At Catholic funerals you might hear: “May the angels lead you into paradise.” Lately I find myself humming, “May the angels lead you into paradox.” At the heart of God’s vision for us is paradox, like, “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” What could Jesus possibly mean by that?

Jesus knew the best way to comprehend paradox is through story. So, a man grew up poor. As a teenager he dreamt about the things he wanted to own. He slaved his way to attaining everything he had imagined would make him happy. When he looked out from his penthouse window he caught a glimpse of his reflection and realized he had no idea who that man was. “Never mind,” he thought, and went about dreaming of new possessions.

There is but one life, God’s life. Are you living that life?

—Tom McGrath is a spiritual director and the Director of Trade Books at Loyola Press in Chicago. Click here to enjoy Loyola Press’s “31 Days with St. Ignatius,” a month-long celebration of Ignatian spirituality in honor of St. Ignatius’ Feast Day on July 31. Content includes articles, blog posts, and videos to help you learn about and apply the principles of Ignatian spirituality.