Two Wolves

January 27, 2010

There is a Native American story where a grandfather tells his grandson that in every human heart there are two wolves that dwell.  These two wolves are in conflict with each other until the day we die.  One is evil- anger, envy, pride, arrogance, vengence, guilt, and resentment.  The other is good- joy, peace, patience, love, kindness, and faith.  The little boy asks his grandfather, “Which wolf wins?”  The grandfather replies, “The one you feed.” (Adapted from Compass Points by Margaret Silf)

Which wolf do we feed?  Which one gets our attention? The one that focuses our energy on the life-giving moments in our lives where we give and receive love.  Or the one that focuses our energy on the non-life-giving moments in our lives where we neither give nor receive love. 

The one we feed will grow and flourish.  The one we do not feed will starve and wither. 

It reminds me of Philipians 4: 8, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things”. 

Which wolf are we feeding right now?  How can we further nurture and feed the wolf in our lives that brings joy, peace, patience, love, kindness, and faith? 

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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  1. Michael

    Are you reminding me of this story from my Charis talk? I think I might be using this for Saturdays talk!! Remind me when you call me tomorrow.

  2. Becky Eldredge


    I read this yesterday morning in my book. As I read the story, it instantly reminded me of your talk 3 years ago now. Hard to believe! Just think of what you were talking about then and how far you’ve come.

    This story would be perfect for the prayer breakfast!


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