Seven Pages Of Solitude



Seek God in all things, advised St. Ignatius of Loyola. Seasonal eflections from a Roman Catholic mother on her own search for God in all things - teens, laundry, silence and chaos.


  • IHM Conference Center Reflection: Choosing the better part in the crazymadbusy times

    06/12/2012 Duration: 10min

    The end of the calendar year can be anything but relaxing, we become an army of Martha's marching about, cleaning, baking, serving, and straining to hear what is going on in the quiet spaces of our hearts. Three simple practices to help us sit down, as St. Ignatius of Loyola suggested, and talk to Jesus, as one friend might to another. Try imagining that Jesus stopped by on a Saturday morning, how much time would you spend washing the china or shopping for special coffee? Or would you just grab two mugs and sit down with him?

  • Lent 2: Fast Forward

    12/03/2011 Duration: 03min

    Fasting while trapped in a crowded plane on a Lenten Friday brought a new perspective - a moment of metanoia. How often had I left the grocery store with an overflowing cart, unaware of those around me who hungered for what I had? Or walked down the street with an ice cream cone, oblivious to those who lacked a regular meal. Fasting made the hungry visible.

  • Lent 1: Scrabbling Through Lent

    07/03/2011 Duration: 03min

    What do you give up for Lent? One year I took up playing Scrabble for Lent and found in the practice a renewed sense of God in all the aspects of my daily life, the sacred and the profane.

  • Epiphany: Gifts of Myrrh

    05/01/2011 Duration: 04min

    Two years ago the Feast of the Epiphany found me, unlike the Magi at the end of their quest, just beginning a journey. I left behind family and work to spend five weeks in a retreat house on the coast of Massachusetts, making the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. I would spend thirty days in silence and prayer. Packing turned out to be a spiritual exercise in itself. What would I need for 30 days in silence in the middle of winter on the Atlantic coast, living in a room just big enough for a single bed and with only a single drawer for storage? St. Gregory the Great and the Magi inspired me to leave more empty spaces in my suitcase - to pack instead the myrrh of self-denial.

  • Christmas: Through the Cross, Joy

    26/12/2010 Duration: 04min

    We're enraptured by the gentle baby, not to mention the angels singing in the heavens and the wise men bearing gifts, but do we really grasp the enormity of this first sacrifice, where God pitches His tent among us? One Christmas, an elegant marble carving of Mary holding the infant Jesus in her arms as they flee for their lives resting for a moment on the altar brought into sharp relief for me the connection between the Nativity and the Cross.

  • Advent 4: Open Wide the Gates

    19/12/2010 Duration: 04min

    O Wisdom! O Lord of Light! O King of the Nations! Since at least the 12th century the magnificent “O antiphons” have traditionally preceded the chanting of the Magnificat at Evening Prayer on the seven days leading up to Christmas Eve. The antiphons in the Liturgy of the Hours are like keys to the psalms and canticles; each one opens a door into a slightly different place in its corresponding text. But the “O antiphons” are far more to me than a familiar litany of titles for the Messiah. As these antiphons slowly unfold in the last days before Christmas, I find in them both invitation and challenge.

  • God listens back

    15/12/2010 Duration: 02min

    In a letter to a friend, Jesuit theologian and mystic Karl Rahner offers a recipe for preparing for Christmas, something to augment (and arguably even replace) the "emotionally appealing customs which are...only kept up with a certain skepticism." We ought not to bumble into Christmas, or really any of the great feasts, he argues. Have a plan. And have the courage to not only listen to God, but to let God listen back.

  • Advent 3: Poor Gifts

    11/12/2010 Duration: 04min

    I wonder how Mary felt after Jesus’ birth. She held God within her, knew His movements intimately, only to surrender Him to a cold, uncertain and unwelcoming world. Her willingness to be filled with the Holy Spirit was equally a willingness to be emptied of God’s Son — a foreshadowing of Christ’s own emptying so eloquently described by Paul in his letter to the Philippians. Mary held the riches of the universe within her, and labored hard to surrender them to us. The gift that Mary holds for us, that we await so eagerly this Advent season, is not one of riches, but the gift of utter poverty.

  • Flight into silence

    10/12/2010 Duration: 01min

    The end of the semester chaos threatens to send me crashing to the ground, but memories of a flight into silence last Advent remind me to again seek strength in the stillness, to wait upon the Lord.

  • Advent 2: A waiting people

    06/12/2010 Duration: 03min

    "Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength..." Is 40:31a In the Hebrew the word we translate as “wait,” or sometimes “hope,” in this verse from Isaiah is transliterated “qavah.” The word comes from a root that means to bind together, to twist up like a strand of rope. We are bound into waiting during Advent.

  • Advent 1: Extravagant Unbusyness

    05/12/2010 Duration: 04min

    Sometimes the most extravagant use of our time is to do nothing. In the midst of a time of year marked by extravagance in so many things, what might it mean to choose extravagant unbusyness.