MISSION REFLECTIONS
for hope, inspiration, solidarity and kinship
while working remotely

 

The 4th of July

As Independences Day approaches, reflect on Thomas Jefferson’s statement, "Democracy is the government of the people, by the people, for the people" and it’s meaning to- and for- you (and ponder others).
red white and blue ribbon

Today’s Experiences: An Ignatian Examen

  •                                  By Aaron Meis, VP Enrollment and Student Success
    • What am I grateful for today - what people or experiences made me feel God's presence?
    • How can what I experienced today help me to find more balance between work and the other people in and important parts of my life?
    • How can what I experienced today help me to understand what I've learned over the past year and help to more regularly reflect on my experiences and what I have learned from them?
    • How can what I experienced today help me to make faith that does justice more real at work?

 
An Ignatian Examen for Cultural Diversity

By Debra Mooney and Cheryl Nunez, more resources on racial justice

Ignatius Loyola's Examen is an opportunity for peaceful daily reflective prayer. It invites us to find the movement of God in all the people and events of our day. The Examen is simply a set of introspective prompts for you to follow or adapt to your own character and spirit. Begin with a pause and a slow, deep breath or two; become aware that you are in the presence of the Holy.

From my interactions with the people and world around me;
- what experiences of my culture have I had today?
- what experiences of other cultures did I have today?

How have I been enriched because of the experiences?
How have I been challenged?

Did these experiences cause me to feel closer to- or further from others?
Did these experiences cause me to feel closer to- or further from God?

What might God be saying to me through these experiences?

How can I honor the gifts of my cultural heritage tomorrow?
How can I honor the gifts of other cultures that God has bestowed upon me?

Summer Inspiration                   Sunrise

         for more quotes and prayers

"In summer, the song sings itself."  ~William Carlos Williams

 
An Examen for Ecological Conversion

          By Drs. Christine Thomas & Gillian Ahlgren, professors of Theology        

Think back to a time when you felt joy, wonder, or gratitude for something in the natural world.  What was compelling to you about this experience? Why did you feel this way?

  1. Where do you see splendor or beauty in the natural and human environment? Where do you see suffering and environmental injustice?
  2. How do your life choices impact the natural and human environment?
  3. What troubles you about your engagement with the natural and human environment? What do you regret or wish you could change about your impact on the environment?
  4. In what ways might you change your ways of engaging with the environment? How might you contribute to the protection and flourishing of the natural and human environment?


Praise Those Fathers

          prayer of Kirk Loadman adapted by Debra Mooney, PhD
          see more Father’s Day prayers

          

Let us praise those fathers who have striven to balance the demands of work, marriage, and children with an honest awareness of both joy and sacrifice.

Let us praise those fathers who, lacking a good model for a father, have worked to become a worthy and virtuous father.

Let us praise those fathers who, by their own account, were not always there for their children, but who continue to offer those children, now grown, their love and support. As well, let us pray for those fathers who have been wounded by words and actions of their children.

Let us praise those fathers who, despite marital discord, have remained in their children's lives.


Let us praise those fathers whose children are adopted, and whose love and support has nurtured a thriving life.

Let us praise those fathers who, as stepfathers, freely choose the obligation of fatherhood and earned their step children's love and respect.

 

Let us praise those fathers who have lost a child to death, and continue to hold the child in their heart.

Let us praise those men who have no children, but cherish the next generation as if they were their own.

Let us praise those men who have "fathered" us in their role as mentors and guides.

Let us praise those men who are about to become fathers; may they openly delight in their children.

And let us praise those fathers who have died, but live on in our memory and whose love continues to nurture us.

 

An Ignatian Examen For the Past Week

Adapted by Dr. Wendy Maxian from the Center for Mission and Identity’s Daily Examen

Thanksgiving:
What am I especially grateful for in the past week...
The love and support I have received...
The courage I have mustered...
An event that took place...

Petition:
I am about to review my week; I ask myself to dedicate time and focused thought to my reflection so that I may better know and prepare myself.

Review:
Where have I felt true joy this week?
What has troubled me?
What has challenged me?
Where and when did I pause?
Where and when did I confidently act?
What did I spiritually connect with?

Response:
In light of my review, how can I more fully engage with myself, my vocation, and the people I encounter?

A Look Ahead:
As I look ahead, how should I implement my response next week?
With what spirit do I want to enter the next week?

 

FINDING TRUE RACIAL RECONCILIATION – A Reflection and Prayer
     Written and offered by Phil Chick on 6/9/20 at the meeting of the President’s Direct Reports

Introduction: The impact of COVID-19 and the events of the last 2 ½ months have not allowed me much time for reflection.  But the murder of George Floyd and the events of the last two 2 ½ weeks left me no choice.

I could not comprehend how a crime this heinous, committed by an officer of the law, can happen in modern day America, and yet I knew it has been happening in one way or another for 400 years.  I was so angry, and at the same time felt somewhat helpless, knowing that I could never understand the pain that all people of color, but particularly African-Americans feel right now, and wondering what I could do to stop these crimes that have become all too familiar.

I am not Derek Chauvin.  No one I know is Derek Chauvin.  No one I know would deliberately attack someone - physically, verbally, emotionally – due to the color of his or her skin.   Neither I nor anyone I know would discriminate against or attack someone because of the color or their skin.  Neither I nor the people that I know would never do this, or would never allow this to happen.  Or would we?  Or do we?

And then I got to thinking further – yes, I know I’m not Derek Chauvin, but am I like the two officers who restrained Mr. Floyd or the third officer, who stood by and did nothing while Mr. Floyd was murdered.

What have I done by my action or inaction?  I didn’t have my knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck, but what else could I have done?  How often have I taken for granted my own comfort and privilege when I should have been trying to change a system, a culture, that allows these and other crimes – both overt and covert - against people of color to continue?  

The death of George Floyd has awoken the nation, but it has also made me more aware of my responsibility as a white person of privilege to understand and change the systems and the attitudes that allows both the overt and the covert crimes to continue:  police brutality; lynching; judicial inequity; mass incarceration; redlining; health care disparities, educational disparities; voting restrictions, and on and on.

I don’t have the answers, and I don’t yet know what I will do today or tomorrow to be the change I want to see. I know I’ll need strength to step outside my comfort zone and walk with my brothers and sisters on this journey.  I don’t yet know how I will do it, but I know I must try.

Father, Bless us as we strive to find our way to true racial reconciliation. 
Open our eyes to all that goes on around us that contribute to racial injustice.  
Grant us the knowledge to understand all that we do, both personally and as a society, which prevents as from recognizing and defending the dignity of all or our brothers and sisters, and especially at this time, our brothers and sisters of color who are now feeling so much pain. 
Grant us the grace to reflect on our own actions and inactions that contribute to this pain. 
And grant us the strength to take action to alleviate this pain and to end racial injustice in all its forms.

In your name we pray.

                                                 See resources on Racial Justice and Reconciliation


Take Time For Wonder: A Song For Reflection
        by Cathy Cebulski Sacco, adjunct instructor at Xavier University.        

Time for wonderTime For Wonder is a waltz of mindfulness and a reflection on the simple and sacred beauty available to us in each moment. It invites us to slow down with the fresh eyes of a child and find our interconnection with the world for gratitude, joy and wellbeing.

 

 Racial Justice

Read or watch Rev. Bryan Massingale’s The Ignatian Witness to Truth in a Climate of Injustice   Known as one of the world’s leading Catholic social ethicists and scholars of African-American theological ethics, racial justice, and liberation theology, author of ‘Racial Justice and the Catholic Church,’ Rev. Massingale offered this 2017 keynote address at the Commitment to Justice Conference of Jesuit universities at Seattle University.



Reverence for the Earth: An Ignatian Daily Examen

Prayer for Finding God in All Things: The Daily Examen of St. Ignatius of Loyola,
by Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

St. Ignatius Loyola's Examen is an opportunity for peaceful daily reflective prayer. It invites us to find the movement of God in all the people and events of our day. The Examen is simply a set of introspective prompts for you to follow or adapt to your own character and spirit. Begin with a pause and a slow, deep breath or two; become aware that you are in the presence of the Holy.

[How] Do I have a God-centered, sacramental reverence for the earth?
[How] Do I see the cosmos as "a 'body' of God," sacred, and "charged with the grandeur of God?"
As a steward and co-creator of the planet, [how] do I express gratitude for the beauty of God's creation and work responsibly with others to preserve it?
I pause and reflect.

See information on the topic, see the  AJCU Ecology Educators

        7 Ways of Looking at Diversity:
The Diversity of Ways We
Talk about Diversity

            By Eboo Patel

There are all kinds of ways that people talk about identity and diversity these days. I’ve been trying to organize them into approaches. Here’s my first crack. My goal here is to be descriptive, not judgmental. I don’t think these approaches are necessarily mutually exclusive, but I do think some people within each of these approaches are fiercely committed to their own paradigms in a way that dismisses others…..Read the full article.

  1. The Elementary School Diversity Approach
  2. The Social Justice Approach
  3. The Bridged Social Capital Approach
  4. The Political Philosophy Approach
  5. The Cognitive Diversity Leads to Better Teams Approach
  6. The Intellectual/Ideological Diversity Approach
  7. The Cultural Intelligence Approach

Have I?: An Examen for Racial Justice

* Have I fully loved God and fully loved my neighbor as myself?

* Have I caused pain to others by my actions or my words that offended my brother or my sister?

* Have I done enough to inform myself about the sin of racism, its roots, and its historical and contemporary manifestations?  Have I opened my heart to see how unequal access to economic opportunity, jobs, housing, and education on the basis of skin color, race, or ethnicity, has denied and continues to deny the equal dignity of others?

* Is there a root of racism within me that blurs my vision of who my neighbor is?

*Have I ever witnessed an occasion when someone “fell victim” to personal, institutional, systematic or social racism and I did or said nothing, leaving the victim to address their pain alone?

* Have I ever witnessed an occasion when someone “fell victim” to personal, institutional, systematic or social racism with me inflicting the pain, acting opposite of love of God and love of neighbor?

* Have I ever lifted up and aided a person who “fell victim” to personal, institutional, systematic or social racism and paid a price for extending mercy to the other? How did I react? Did my faith grow? Am I willing to grow even more in faith through my actions?

by To Go Forth – a blog from the USCCB, Department of Justice, Peace & Human Development - inspired by Pope Francis.

See more  prayers for racial justice and reconciliation

God's Presence and Love

                     By Jeff Edward, Associate Provost/CIO

What experiences brought me closer to or further from an awareness of God's loving presence?

Where have I been challenged (in my thinking, body, emotions, circumstances) and how did I respond?

What experiences gave me greater understanding how Ignatius experienced God, and am I sensing any invitation from God for me in this understanding?

When was I aware of an invitation from God to love the people around me, and how did I respond?

How would I like to respond to God's love right now?

As I look to tomorrow, what invitations do I sense from God?

                                                   Find more Ignatian daily examens

Finding God in the Dark

Cave with sunlight shining in

I appreciate the cover article on Barbara Brown Taylor’s invitation to find God in darkness (‘Let There Be Light’ by Elizabeth Dias, TIME, April 28, 2014).

Alumni, faculty and staff of Jesuit Catholic schools, colleges and universities know first-hand the impact of such an experience. St. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuit order), spent much of his waking time over a 10 month period in a cave in Manresa Spain in 1522. For him, it was a time of spiritual healing and transformation that ultimately resulted in the creation of the largest world-wide educational network today.    
Debra Mooney, PhD

Litany of Solidarity and Hope During a Pandemic
written by Joseph P. Shadle
watch it read, (at the 9 min mark), by
Dr Jerry Cline Bailey and Sr Nancy Linenkugel

For those who are sick.Graphic of a stethoscope and a heartbeat
For those with chronic illnesses and underlying health concerns.
For all who are suffering.

For those who are lonely.
For those who have no one to check on them.
For families that are separated.

For those who are unemployed.
For those suffering financial hardships.
For those who face an uncertain future.

For those who are suffering from physical or emotional abuse.
For those who are disproportionally suffering because of societal structures and unjust policies.
For those who are struggling with physical or mental disabilities.
For those who are overwhelmed by anxiety and stress.

For those who are dying.
For those who have died while saving the lives of others.
For all who have lost their lives.

For those who have survived.
For those who have lost their spouses.
For children who have been orphaned.
For all who mourn and those who comfort them.

For firefighters, police, and emergency medical workers.
For doctors, nurses, and all health care professionals.
For those who serve in the armed forces.

For those who provide for the homeless, for refugees, and for those who most in need.
For those who answer the call to comfort and give aid.
For those who provide support thru their prayers.

For public officials.
For business leaders.
For educators.
For innovators and inventors who provide new solutions.

For peace in our city and in our world.
For renewed friendships among neighbors.
For solidarity and unity among all peoples.
For a greater appreciation and love of all humanity.

For patience and perseverance.
For calm in the midst of fear.
For the grace to overcome adversity.

For generosity of spirit.
For hope in times of despair.
For light in the darkness.

Gracious and Loving God,
you are our comforter and our hope.
Hear our prayers as we come before you.
Strengthen us in this time of need.
Inspire us to acts of solidarity and generosity
and give us hope of a brighter future.

 

Memorial Day Weekend

To honor those who died defending our freedom and democracy, see these special prayers.

Laudato Si’ Week

May 16-24 honors the 5th anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical on earth care.  For inspiration reflect on Laudato Si’ and Covid-19:  Our interconnectedness with God, each other, and other creatures 

Care for Our Common Home

Laudato Si’ week (May 16-24) honors the 5th anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical on earth care.  Skim the document for inspiration on:

What is happening to Our Common Home
The gospel of creation
The human roots of the ecological crisis
Integral ecology
Lines of approach and action

Also, Loyola University - Chicago is hosting a free virtual event,” Everything Is Connected: Reflections on "Home" on the 5th Anniversary of Laudato Si' on May 21.

 

A Prayer for Our Graduates

Written and offered by Debra Mooney, PhD
The Benediction customarily shared at Xavier's Commencement Ceremony

Gracious and Loving God,
We ask, now, for your almighty hand to be upon our graduates as
they and their families celebrate this grand milestone.

May they find comfort from the Xavier community’s continued
embrace and support as they journey through life.

May they find strength in the excellence of their academic preparation and the
long line of the Jesuit educational tradition
– for with it, today, they join a 472 year old network of local,
national and global alumni who are their kindred companions.

Bless their lives from this day on with goodness and success
Enable them:
-  to stay true to their dreams for your greater glory,
-  to discern what is right, good and just, and
-  to use their gifts wisely and in service to others.

Empower them to walk into the future with faith, hope, & great love
guided by your light
So that they may use their talents to Go Forth and Set the World on Fire
Grace be to them,  Grace be to us all

Amen

Day of Global Prayer

Religious leaders, including Pope Francis, have declared May 14 a day for peoples of all religions to pray, fast and do charitable works to overcome the coronavirus pandemic. The UN's Secretary-General, António Guterres, has also shared his support for the “moment for reflection, hope and faith.” People are invited to ask God to bless and safeguard the world, so it will be better than before the pandemic;  see a special collection of prayers amidst coronavirus.  

 

Heightened Spirituality

Read various perspectives on spirituality during COVID - We’re All Monks Now and Ramadan in the Quiet Spaces

 

Grief and Gratitude - A Poem-Prayer

        by Cameron Bellm

 

 

You’ll Never Walk Alone

-  song lyrics  from the 1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousal. Hear it sung by Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, The Threee Tenors, Josh Groban 

When you walk through a storm
Hold your head up high
And don't be afraid of the darkCarousel poster

At the end of a storm
There's a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of a lark

Walk on through the wind
Walk on through the rain
Though your dreams be tossed and blown

Walk on, walk on
With hope in your heart
And you'll never walk alone…

The World is Charged with the Grandeur of God

Watch the 4min video on God’s Grandeur narrated by Jessica Zeller ‘00

 

In Times of Distress - I Pause

By Xavier alumnae, Erin Roush, '13

I pause (breathe in and out) and thank you for this day. For the challenges, the emotions, the struggle. For in all this, I grow closer to you.

I pause (breathe in and out) and ask that in the darkness, I see your light and in my fear, I feel your strength.

I pause (breathe in and out) and remember that today, As in days before, I have survived. When I’ve wanted to run, I’ve stayed. When I wanted to hide, I’ve faced the day.

I pause (breathe in and out) and ask for forgiveness for The days I falter and the disease takes over. I ask for compassion and love when I’m unable to give those to myself.

I pause (breathe in and out) and resolve to love myself more tomorrow. And always feel your spirit surround me in safety.

I pause (breathe in and out) and rest.

 

An Examen for "A Better Day Tomorrow"

By Diana Rischmann

Diana Rischmann

Opening:Begin by taking several deep breaths and recall that you are in Godpresence.

Reflection:Spend time reviewing the joys and blessings of this day.

Connection:How did the interactions of the day make me feel?

What feelings come up when reviewing the day?

What memories of the day trigger the strongest emotions?

Intention:Who do I want to be tomorrow?

How can I be that person?

Direction:As I look toward tomorrow, what invitations do I sense from God?

 

When This is Over: A COVID Poem

;Meet author, Laura Kelly Fanucci, the author

************************

 

 

My Blessings: An Ignatian Examen

By Jeff ColemanJeff Coleman

Thanksgiving: How has God blessed me this week?
Family and friends
Physical and mental health
My daily needs: food, shelter and financial security
Joyful moments
Opportunities to make a difference in the lives of others

Petition: As I reflect on the past week, I ask for clarity of thought and humbleness of spirit, that I might truly understand and appreciate the blessings I experience every day.

Review: What blessings do I most often take for granted?
When did I pause during the past week to reflect on my blessings and God's hand in my life?
Did I miss opportunities for joy because I was concerned about trivial things and lost sight of blessings?
How did my actions impact others?

Response: How can I better honor God through the awareness and use of my daily blessings?

A Look Ahead:As I begin this new week..
How can I remain more aware and appreciative of my daily blessings?
How can I better keep things in perspective and find more joy in the "little things" that I so often take for granted?
How can I better use the amazing blessings I have been given to help others and perhaps make a positive difference in their lives?

"From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another."John 1:16

 

Earth Day

On the 50th anniversary of Earth Day (4-22-20), reflect on Sustainability and the Jesuit Mission by history professor, Dr. Kathleen Smythe and/or Laudato Si: Care for our Common Home, Pope Francis; encyclical on the earth and environment.

See more ecology and sustainability resources.

Forrest

 

A Retreat For a Time of IsolationHouse in the middle of field

Developed by the Jesuits in Australia, this 7-14 day online retreat is designed specifically for this time of social isolation during the COVID pandemic.

With Jesus in the Desert: A retreat for a time of isolation

Emily Dickinson

 

Hope is the thing with feathers

 

By Emily Dickinson (1830-1856)


April is National Poetry Month. In honor, below is a poem which uses the metaphor of a bird as hope withstanding storms. As many artistic scholars, Dickinsons genius was undervalued in her time. Only 7 of her 1800 poems were published in her lifetime.

 

Hope is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -Bird flying in storm
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -

Ive heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.

 


Dr. Floyd W. Tomkins

 

Easter

"Let the resurrection joy lift us from loneliness and weakness and despair to strength and beauty and

happiness."

- Rev. and Dr. Floyd W. Tomkins

Alice Freeman Palmer

Episcopalian American Deacon (1815-1898)

More Easter inspirationsFor I remember it is Easter morn,
And life and love and peace are all new born.
- Alice Freeman Palmer (1855-1902),
One of the earliest female college presidents

 

 


Love Gratitude - An Examen

- By Ellen Hurst, Senior Teaching Professor, Economics

Creator, thank you for my many blessings, especially ______________.Hands making heart

Be with me at this moment,
and guide my thoughts to those places
where I could have been more loving in my day
and consider how I will improve.

Help me to see those places where I was loving
and strengthen those parts of me
so that I can better do your will.

Thank you for all the love Ive been blessed with
and help me in the moments ahead.

 


Inspiration

-literally means divine influence and breathing or God-breathed.

What quotes, both secular and spiritual/scriptural, do you find inspiring at moments in your life?
 

Fr Grahams Direct Reports were asked this question regarding leadership. Some of their quotes are below; the complete list of their inspirations are here.


Pray as though everything depended on God, act as though everything depends on you.
Saint Augustine

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.
Winston Churchill

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7: 7-9

What God intended for you goes far beyond anything you can imagine.
Oprah Winfrey

True character is reflected in how someone treats others who can do nothing.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

There are two ways of exerting ones strength: one is pushing down, the other is pulling up.
Booker T. Washington

 


Hope Community in the Time of Coronavirus

Rachel Drotarby Rachel Drotar, MSW, XU 13 BSW alum
Program coordinator at the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland
Originally posted by Ignatian Solidarity Network for Lent on March 12

Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart
and yield a harvest through perseverance. Luke 8:15

The coronavirus has flooded every medium through which I consume information.

Facebook. Email. Casual conversations with friends and family. Even this reflection! It has been difficult to get it out of my head, especially as Ohio has released recommendations to increase protections against the virus. It seemed like the increase in protective measures has been mirrored in my own worry.

I see parallels in the response the world has taken to that of climate change: the severity of impact differs depending on who is most vulnerable.

From climate change to racism to economic injustice to epidemicthe severity is exacerbated for those with chronic illness and/or disability, who are advanced in age, who cant take off work if they are sick or if they are the primary caregiver.

How do we stay hopeful in times of escalating worry?

To push through, hope-filled, has been a particular challenge. As a person who is directly impacted as one or more of those vulnerable groups, I find myself so focused on being careful. If you or a loved one has experienced long-term illness, you know the cycle of powerlessness, vulnerability, and surrender that accompanies it. One thing I have learned is that there is a sure-fire way to yield a harvest of hopefulness:Community.0;

While prevention is a good (and necessary and important) measure, it is from a place of lackDont go to the parade. Cancel the seminar. Avoid huge crowds.

Instead, consider: The antidote lies in love the one thing that is proven to beget itself, the one thing that is born from a place of abundance. Living a Gospel life means reflecting on what pulls us through. Perseverance feels so much more possible for me in community. In my community, those gentle and responsive friends, I take my refuge.

As I am inundated with the news, I offer gratitude:Blessed is the friend who listens to where I am in all of this. Blessed is the community member who suggests ways of spending time outside of a public event. Blessed is the neighbor who held space for my worry and provided solace.

In the last week, how have you offered refuge to the most vulnerable, those in need, or those who live in worry?
What gratitude can you offer for the love and hopefulness born of community?

 


Niamh J. O'Leary

Teaching and Learning – An Ignatian Examen

By Niamh J. O'Leary,

Opening: Begin by calming my mind and focusing on the room around me.
Consider what I have learned in that day, what wonder I have experienced.
Reflection: How have I encountered great teachers and opportunities to learn today?
How have I taken the chance to be a good teacher today?
Connection: How has teaching made me feel today?
How has learning made me feel today?
Intention: What can I learn from my experiences as a student today?
Direction: How can I fold that into being a teacher tomorrow?

_______________________________________________________________

In the Moment - An Ignatian Examen

Cindy DulaneyBy Cindy Dulaney, professor School of Psychology;

What was happening today that moved me spiritually and why?


When did I most embrace or live in the moment today?

Did I learn something today that might assist me in better serving others?

What am I grateful for today?

What is the world asking of me?


Cura Personalis for the Self During COVID19 A Twitter Thread

Aisha AhmadProf. Aisha Ahmad, PhD
International Security
University of Toronto Scarborough, Canada
@ProfAishaAhmad
Posted on 3-18

Academic peeps: I've lived through many disasters. Here is my advice on "productivity". First, play the long game. Your peers who are trying to work as normal right now are going to burn out fast. They're doomed. Make a plan with a longer vision. /1

Second, your top priority is to stabilize and control your immediate home environment. Ensure your pantry has sensible supplies. Clean your house. Make a coordinated family plan. Feeling secure about your own emergency preparedness will free up mental space. /2

Third, any work that can be simplified, minimized, and flushed: FLUSH IT. Don't design a fancy new online course. It will suck & you will burn out. Choose the simplest solution for you & your students, with min admin. Focus on getting students feeling empowered & engaged. /3

Fourth, give yourself a proper mental adjustment window. The first few days in a disaster zone are always a write-off. But if you give yourself that essential window, your body and mind WILL adjust to the new normal. Without that mental shift, you'll fall on your face. /4

Fifth, AFTER you experience the mental shift, build a schedule. Make a routine. Put it on a weekly calendar with time blocks. Wake up early. Put the most important parts first: food, family, fitness. Priority 1 is a stable home. Then add windows for achievable work goals. /5

Sixth, cooperate with your brain. For me, I need to ease into heavy-duty academic writing. So I do admin in the morning, and then dip my toe into papers and book projects around noon. Tick off accomplishments, no matter how small. Trust and support your mental shift. /6


It's unreasonable to demand your body & brain do the same things under higher stress conditions. Some people can write in a war zone. I cannot. I wait until I get back. But I can do other really useful things under high stress conditions. Support your continuing mental shift. /7

For my PoliSci colleagues: this phenomenon should change how we understand the world. So let this distract you from your work. Because the world is supposed to be our work. May this crisis dismantle all our faulty assumptions and force us into new terrain. /8

And finally, we can check on our neighbours, reach out to isolated people, and volunteer or donate as we can. Because at the end of the day, our papers can wait.

 


The Daily Examen

is a method of prayer that Ignatius of Loyola taught in his Spiritual Exercises. He considered it the most important thing a person could do each day. It takes only a few minutes Try one of these, below we guarantee you'll feel more calm and at peace:

 

Self-Awareness
by Clare Bunning, HR Assistant

Thank you Lord for giving me this day and time to be alive on earth.

How did I choose to spend my time today?
What captured my heart and mind?

What feelings brought me joy today?
What caused me to pause and turn away or seek guidance?

What feelings do I want to bring with me to tomorrow?

How do I want to spend my time tomorrow?

 

Happiness
by Dr. Lisa Jutte, Sports Studies Chair

In what ways did I make the most of my day?

What things have I learned this day?

What little things did I notice today? How is that important?
"The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not our circumstances." -Martha Washington

Did I give in to circumstance? If so, how can I work to change my perspective?

*** See the entire collection of Ignatian Examens from faculty and non-faculty educators

 

The other side of the virus, an opportunity to awaken . . . Loyola statue

Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.

But,
They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.

They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.

They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
;so that those who are alone
& may hear the sounds of family around them.

They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.

Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighbourhood
so that the elders may have someone to call on.

Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary.

All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting.

All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way.

All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.

So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.

Today, breathe.

Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic-
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.

 Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,

Sing.

  • Fr. Richard Hendrick, OFM March 13th 2020


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