Saying Goodbye to One Chapter; Hello to Another

DDF coffee and readingHappy autumn of 2015 to our Days of Deepening Friendship community!

Some of you have been with us from the beginning, and some of you are new. I share this news with gratitude and a bit of sadness: This will be my last post on this blog. In the coming month or so, the Days of Deepening Friendship site will be taken down. But you will be able to find me at, and I invite you to subscribe to the E-Magis newsletter to keep up with my writing and other spiritual resources (form at the end of this post).

DDF began as an experiment in the spring of 2009. My book, Days of Deepening Friendship, had just been published, and we wanted to try marketing primarily through social media, something we were just beginning to do. We decided to try hosting a free online Lenten retreat and see what happened.

Not only did thousands subscribe to the retreat, the interaction and high interest of participants encouraged us to keep the site going. A couple of years into this venture, we “re-branded” DDF, giving it the subtitle, “For Women Growing Wiser,” because it was clear that most people who visited were women at midlife or older. So we provided material more or less for that demographic.

We have hosted Advent and Lenten retreats, a couple of online writing retreats, guest author posts, numerous videos, poetry, book excerpts, and guided meditations. Mainly, I have written two to three posts every week, all of it original and designed to create some theme-based experience for you, the subscribers and visitors.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the community you have formed around this site, and it’s been good spiritual practice for me to do all this writing. But I’m a bit tired, and I have acquired new responsibilities here at Loyola Press. I would rather quit while the material is strong and before I begin repeating myself too much. One of the greatest dangers for spirituality writers is to write about the spiritual life more than actually experience it, and it will take me the rest of my life to live out the hundreds of ideas I have written and posted here.

dotMagis header

I will write regularly for another Loyola Press blog, one many of you already visit: dotMagis at This site offers many resources for the spiritual life, and its community grows daily, all over the world. My material has always been intentionally Ignatian, so I will continue writing much as I have before, just not as often. You will find my information there as well and can still contact me through that site. To keep up with my writing, and all of Loyola Press’s online Ignatian resources, I invite you to subscribe to E-Magis, the newsletter of, using the below form.

My soul overflows with gratitude for your companionship these several years. You have become spiritual companions to one another, have shared your stories, your wisdom, and your prayers. The Holy Spirit has a next step for each one of us. Part of my next step involves giving up DDF. What is yours? Whatever that next step is, walk into it boldly and with great anticipation of the grace that awaits you.

Grace and peace,

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Let’s Talk about Dreams

dream scene

When I speak of dreams here, I don’t mean the mind’s journeys while you’re sleeping. I refer to dreams—visions, imaginings—you have for yourself, for those you love, for your larger community.

Dreams do make a difference, but how exactly? When has a dream sent your life in a different direction? When has a dream given you the ability and the nerve to do something new?

When do you know that a dream needs attention—that maybe it’s meant to develop into reality? What are the signs that, this time, you need to work on this dream and help it materialize?

What about communal dreams? Do you belong to a community that likes to dream and then work on the dream? I remember when my church was grappling with the problem of hunger in our city. That triggered a dream, and today we have a garden that helps supply fresh produce to shelters and pantries in our neighborhood. It took several people dreaming this at the same time—and we had help dreaming from our Jewish friends down the street, whose synagogue community had already begun to cultivate gardens around the city.

How do you encourage dreams in your children? How do you communicate to them that some of their dreams might not come true—or do you even say that?

Speaking of which—what about the dreams that never get beyond dream stage? Do we consider those failures? Or are some dreams meant simply to give us good practice at dreaming?