Village of Hope

Monday, July 22, 2013 8:00 AM Comments (0)

How often do you serve the poor and disenfranchised strangers and neighbors in your life with a smile, a laugh, a sharing of joy? When was the last time you showed up at a food pantry or pregnancy center humming a tune, with a sense of joy and anticipation for the tasks that lay ahead?

Pope Francis has repeatedly encouraged us to help the poor, and it hasn't taken long for us to get the distinct impression that he enjoys it.

He's not the only one. The staff of volunteers who make possible the miracles of Martha's Village & Kitchen in Indio, Calif., are not just posing for smiles in the pictures on their website (www.MarthasVillage.org). As you talk with them and read about the work...READ MORE

Filed under charity

How can I avoid false teachings on prayer? Part III of III

Tuesday, July 16, 2013 4:00 AM Comments (33)

Q: Dear Dan, I enjoy reading more modern writers about prayer and the spiritual life but I am always worried about false teachings that could lead me away from the heart of the Church. How can I know when an author is not orthodox or teaches something that could lead me to deception instead of to God?

In this third post we will explore the dangers of reducing God to a cosmic force along with ways we can better gain a healthy perspective on prayer and enhance rather than diminish our progress in prayer. (You can read the first post here and the second post here.) It is fitting that I have completed my edits and made this final post ready on the eve of a very special day for me. It is the...READ MORE

Filed under navigating the interior life, prayer

How can I avoid false teachings on prayer? Part II of III

Tuesday, July 09, 2013 8:00 AM Comments (18)

Q: Dear Dan, I enjoy reading more modern writers about prayer and the spiritual life but I am always worried about false teachings that could lead me away from the heart of the Church. How can I know when an author is not orthodox or teaches something that could lead me to deception instead of to God?

In our first post we briefly reviewed the challenges that surface when we ignore the wisdom of the Church regarding the distinctions between the three different forms of prayer and the problem of spiritual naturalism. In this post we will cover the progressive nature of prayer and how a misunderstanding of this reality can lead us astray.

Ignorance of the Progressive Nature of Prayer

...READ MORE

Filed under navigating the interior life, prayer

How can I avoid false teachings on prayer? Part I of III

Thursday, July 04, 2013 9:47 AM Comments (24)

Q: Dear Dan, I enjoy reading more modern writers about prayer and the spiritual life but I am always worried about false teachings that could lead me away from the heart of the Church. How can I know when an author is not orthodox or teaches something that could lead me to deception instead of to God?

A: You are wise to be concerned about finding the pure teaching of God on the matter of prayer. If the enemy can confuse us about the manner in which we communicate with our Lord, he can do much damage to our faith. Unfortunately, it seems that for every one good book on the topic of prayer, there are ten that contain various kinds of psuedo-mysticism that sound good and can yield positive...READ MORE

Filed under navigating the interior life, prayer

The Napa Institute - A Conference that Should Not Be Missed

Saturday, June 29, 2013 9:42 AM Comments (0)

For the last two years, the Napa Institute has been hosting a conference that is well worth the time and expense for those who take their faith seriously. The line-up of speakers is exceptional, the topics covered are critical to the challenges Catholic leaders face today, and the foundation is clear: the Eucharist.

This year's conference is Thursday, August 1 through Sunday, August 4 at the Meritage Resort & Spa in Napa, California. This year, the speakers are exploring themes of Sanctity of Work, Building a Catholic Culture, and Reason & Faith.

Among the reasons you should consider attending include the line-up of speakers and prelates who will be there:

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The Liturgy of the Hours for the Rest of Us

Thursday, May 23, 2013 6:40 AM Comments (24)

The Everyday Catholic's Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours, by Daria Sockey (Servant Books, 2013), 116 pages 

If you're like any number of Catholics, you've heard of the breviary, the Divine Office, and the Liturgy of the Hours. Maybe you've tried your hand at an Hour or two. Maybe you've even succeeded.

But maybe, like many of our fellow Catholics, you've failed and given up, coming to the conclusion that those who devote themselves to the Liturgy of the Hours are either insane or much less busy than you are. If this is where you are, I hope you will find encouragement here to reengage or begin a new adventure into the unceasing prayer of the Church.

Since the beginning of my...READ MORE

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Meeting Pope Francis

Monday, May 20, 2013 12:02 PM Comments (7)

Francis, Pope of a New World, by Andrea Tornielli (Ignatius Press, 2013), 200 pages

In the first book to be released in a flurry of new releases and looks at our current pope, Francis, formerly Jorge Bergoglio, Andrea Tornielli presents an insider's view with a soft touch.

"Today's world requires the Church to witness to the Gospel more by her life than by her words," he writes. "Pope Francis, by being himself through and through, attracts."

This book is a look at Bergoglio from a viewpoint that feels both intimate and journalistic, which is to say, a bit jarring. Maybe that's what made it such a fast read.

Bergoglio is someone so many seem fascinated by and intrigued with, and...READ MORE

Filed under francis, pope francis

Restoring the Sacred

Friday, April 12, 2013 11:34 AM Comments (28)

Christmas and Easter — those beautiful holy days when regular Mass attendees are squashed by the masses into the middle of the pews. What an annoyance.

Really? More like, what an opportunity!

It’s an opportunity we get to reach out to those masses at the Masses. As Matthew Kelly has pointed out in both Rediscover Catholicism and his latest book, Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic: Almost all of our "clientele" are in one place at one time. People come to Mass for Christmas and Easter. It's an influx of people who may — or may not — be there for an encounter with Christ. So, how do we keep them coming? What are we doing that could be more appealing? How can we be more relevant to what...READ MORE

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About Dan Burke

Dan Burke
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Dan Burke is an award winning author, speaker, regular voice on Register Radio, the Executive Director of the National Catholic Register and founder of the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation. Dan has appeared on EWTN's Journey Home program, blogs on the spiritual life over at Roman Catholic Spiritual Direction and his latest book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God is available through EWTN's Religious Catalogue. Dan's journey began in Judaism, matured into a living relationship with Christ as a Protestant, and after fifteen years of exploration has found his home in the Catholic Church.