Joe McHugh is a spiritual director, retreat leader and freelance writer based in St. Paul, Minn. He can be contacted at

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Seeing God through the eyes of a wild creature

Soul Seeing: Nature documentaries on TV jump-start my religious imagination with startling images of God's saving side.

Knowing grace only when we see it

Soul Seeing: In-between processes are less rational than imaginative, less internally focused than looking for clues outside the self.

Living in the light of your face

Do you have a favorite painting or photograph or icon in your home that reminds you of what is good and beautiful and true? Chances are you have many. They are companions, soulmates, expressions of spiritual values.

Sighting the kingdom in Minneapolis


During the past few months, I’ve struggled hard to identify my current religious practice. Calling myself a religious dabbler trivializes my experience, and thinking of myself -- God forbid -- as a cafeteria Catholic doesn’t quite hit the bull’s-eye either. But since I like the safety of labels, “interreligionist” is about as close as I can get.