Introducing Young Children to the Examen

One of the centerpieces of Ignatian spirituality is the practice of the Daily Examen, a brief prayer exercise to help busy people recognize the presence and movement of God in their daily lives. Many wonderful books have been written to help adults practice this powerful prayer, with A Simple Life-Changing Prayer and Reimagining the Ignatian Examen being among the best. Previously, I have blogged about teaching young children how to practice the Examen. Now, thankfully, there […]

Getting to Know Jesus: A Retreat Inspired by Dear Pope Francis

Invite children to get to know Jesus through a special retreat inspired by Ignatian spirituality and the book Dear Pope Francis. The retreat includes Scripture passages with the theme of getting to know Jesus. Each passage provides the basis for one session. The sessions can be prayed with over the course of a week in a Catholic school or in shorter sessions over the course of a one-day or weekend retreat for parishes. Three options […]

Cannonball Moments, Lent, and the Call to Repent

On May 20, 1521, Ignatius of Loyola was wounded in battle, a cannonball shattering his leg. During his long period of rehabilitation, Ignatius had very little to distract him and was immobilized for a long stretch of time. With nothing else to do, he read the only literature available to him: books on Jesus and the lives of the saints. Upon reflection, he realized he was fighting for the wrong army and fighting the wrong […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Teaching the Art of Discernment

Among the many things that parents teach their children is how to make decisions. Today, more than ever, young people have many options available to them when making decisions. While having options is a good thing, it also creates more stress and anxiety for young people: How do I choose what’s best for me? How do I know which choice is the right one? Recognizing that making important decisions is a crucial skill in life, […]

High School Lesson: Discernment of Spirits and the Missioned Life

Help teens ask themselves how they make decisions, and lead them to practice discernment so that they can live a life of meaning and purpose. Loyola Press, in honor of the Ignatian Year, offers an introductory lesson on Discernment of Spirits and the Missioned Life. Download this free lesson for high school students, based on an excerpt from Living Against the Grain by Tim Muldoon. For more on the Ignatian Year, visit IgnatianSpirituality.com.

Daily Examen Journal

The daily Examen is way to pray through the events and emotions of the day to find God with us. When practiced regularly, the Examen can help those who pray it identify God in all aspects of the day and see the patterns of God’s presence over time. It is a key way to pray in Ignatian spirituality. Introduce teens and adults to the Examen with our daily Examen journal—printable and foldable as a booklet. […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: An Ignatian Way of Proceeding

When my wife and I visited Hawaii some years back, we were shown around one day by our dear friend Jayne Ragasa-Mondoy. As I was doing the driving with my wife riding shotgun, Jayne sat in the back seat and played the role of tour guide and navigator to perfection. At one point, we got stuck in a little traffic. Jayne sensed that I was getting a little frustrated and feared that I might honk […]

Why Catechists Should Care About the Ignatian Year

Five hundred years ago, a cannonball changed the world! It was on May 20, 1521, that Ignatius of Loyola was wounded in battle, a cannonball shattering his knee. During his long period of rehabilitation, Ignatius read the only literature available to him: books on Jesus and the lives of the saints. Upon reflection, he realized he was fighting for the wrong army and fighting the wrong battles. He eventually laid down his sword and dedicated […]

God in the Ordinary Bingo Cards

Where have you experienced God in the ordinary moments of life? That’s a great question to start a discussion with youth groups or adults exploring spirituality. And to encourage people to think about finding God in all things, some less-than-obvious, we’ve created a God in the Ordinary Bingo game, available for free download by filling out the form within this post. Play the game with rules similar to Human Bingo. Participants get a card and […]

Reflecting on Your Calling as a Catechist

One of the themes emphasized in the new Directory for Catechesis (as in the previous General Directory for Catechesis) is the notion that catechists have a vocation. In particular, the new directory says: “The catechist is a Christian who receives a particular calling from God that, when accepted in faith, empowers him for the service of the transmission of faith and for the task of initiating others into the Christian life.” (112) This “particular calling” […]

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