Litany of Gratitude #4: Margaret Silf

November 30, 2011

As Thanksgiving approached, I saw a question via someone’s Facebook list of gratitude questions that I really liked, “What author had a huge impact on your life?”  It did not take me long to think of an author that I hope to meet in person one day and an author that continually inspires me– Margaret Silf, a lay woman, mother, retreat facilitator, spiritual director, and Ignatian Spirituality writer extraordinaire (in my opinion).

It was almost 10 years ago someone put Silf’s book, Inner Compass: An Invitation to Ignatian Spirituality, in my hands.  At the time, the book spoke to me primarily as a thought-provoking guide during a time of self-evaluation.  Today, I return to this book often for prayer ideas, retreat ideas, and reminders about the many gifts of Ignatian Spirituality in my life.

What do I admire most about Margaret Silf?  Her writing is real, authentic, and resonates strongly with our lived experience as humans.  Margaret Silf’s writing is a source of encouragement for me as a lay woman, a mother, a spiritual director in training, and a person who is passionate about retreat ministry.  When I read her writing and her life stories, I know that I can follow my deep desires of inviting people to connect faith and everyday life.

So, Margaret Silf is on my litany of gratitude.  Her writing has been part of my spiritual journey for a decade, and on days I doubt my ability to live my “Both/and” call of mom and lay minister, I remind myself that there is another lay woman out there that had the courage to gift others with her understanding of Ignatian Spirituality.

One day, I hope to tell her this in person! 

What author inspires you?  Who are you thankful for? 

A few of Margaret Silf’s books:

The Other Side of Chaos: Breaking Through When Life Is Breaking Down
Compass Points: Meeting God Every Day at Every Turn
Companions of Christ: Ignatian Spirituality for Everyday Living
Wayfaring: A Gospel Journey in Everday Life

Becky is an Ignatian-trained spiritual director, retreat facilitator, and writer. She is the author of the Busy Lives and Restless Souls (March 2017, Loyola Press) and The Inner Chapel (April 2020, Loyola Press). She helps others create space to connect faith and everyday life through facilitating retreats and days of reflection, through writing, and through spiritual direction. With nearly twenty years of ministry experience within the Catholic Church, Becky seeks to help others discover God at work in the every day moments of people’s lives by utilizing St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises and the many gifts that our Catholic faith and Ignatian Spirituality provide.

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