May 18, 2020

 It’s not always easy to sit down and meditate, but practice makes perfect! If you’ve ever thought you couldn’t do silent or meditative prayer, this video is for you. In it, I go over some simple methods to warm up to silent prayer exercises that build on mindfulness. Mindfulness, explained simply, is about focusing our awareness on the present. Often, it’s confused with an idea that claims that we ought to find peace by completely clearing our minds —… Read more

April 19, 2020

Cultivating a relationship with God can be hard in the midst of our busy lives, and that’s why Ignatius of Loyola came up with the Examen in the 16th Century. His monks tired of all the different prayers they had to do every day, so the brilliant Ignatius came up with one prayer they could practice just three times a day. The Examen is a contemplative prayer with a somewhat scientific approach: it’s a practice repeated at least once daily… Read more

March 14, 2020

The novel coronavirus COVID-19 is changing how we have meaningful conversations and gatherings — yes, even spiritual direction sessions for a while. Leading experts in the fields of immunology and medicine are advising us to practice “social distancing,” which merely means you are very careful about getting physically close to people when in groups or crowds. It does slow down the spread of the virus, which is great, but we still need to be able to communicate with one another,… Read more

February 28, 2020

Put simply, Lent is a Christian season during which we honor the sacrifice Jesus made with a sacrifice of our own. Usually, whatever it is we let go is something that’s good for us, something that clears our heads and bodies, enabling us to feel better and find a deeper relationship with the Spirit. We can do this by giving up certain foods like meat or desserts, or replacing time watching TV with time spent in prayer. For the latter… Read more

February 20, 2020

The Prayer Walk is a physical prayer. If you’re new to physical, body-oriented prayers, an introduction is in order. Our perception of the world and our bodies change with each other, even if we don’t know it. Our bodies react to stressful situations by increasing heart rate and breath, and sweating, even though we’re not doing any physical activity. We tend to unconsciously stand taller with better posture when we’re feeling confident, maybe in new clothes or after nailing a… Read more

November 11, 2019

Let’s sit down and listen to our heart. Western culture tends to reward quick-thinking, fast, type-A people — but the constant distractions in our environment can make it hard to hear that one small voice we associate with God. Hearing that voice requires setting aside some time to focus, which helps us build our relationship with the Spirit, quiet our minds, shed our judgments and fears, and open ourselves to love just the way we are. We are constantly being… Read more

October 10, 2019

Here’s a simple spiritual practice you can do when sitting with a choice you need to make. It’s based on the ancient practice of the Ignatian Examen, a prayer where you take a reflective look at where you are most spiritually energized and where you are least energized (and that’s just one way to do it — there are hundreds of variations, but this one is helpful for discernment). Crafting the Question Let’s say you are trying to decide whether… Read more

September 16, 2019

Media’s place in our lives goes beyond the “Star Wars” prayer we tried a few months ago. In our ever-connected culture, we spend a lot of time consuming various media. Since it has so much influence, even in daily conversation, we ought to take some time to intentionally analyze what we watch rather than merely consume it.  We can find meaning in the stories from popular culture. Sometimes we even feel the Spirit of God move in and among us… Read more

September 3, 2019

When tragedy occurs we naturally want to reach out with words of comfort. We have to do better than “thoughts and prayers.” We’ve been pelted with tragedies — some human created and others of nature — and many of us are reflecting and praying. Texas mass shootings, multiple other mass shootings, Hurricane Dorian, many other hurricanes that left swaths of populated areas devastated, and the deadly California dive-boat fire are just a few of the tragedies we have grieved over… Read more

August 19, 2019

In this remembrance prayer, we look at the crucial choices we’ve made in the past and reflect on them to gain some perspective. It helps us see how our story fits into the bigger picture, where we’ve seen God in our lives, and how perhaps God is communicating with us to show us our purpose. Further, this exercise helps us determine the steps and choices we need to take to move toward that purpose. Paying attention to a memory can… Read more

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