s one of the most common concerns, or complaints, that I hear about prayer. So how do you deal with them? Well, first you need to discern what kind of distraction it is. To my mind, there are two kinds: important and not so important. What do I mean by important ones? Well, some distractions may not be distractions. A few years ago, a young Jesuit told me he kept trying to do his examen but a guy in community that he was angry about kept coming up in his prayer. Well, I said, maybe God wants you to look at that. It may be an important distraction.

But there are other distractions that may not be so important: thinking about what you’re going to have for dinner, for example. The invitation here is to let them go. But sometimes that’s hard. Even impossible, for example if you’re in physical pain. In that case, maybe you can just let them be. And remember that God can be with you even if you’re distracted. Think about it: If you were with a friend who said she was distracted, you’d be forgiving, wouldn’t you? You’d understand. So how much more forgiving and understanding is God? So don’t worry too much about being distracted, especially if you can’t help it. Just be with God.

Jun 13, 2018
10th Tuesday of Ordinary Time
17:54

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 10th Week of Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

Are you ever distracted in prayer? I bet I know that answer to that question. Yes, of course! Everyone is. It’s one of the most common concerns, or complaints, that I hear about prayer. So how do you deal with them? Well, first you need to discern what kind of distraction it is. To my mind, there are two kinds: important and not so important. What do I mean by important ones? Well, some distractions may not be distractions. A few years ago, a young Jesuit told me he kept trying to do his examen but a guy in community that he was angry about kept coming up in his prayer. Well, I said, maybe God wants you to look at that. It may be an important distraction.

But there are other distractions that may not be so important: thinking about what you’re going to have for dinner, for example. The invitation here is to let them go. But sometimes that’s hard. Even impossible, for example if you’re in physical pain. In that case, maybe you can just let them be. And remember that God can be with you even if you’re distracted. Think about it: If you were with a friend who said she was distracted, you’d be forgiving, wouldn’t you? You’d understand. So how much more forgiving and understanding is God? So don’t worry too much about being distracted, especially if you can’t help it. Just be with God.

Jun 12, 2018
10th Monday of Ordinary Time
17:54

Because today is Monday, we have a new reflection of the week.

Are you ever distracted in prayer?  I bet I know that answer to that question.  Yes, of course! Everyone is. It’s one of the most common concerns, or complaints, that I hear about prayer. So how do you deal with them?  Well, first you need to discern what kind of distraction it is. To my mind, there are two kinds: important and not so important. What do I mean by important ones?  Well, some distractions may not be distractions. A few years ago, a young Jesuit told me he kept trying to do his examen but a guy in community that he was angry about kept coming up in his prayer. Well, I said, maybe God wants you to look at that.  It may be an important distraction. But there are other distractions that may not be so important: thinking about what you’re going to have for dinner, for example. The invitation here is to let them go. But sometimes that’s hard. Even impossible, for example if you’re in physical pain.  In that case, maybe you can just let them be. And remember that God can be with you even if you’re distracted. Think about it: If you were with a friend who said she was distracted, you’d be forgiving, wouldn’t you? You’d understand. So how much more forgiving and understanding is God? So don’t worry too much about being distracted, especially if you can’t help it.  Just be with God.

Jun 11, 2018
10th Sunday of Ordinary Time
17:55

A new reflection for the 10th week of Ordinary Time will be added on Monday.

Depending on where you live, it may, or may not, be summer. At least where I live, it is. That means not only is the weather getting warmer, but for many people, their normal routines are being upended. It’s also a time of transition: the school year ends, college students move back home, people go on vacations. But even if this time of year isn’t one of transition, you’ve probably, at some point in your life, felt what spiritual writers call “liminal times.” Those are when you seem “in between” one state of life and another. Maybe you’re in between jobs or in between relationships. Or maybe something is happening in your family or work or with your health, that means a transition. Now, I don’t know anyone who likes transitions, and I know a lot of people who really dislike them. But while these liminal times can be discombobulating, they can also be times of real reliance on God. When everything else seems like it’s up for grabs, it’s all the more reason to focus on our relationship with God. When things change, it’s best to pray more. So, this week, maybe you can be especially conscious of those places in your life that are in transition and see if you can find signs of God’s accompanying you there. In those liminal places, try to see God.

Jun 10, 2018
9th Saturday of Ordinary Time
17:55

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 9th Week of Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

Depending on where you live, it may, or may not, be summer. At least where I live, it is. That means not only is the weather getting warmer, but for many people, their normal routines are being upended. It’s also a time of transition: the school year ends, college students move back home, people go on vacations. But even if this time of year isn’t one of transition, you’ve probably, at some point in your life, felt what spiritual writers call “liminal times.” Those are when you seem “in between” one state of life and another. Maybe you’re in between jobs or in between relationships. Or maybe something is happening in your family or work or with your health, that means a transition. Now, I don’t know anyone who likes transitions, and I know a lot of people who really dislike them. But while these liminal times can be discombobulating, they can also be times of real reliance on God. When everything else seems like it’s up for grabs, it’s all the more reason to focus on our relationship with God. When things change, it’s best to pray more. So, this week, maybe you can be especially conscious of those places in your life that are in transition and see if you can find signs of God’s accompanying you there. In those liminal places, try to see God.

Jun 09, 2018
9th Friday of Ordinary Time
17:54

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 9th Week of Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

Depending on where you live, it may, or may not, be summer. At least where I live, it is. That means not only is the weather getting warmer, but for many people, their normal routines are being upended. It’s also a time of transition: the school year ends, college students move back home, people go on vacations. But even if this time of year isn’t one of transition, you’ve probably, at some point in your life, felt what spiritual writers call “liminal times.” Those are when you seem “in between” one state of life and another. Maybe you’re in between jobs or in between relationships. Or maybe something is happening in your family or work or with your health, that means a transition. Now, I don’t know anyone who likes transitions, and I know a lot of people who really dislike them. But while these liminal times can be discombobulating, they can also be times of real reliance on God. When everything else seems like it’s up for grabs, it’s all the more reason to focus on our relationship with God. When things change, it’s best to pray more. So, this week, maybe you can be especially conscious of those places in your life that are in transition and see if you can find signs of God’s accompanying you there. In those liminal places, try to see God.

Jun 08, 2018
9th Thursday of Ordinary Time
17:55

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 9th Week of Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

Depending on where you live, it may, or may not, be summer. At least where I live, it is. That means not only is the weather getting warmer, but for many people, their normal routines are being upended. It’s also a time of transition: the school year ends, college students move back home, people go on vacations. But even if this time of year isn’t one of transition, you’ve probably, at some point in your life, felt what spiritual writers call “liminal times.” Those are when you seem “in between” one state of life and another. Maybe you’re in between jobs or in between relationships. Or maybe something is happening in your family or work or with your health, that means a transition. Now, I don’t know anyone who likes transitions, and I know a lot of people who really dislike them. But while these liminal times can be discombobulating, they can also be times of real reliance on God. When everything else seems like it’s up for grabs, it’s all the more reason to focus on our relationship with God. When things change, it’s best to pray more. So, this week, maybe you can be especially conscious of those places in your life that are in transition and see if you can find signs of God’s accompanying you there. In those liminal places, try to see God.

Jun 07, 2018
9th Wednesday of Ordinary Time
17:55

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 9th Week of Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

Depending on where you live, it may, or may not, be summer. At least where I live, it is. That means not only is the weather getting warmer, but for many people, their normal routines are being upended. It’s also a time of transition: the school year ends, college students move back home, people go on vacations. But even if this time of year isn’t one of transition, you’ve probably, at some point in your life, felt what spiritual writers call “liminal times.” Those are when you seem “in between” one state of life and another. Maybe you’re in between jobs or in between relationships. Or maybe something is happening in your family or work or with your health, that means a transition. Now, I don’t know anyone who likes transitions, and I know a lot of people who really dislike them. But while these liminal times can be discombobulating, they can also be times of real reliance on God. When everything else seems like it’s up for grabs, it’s all the more reason to focus on our relationship with God. When things change, it’s best to pray more. So, this week, maybe you can be especially conscious of those places in your life that are in transition and see if you can find signs of God’s accompanying you there. In those liminal places, try to see God.

Jun 06, 2018
9th Tuesday of Ordinary Time
17:55

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 9th Week of Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

Depending on where you live, it may, or may not, be summer. At least where I live, it is. That means not only is the weather getting warmer, but for many people, their normal routines are being upended. It’s also a time of transition: the school year ends, college students move back home, people go on vacations. But even if this time of year isn’t one of transition, you’ve probably, at some point in your life, felt what spiritual writers call “liminal times.” Those are when you seem “in between” one state of life and another. Maybe you’re in between jobs or in between relationships. Or maybe something is happening in your family or work or with your health, that means a transition. Now, I don’t know anyone who likes transitions, and I know a lot of people who really dislike them. But while these liminal times can be discombobulating, they can also be times of real reliance on God. When everything else seems like it’s up for grabs, it’s all the more reason to focus on our relationship with God. When things change, it’s best to pray more. So, this week, maybe you can be especially conscious of those places in your life that are in transition and see if you can find signs of God’s accompanying you there. In those liminal places, try to see God.

Jun 05, 2018
9th Monday of Ordinary Time
17:54

Because today is Monday, we have a new reflection for the week.

Depending on where you live, it may, or may not, be summer. At least where I live, it is. That means not only is the weather getting warmer, but for many people, their normal routines are being upended. It’s also a time of transition: the school year ends, college students move back home, people go on vacations. But even if this time of year isn’t one of transition, you’ve probably, at some point in your life, felt what spiritual writers call “liminal times.” Those are when you seem “in between” one state of life and another. Maybe you’re in between jobs or in between relationships. Or maybe something is happening in your family or work or with your health, that means a transition. Now, I don’t know anyone who likes transitions, and I know a lot of people who really dislike them. But while these liminal times can be discombobulating, they can also be times of real reliance on God. When everything else seems like it’s up for grabs, it’s all the more reason to focus on our relationship with God. When things change, it’s best to pray more. So, this week, maybe you can be especially conscious of those places in your life that are in transition and see if you can find signs of God’s accompanying you there. In those liminal places, try to see God.

Jun 04, 2018
Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
18:03

A new reflection for the 9th week of Ordinary Time will be added on Monday.

Now that the Easter Season and Pentecost have concluded, we’re back to Ordinary Time. And that can feel so, well, ordinary, can’t it? If you’re a churchgoing Christian, you might start to think, “Well, there’s not much going on between now and Advent, is there?” But that’s a somewhat skewed way of looking at life, at least at Jesus’s life. Because there’s an awful lot between the time he was born and the time he died--to put it mildly. And even when you take out his public ministry—his preaching and healing in Galilee and Judea, which takes up most of the Gospels—you’re left with a big chunk of his life that we know little about. This part of his life, between ages 12, when he’s found in the Temple teaching, and age 30, is called the “Hidden Life.” The Hidden Life is the time that Jesus spent in Nazareth, growing up as a boy, learning to be a carpenter and then working as a carpenter. Remember he’s called “carpenter” more than he’s called “rabbi” in the Gospels. Now, one reason that there’s little about the Hidden Life in the Gospels is probably because it was so ordinary. And yet Jesus is no less the Son of God when he is sawing a piece of wood in his workshop in Nazareth. That ordinary life helped to form something extraordinary. This week, why not ask yourself: What ordinary parts of my life do I want to thank God for? Maybe they’re more extraordinary than you think.

Jun 03, 2018
8th Saturday of Ordinary Time
18:03

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 8th Week of Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

Now that the Easter Season and Pentecost have concluded, we’re back to Ordinary Time. And that can feel so, well, ordinary, can’t it? If you’re a churchgoing Christian, you might start to think, “Well, there’s not much going on between now and Advent, is there?” But that’s a somewhat skewed way of looking at life, at least at Jesus’s life. Because there’s an awful lot between the time he was born and the time he died--to put it mildly. And even when you take out his public ministry—his preaching and healing in Galilee and Judea, which takes up most of the Gospels—you’re left with a big chunk of his life that we know little about. This part of his life, between ages 12, when he’s found in the Temple teaching, and age 30, is called the “Hidden Life.” The Hidden Life is the time that Jesus spent in Nazareth, growing up as a boy, learning to be a carpenter and then working as a carpenter. Remember he’s called “carpenter” more than he’s called “rabbi” in the Gospels. Now, one reason that there’s little about the Hidden Life in the Gospels is probably because it was so ordinary. And yet Jesus is no less the Son of God when he is sawing a piece of wood in his workshop in Nazareth. That ordinary life helped to form something extraordinary. This week, why not ask yourself: What ordinary parts of my life do I want to thank God for? Maybe they’re more extraordinary than you think.

Jun 02, 2018
8th Friday of Ordinary Time
18:03

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 8th Week of Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

Now that the Easter Season and Pentecost have concluded, we’re back to Ordinary Time. And that can feel so, well, ordinary, can’t it? If you’re a churchgoing Christian, you might start to think, “Well, there’s not much going on between now and Advent, is there?” But that’s a somewhat skewed way of looking at life, at least at Jesus’s life. Because there’s an awful lot between the time he was born and the time he died--to put it mildly. And even when you take out his public ministry—his preaching and healing in Galilee and Judea, which takes up most of the Gospels—you’re left with a big chunk of his life that we know little about. This part of his life, between ages 12, when he’s found in the Temple teaching, and age 30, is called the “Hidden Life.” The Hidden Life is the time that Jesus spent in Nazareth, growing up as a boy, learning to be a carpenter and then working as a carpenter. Remember he’s called “carpenter” more than he’s called “rabbi” in the Gospels. Now, one reason that there’s little about the Hidden Life in the Gospels is probably because it was so ordinary. And yet Jesus is no less the Son of God when he is sawing a piece of wood in his workshop in Nazareth. That ordinary life helped to form something extraordinary. This week, why not ask yourself: What ordinary parts of my life do I want to thank God for? Maybe they’re more extraordinary than you think.

Jun 01, 2018
8th Thursday of Ordinary Time
18:03

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 8th Week of Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

Now that the Easter Season and Pentecost have concluded, we’re back to Ordinary Time. And that can feel so, well, ordinary, can’t it? If you’re a churchgoing Christian, you might start to think, “Well, there’s not much going on between now and Advent, is there?” But that’s a somewhat skewed way of looking at life, at least at Jesus’s life. Because there’s an awful lot between the time he was born and the time he died--to put it mildly. And even when you take out his public ministry—his preaching and healing in Galilee and Judea, which takes up most of the Gospels—you’re left with a big chunk of his life that we know little about. This part of his life, between ages 12, when he’s found in the Temple teaching, and age 30, is called the “Hidden Life.” The Hidden Life is the time that Jesus spent in Nazareth, growing up as a boy, learning to be a carpenter and then working as a carpenter. Remember he’s called “carpenter” more than he’s called “rabbi” in the Gospels. Now, one reason that there’s little about the Hidden Life in the Gospels is probably because it was so ordinary. And yet Jesus is no less the Son of God when he is sawing a piece of wood in his workshop in Nazareth. That ordinary life helped to form something extraordinary. This week, why not ask yourself: What ordinary parts of my life do I want to thank God for? Maybe they’re more extraordinary than you think.

May 31, 2018
8th Wednesday of Ordinary Time
18:03

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 8th Week of Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

Now that the Easter Season and Pentecost have concluded, we’re back to Ordinary Time. And that can feel so, well, ordinary, can’t it? If you’re a churchgoing Christian, you might start to think, “Well, there’s not much going on between now and Advent, is there?” But that’s a somewhat skewed way of looking at life, at least at Jesus’s life. Because there’s an awful lot between the time he was born and the time he died--to put it mildly. And even when you take out his public ministry—his preaching and healing in Galilee and Judea, which takes up most of the Gospels—you’re left with a big chunk of his life that we know little about. This part of his life, between ages 12, when he’s found in the Temple teaching, and age 30, is called the “Hidden Life.” The Hidden Life is the time that Jesus spent in Nazareth, growing up as a boy, learning to be a carpenter and then working as a carpenter. Remember he’s called “carpenter” more than he’s called “rabbi” in the Gospels. Now, one reason that there’s little about the Hidden Life in the Gospels is probably because it was so ordinary. And yet Jesus is no less the Son of God when he is sawing a piece of wood in his workshop in Nazareth. That ordinary life helped to form something extraordinary. This week, why not ask yourself: What ordinary parts of my life do I want to thank God for? Maybe they’re more extraordinary than you think.

May 30, 2018
8th Tuesday of Ordinary Time
18:03

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 8th Week of Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

Now that the Easter Season and Pentecost have concluded, we’re back to Ordinary Time. And that can feel so, well, ordinary, can’t it? If you’re a churchgoing Christian, you might start to think, “Well, there’s not much going on between now and Advent, is there?” But that’s a somewhat skewed way of looking at life, at least at Jesus’s life. Because there’s an awful lot between the time he was born and the time he died--to put it mildly. And even when you take out his public ministry—his preaching and healing in Galilee and Judea, which takes up most of the Gospels—you’re left with a big chunk of his life that we know little about. This part of his life, between ages 12, when he’s found in the Temple teaching, and age 30, is called the “Hidden Life.” The Hidden Life is the time that Jesus spent in Nazareth, growing up as a boy, learning to be a carpenter and then working as a carpenter. Remember he’s called “carpenter” more than he’s called “rabbi” in the Gospels. Now, one reason that there’s little about the Hidden Life in the Gospels is probably because it was so ordinary. And yet Jesus is no less the Son of God when he is sawing a piece of wood in his workshop in Nazareth. That ordinary life helped to form something extraordinary. This week, why not ask yourself: What ordinary parts of my life do I want to thank God for? Maybe they’re more extraordinary than you think.

May 29, 2018
8th Monday of Ordinary Time
18:02

Because today is Monday, we have a new reflection for the week.

Now that the Easter Season and Pentecost have concluded, we’re back to Ordinary Time. And that can feel so, well, ordinary, can’t it? If you’re a churchgoing Christian, you might start to think, “Well, there’s not much going on between now and Advent, is there?” But that’s a somewhat skewed way of looking at life, at least at Jesus’s life. Because there’s an awful lot between the time he was born and the time he died--to put it mildly. And even when you take out his public ministry—his preaching and healing in Galilee and Judea, which takes up most of the Gospels—you’re left with a big chunk of his life that we know little about. This part of his life, between ages 12, when he’s found in the Temple teaching, and age 30, is called the “Hidden Life.” The Hidden Life is the time that Jesus spent in Nazareth, growing up as a boy, learning to be a carpenter and then working as a carpenter. Remember he’s called “carpenter” more than he’s called “rabbi” in the Gospels. Now, one reason that there’s little about the Hidden Life in the Gospels is probably because it was so ordinary. And yet Jesus is no less the Son of God when he is sawing a piece of wood in his workshop in Nazareth. That ordinary life helped to form something extraordinary. This week, why not ask yourself: What ordinary parts of my life do I want to thank God for? Maybe they’re more extraordinary than you think.

May 28, 2018
Holy Trinity Sunday
17:49

A new reflection for the 8th week of Ordinary Time will be added on Monday.

On the Feast of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was poured out, in a powerful way, onto the disciples, who were gathered together in the same room where the Last Supper occurred. The New Testament describes an incredible scene, with tongues of fire appearing over people’s heads and everyone speaking in foreign languages. Did it happen exactly that way? Who knows? It also may be true that this was the only way that writer of the Acts of the Apostles could describe such a profound experience of the Holy Spirit. As was the case with Easter, Pentecost was something that had never happened before and so was probably impossible to describe. One of the lessons of Pentecost, though, is that the Holy Spirit gives us the graces we need to spread the Good News that God loves us and that God is with us. Now, the Holy Spirit, I think, might be the forgotten person of the Holy Trinity. We tend to think a lot about God the Father and a lot about Jesus. But, in fact, it’s through the Spirit that we encounter both the Father and Son today. The Spirit also encourages us, consoles us, urges us on, and literally “in-spires” us. So this week, as you look back over your daily life, you might pay special attention to those times when you really felt the presence of the Holy Spirit.

May 27, 2018
7th Saturday of Ordinary Time
17:50

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 7th Week of Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

On the Feast of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was poured out, in a powerful way, onto the disciples, who were gathered together in the same room where the Last Supper occurred. The New Testament describes an incredible scene, with tongues of fire appearing over people’s heads and everyone speaking in foreign languages. Did it happen exactly that way? Who knows? It also may be true that this was the only way that writer of the Acts of the Apostles could describe such a profound experience of the Holy Spirit. As was the case with Easter, Pentecost was something that had never happened before and so was probably impossible to describe. One of the lessons of Pentecost, though, is that the Holy Spirit gives us the graces we need to spread the Good News that God loves us and that God is with us. Now, the Holy Spirit, I think, might be the forgotten person of the Holy Trinity. We tend to think a lot about God the Father and a lot about Jesus. But, in fact, it’s through the Spirit that we encounter both the Father and Son today. The Spirit also encourages us, consoles us, urges us on, and literally “in-spires” us. So this week, as you look back over your daily life, you might pay special attention to those times when you really felt the presence of the Holy Spirit.

May 26, 2018
7th Friday of Ordinary Time
17:50

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 7th Week of Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

On the Feast of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was poured out, in a powerful way, onto the disciples, who were gathered together in the same room where the Last Supper occurred. The New Testament describes an incredible scene, with tongues of fire appearing over people’s heads and everyone speaking in foreign languages. Did it happen exactly that way? Who knows? It also may be true that this was the only way that writer of the Acts of the Apostles could describe such a profound experience of the Holy Spirit. As was the case with Easter, Pentecost was something that had never happened before and so was probably impossible to describe. One of the lessons of Pentecost, though, is that the Holy Spirit gives us the graces we need to spread the Good News that God loves us and that God is with us. Now, the Holy Spirit, I think, might be the forgotten person of the Holy Trinity. We tend to think a lot about God the Father and a lot about Jesus. But, in fact, it’s through the Spirit that we encounter both the Father and Son today. The Spirit also encourages us, consoles us, urges us on, and literally “in-spires” us. So this week, as you look back over your daily life, you might pay special attention to those times when you really felt the presence of the Holy Spirit.

May 25, 2018
7th Thursday of Ordinary Time
17:50

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 7th Week of Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

On the Feast of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was poured out, in a powerful way, onto the disciples, who were gathered together in the same room where the Last Supper occurred. The New Testament describes an incredible scene, with tongues of fire appearing over people’s heads and everyone speaking in foreign languages. Did it happen exactly that way? Who knows? It also may be true that this was the only way that writer of the Acts of the Apostles could describe such a profound experience of the Holy Spirit. As was the case with Easter, Pentecost was something that had never happened before and so was probably impossible to describe. One of the lessons of Pentecost, though, is that the Holy Spirit gives us the graces we need to spread the Good News that God loves us and that God is with us. Now, the Holy Spirit, I think, might be the forgotten person of the Holy Trinity. We tend to think a lot about God the Father and a lot about Jesus. But, in fact, it’s through the Spirit that we encounter both the Father and Son today. The Spirit also encourages us, consoles us, urges us on, and literally “in-spires” us. So this week, as you look back over your daily life, you might pay special attention to those times when you really felt the presence of the Holy Spirit.

May 24, 2018
7th Wednesday of Ordinary Time
17:50

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 7th Week of Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

On the Feast of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was poured out, in a powerful way, onto the disciples, who were gathered together in the same room where the Last Supper occurred. The New Testament describes an incredible scene, with tongues of fire appearing over people’s heads and everyone speaking in foreign languages. Did it happen exactly that way? Who knows? It also may be true that this was the only way that writer of the Acts of the Apostles could describe such a profound experience of the Holy Spirit. As was the case with Easter, Pentecost was something that had never happened before and so was probably impossible to describe. One of the lessons of Pentecost, though, is that the Holy Spirit gives us the graces we need to spread the Good News that God loves us and that God is with us. Now, the Holy Spirit, I think, might be the forgotten person of the Holy Trinity. We tend to think a lot about God the Father and a lot about Jesus. But, in fact, it’s through the Spirit that we encounter both the Father and Son today. The Spirit also encourages us, consoles us, urges us on, and literally “in-spires” us. So this week, as you look back over your daily life, you might pay special attention to those times when you really felt the presence of the Holy Spirit.

May 23, 2018
7th Tuesday of Ordinary Time
17:50

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 7th Week of Ordinary Time. New reflections will be added every Monday.

On the Feast of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was poured out, in a powerful way, onto the disciples, who were gathered together in the same room where the Last Supper occurred. The New Testament describes an incredible scene, with tongues of fire appearing over people’s heads and everyone speaking in foreign languages. Did it happen exactly that way? Who knows? It also may be true that this was the only way that writer of the Acts of the Apostles could describe such a profound experience of the Holy Spirit. As was the case with Easter, Pentecost was something that had never happened before and so was probably impossible to describe. One of the lessons of Pentecost, though, is that the Holy Spirit gives us the graces we need to spread the Good News that God loves us and that God is with us. Now, the Holy Spirit, I think, might be the forgotten person of the Holy Trinity. We tend to think a lot about God the Father and a lot about Jesus. But, in fact, it’s through the Spirit that we encounter both the Father and Son today. The Spirit also encourages us, consoles us, urges us on, and literally “in-spires” us. So this week, as you look back over your daily life, you might pay special attention to those times when you really felt the presence of the Holy Spirit.

May 22, 2018
7th Monday of Ordinary Time
17:49

Because today is Monday, we have a new reflection for the week.

On the Feast of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was poured out, in a powerful way, onto the disciples, who were gathered together in the same room where the Last Supper occurred. The New Testament describes an incredible scene, with tongues of fire appearing over people’s heads and everyone speaking in foreign languages. Did it happen exactly that way? Who knows? It also may be true that this was the only way that writer of the Acts of the Apostles could describe such a profound experience of the Holy Spirit. As was the case with Easter, Pentecost was something that had never happened before and so was probably impossible to describe. One of the lessons of Pentecost, though, is that the Holy Spirit gives us the graces we need to spread the Good News that God loves us and that God is with us. Now, the Holy Spirit, I think, might be the forgotten person of the Holy Trinity. We tend to think a lot about God the Father and a lot about Jesus. But, in fact, it’s through the Spirit that we encounter both the Father and Son today. The Spirit also encourages us, consoles us, urges us on, and literally “in-spires” us. So this week, as you look back over your daily life, you might pay special attention to those times when you really felt the presence of the Holy Spirit.

May 21, 2018
Pentecost Sunday
17:47

A new reflection for the 7th week of Ordinary Time will be added on Monday.

A few weeks ago, I was in the Holy Land with a group of pilgrims, and together we visited the Chapel of the Ascension, in Jerusalem. The little stone chapel is right where the Gospels describe the event occurring, that is, somewhat near the town of Bethany. The building passed through many different religious hands over the centuries, thanks to the constant political changes in the Holy Land, and eventually it ended up as a mosque. But it’s open for all to see, and I’m always glad to pray there. This week we celebrate the Ascension of Jesus Christ, which the Gospels describe as Jesus being as taking up, bodily, into heaven. For me, that mysterious event has two important meanings. First, our bodies are important. Remember: after his Passion and Death, Jesus returns to the disciples with his body, still showing his wounds. And at the Ascension he wasn’t just taken up “in spirit.” It’s a reminder to all those who try to remove the body from the spiritual life. That leads to a second insight: Jesus is with the Father. At the end of his public ministry Jesus is brought into complete union with the Father. So, two questions to ask ourselves this week: What place does your body have in your spiritual life? Can you remember it during your examen?

May 20, 2018
7th Saturday of Easter
17:49

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 7th Week of Easter. New reflections will be added every Monday.

A few weeks ago, I was in the Holy Land with a group of pilgrims, and together we visited the Chapel of the Ascension, in Jerusalem. The little stone chapel is right where the Gospels describe the event occurring, that is, somewhat near the town of Bethany. The building passed through many different religious hands over the centuries, thanks to the constant political changes in the Holy Land, and eventually it ended up as a mosque. But it’s open for all to see, and I’m always glad to pray there. This week we celebrate the Ascension of Jesus Christ, which the Gospels describe as Jesus being as taking up, bodily, into heaven. For me, that mysterious event has two important meanings. First, our bodies are important. Remember: after his Passion and Death, Jesus returns to the disciples with his body, still showing his wounds. And at the Ascension he wasn’t just taken up “in spirit.” It’s a reminder to all those who try to remove the body from the spiritual life. That leads to a second insight: Jesus is with the Father. At the end of his public ministry Jesus is brought into complete union with the Father. So, two questions to ask ourselves this week: What place does your body have in your spiritual life? Can you remember it during your examen?

May 19, 2018
7th Friday of Easter
17:49

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 7th Week of Easter. New reflections will be added every Monday.

A few weeks ago, I was in the Holy Land with a group of pilgrims, and together we visited the Chapel of the Ascension, in Jerusalem. The little stone chapel is right where the Gospels describe the event occurring, that is, somewhat near the town of Bethany. The building passed through many different religious hands over the centuries, thanks to the constant political changes in the Holy Land, and eventually it ended up as a mosque. But it’s open for all to see, and I’m always glad to pray there. This week we celebrate the Ascension of Jesus Christ, which the Gospels describe as Jesus being as taking up, bodily, into heaven. For me, that mysterious event has two important meanings. First, our bodies are important. Remember: after his Passion and Death, Jesus returns to the disciples with his body, still showing his wounds. And at the Ascension he wasn’t just taken up “in spirit.” It’s a reminder to all those who try to remove the body from the spiritual life. That leads to a second insight: Jesus is with the Father. At the end of his public ministry Jesus is brought into complete union with the Father. So, two questions to ask ourselves this week: What place does your body have in your spiritual life? Can you remember it during your examen?

May 18, 2018
7th Thursday of Easter
17:49

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 7th Week of Easter. New reflections will be added every Monday.

A few weeks ago, I was in the Holy Land with a group of pilgrims, and together we visited the Chapel of the Ascension, in Jerusalem. The little stone chapel is right where the Gospels describe the event occurring, that is, somewhat near the town of Bethany. The building passed through many different religious hands over the centuries, thanks to the constant political changes in the Holy Land, and eventually it ended up as a mosque. But it’s open for all to see, and I’m always glad to pray there. This week we celebrate the Ascension of Jesus Christ, which the Gospels describe as Jesus being as taking up, bodily, into heaven. For me, that mysterious event has two important meanings. First, our bodies are important. Remember: after his Passion and Death, Jesus returns to the disciples with his body, still showing his wounds. And at the Ascension he wasn’t just taken up “in spirit.” It’s a reminder to all those who try to remove the body from the spiritual life. That leads to a second insight: Jesus is with the Father. At the end of his public ministry Jesus is brought into complete union with the Father. So, two questions to ask ourselves this week: What place does your body have in your spiritual life? Can you remember it during your examen?

May 17, 2018
7th Wednesday of Easter
17:48

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 7th Week of Easter. New reflections will be added every Monday.

A few weeks ago, I was in the Holy Land with a group of pilgrims, and together we visited the Chapel of the Ascension, in Jerusalem. The little stone chapel is right where the Gospels describe the event occurring, that is, somewhat near the town of Bethany. The building passed through many different religious hands over the centuries, thanks to the constant political changes in the Holy Land, and eventually it ended up as a mosque. But it’s open for all to see, and I’m always glad to pray there. This week we celebrate the Ascension of Jesus Christ, which the Gospels describe as Jesus being as taking up, bodily, into heaven. For me, that mysterious event has two important meanings. First, our bodies are important. Remember: after his Passion and Death, Jesus returns to the disciples with his body, still showing his wounds. And at the Ascension he wasn’t just taken up “in spirit.” It’s a reminder to all those who try to remove the body from the spiritual life. That leads to a second insight: Jesus is with the Father. At the end of his public ministry Jesus is brought into complete union with the Father. So, two questions to ask ourselves this week: What place does your body have in your spiritual life? Can you remember it during your examen?

May 16, 2018
7th Tuesday of Easter
17:49

We'll continue to use the same reflection and examen for the rest of the 7th Week of Easter. New reflections will be added every Monday.

A few weeks ago, I was in the Holy Land with a group of pilgrims, and together we visited the Chapel of the Ascension, in Jerusalem. The little stone chapel is right where the Gospels describe the event occurring, that is, somewhat near the town of Bethany. The building passed through many different religious hands over the centuries, thanks to the constant political changes in the Holy Land, and eventually it ended up as a mosque. But it’s open for all to see, and I’m always glad to pray there. This week we celebrate the Ascension of Jesus Christ, which the Gospels describe as Jesus being as taking up, bodily, into heaven. For me, that mysterious event has two important meanings. First, our bodies are important. Remember: after his Passion and Death, Jesus returns to the disciples with his body, still showing his wounds. And at the Ascension he wasn’t just taken up “in spirit.” It’s a reminder to all those who try to remove the body from the spiritual life. That leads to a second insight: Jesus is with the Father. At the end of his public ministry Jesus is brought into complete union with the Father. So, two questions to ask ourselves this week: What place does your body have in your spiritual life? Can you remember it during your examen?

May 15, 2018
7th Monday of Easter
17:47

Because today is Monday, we have a new reflection for the week.

A few weeks ago, I was in the Holy Land with a group of pilgrims, and together we visited the Chapel of the Ascension, in Jerusalem. The little stone chapel is right where the Gospels describe the event occurring, that is, somewhat near the town of Bethany. The building passed through many different religious hands over the centuries, thanks to the constant political changes in the Holy Land, and eventually it ended up as a mosque. But it’s open for all to see, and I’m always glad to pray there. This week we celebrate the Ascension of Jesus Christ, which the Gospels describe as Jesus being as taking up, bodily, into heaven. For me, that mysterious event has two important meanings. First, our bodies are important. Remember: after his Passion and Death, Jesus returns to the disciples with his body, still showing his wounds. And at the Ascension he wasn’t just taken up “in spirit.” It’s a reminder to all those who try to remove the body from the spiritual life. That leads to a second insight: Jesus is with the Father. At the end of his public ministry Jesus is brought into complete union with the Father. So, two questions to ask ourselves this week: What place does your body have in your spiritual life? Can you remember it during your examen?

May 14, 2018
7th Sunday of Easter
17:47

A new reflection for the 7th week of Easter will be added on Monday.

We’ve spent a few weeks now contemplating the great mystery of Easter.  And if you’ve been to any Sunday Mass recently, you’ve heard a wide variety of Gospel readings: first, the appearances of the Risen Christ to Mary Magdalene, then to the Apostle Thomas, then to the disciples on the way to Emmaus.  Then the Gospels shifted to some beautiful imagery that Christ used to describe himself: the Good Shepherd and the True Vine. The great variety of readings over the last few weeks remind us that Easter can’t be understood in just one way.  We have to come at it from different angles, and use different stories and images just to take it in. Any profound experience in our lives is like that. We might experience the birth of a child, or suffer the loss of a loved one, or undergo a sudden illness or even have a new and exciting possibility at work open up.  So this week you might ask yourself: Is there something in my life that I need to take time to ponder, time to understand? And how is God asking me to ponder this strange thing? Can I be as patient as the church is, in its journey to understand Easter?

May 13, 2018