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Tom Allen

Growing Spiritually Through Adversity

Growing Spiritually Through Adversity

No matter what adversities we encounter, we can always grow spiritually. My spouse Julie was diagnosed at age 57 with Alzheimer’s. She has lived in memory care for the past 7 years. She is now in hospice.

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Human Nature

Human Nature

At different points in Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises, he invites retreatants to reflect on the nature of the world’s history and to see the parallels with today.

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Ignatius and Gratitude

Practicing gratitude leads to trusting that God will be present in all things – the “positive” and the “challenging.” It leads to trusting that one can live in the present moment, rather than getting lost in past or future.

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The First Presidential Debate and the Ignatian Tradition

I know the title of this piece sounds like an oxymoron. Wow, what a “free for all” that first debate was! I have been struggling like most with my emotions. I have a hard time understanding why so many in our country don’t think or feel the way I do. I feel tempted to...

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Wise and Discerning Choices During COVID-19

My wife Julie is in hospice nursing home care in late stages of Alzheimer’s.  She tested COVID positive.  We were faced with end of life choices.  (Miraculously, she survived, while 18 other residents around her died). I joined thousands of others in...

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Painting on a Smaller Canvas

by Tom Allen As I grow older, I am faced with increasing limitations and diminishments, especially as an Alzheimer’s caregiver.  I imagine myself as an artist painting / expressing my life on canvas, and the canvases grow smaller. I imagine God saying to me:...

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Leaning Into Death

By Tom Allen My wife Julie is in late stages of Alzheimer’s.  She is child-like and vulnerable.  While I can walk with her in her suffering and death, I can’t protect her from it or go with her.  And yet, I keep feeling responsible to do something. It...

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So, Is That Okay?

by Tom Allen I regularly tell stories in sessions with my own spiritual director about my not being my best self / dealing with shortcomings / disclosing my shadow- self. These are also common conversations in sessions where I am serving as spiritual director to...

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