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Mary Karr

After ten months praying in a cave in Manresa, St. Ignatius received a vision that permitted him “to see God in all things” — the stated goal of his Spiritual Exercises, which are part of each Jesuit’s novitiate. This doesn’t innately appeal to me. Despite my conversion, I don’t care to see God in all things. I prefer to find God in circumstances I think up in advance, at home in my spare time — circumstances God will fulfill for me like a gumball machine when I put the penny of my prayer into it. It’s not virtue that leads me to the Exercises but pain. Only a flamethrower on my ass ever drives me to knock-knock-knock on heaven’s door. Pain, in my case, is the stole stimulus for righteous action. — from Lit, “The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.”


Mary Karr (b. 1955) is an American writer best known for her poetry and helping to start the renewed popular interest in memoirs with the publication in 1995 of
The Liars’ Club. Remaining on the New York Times’ bestseller list for more than a year, the book recounts her tough childhood spent in rural Southeast Texas in the 1960s. In 2000, she wrote a follow-up, Cherry, about her adolescence and early womanhood, and Lit in 2009, chronicling her complicated conversion to Catholicism.

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After ten months praying in a cave in Manresa, St. Ignatius received a vision that permitted him “to see God in all things” — the stated goal of his Spiritual Exercises, which are part of each Jesuit’s novitiate. This doesn’t innately appeal to me. Despite my conversion, I don’t care to see God in all things. I prefer to find God in circumstances I think up in advance, at home in my spare time — circumstances God will fulfill for me like a gumball machine when I put the penny of my prayer into it. It’s not virtue that leads me to the Exercises but pain. Only a flamethrower on my ass ever drives me to knock-knock-knock on heaven’s door. Pain, in my case, is the stole stimulus for righteous action. — from Lit, “The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.”


Mary Karr (b. 1955) is an American writer best known for her poetry and helping to start the renewed popular interest in memoirs with the publication in 1995 of
The Liars’ Club. Remaining on the New York Times’ bestseller list for more than a year, the book recounts her tough childhood spent in rural Southeast Texas in the 1960s. In 2000, she wrote a follow-up, Cherry, about her adolescence and early womanhood, and Lit in 2009, chronicling her complicated conversion to Catholicism.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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