The Danger of Martha’s Vindication

09/18/2013 Comments (83)

I have noticed a troubling trend in past years when the Gospel reading about Mary and Martha’s encounter with Christ surfaces. Of course we all know the passage:

“Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen...READ MORE

Filed under prayer, spirituality

The World is In Flames

08/09/2013 Comments (33)

In the Discalced Carmelite Propers today is the Feast of St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) who was martyred during the Nazi persecution. At a time close to her death she penned an ominous reflection on the state of the world and of our need to abandon all to Christ. Though we are not in a world war now, we are no less in a battle for the soul of our country. On the stage of the world, in the past 100 years, more Christians have been martyred for their faith than in all previous centuries combined. Her words are worthy of reflection:

The world is in flames. The struggle between Christ and Antichrist rages openly, and so if you decide for Christ you can even be asked to...READ MORE

Filed under teresa benedicta, edith stein,

False Teachings on Prayer – Getting to the Root of the Problem

07/30/2013 Comments (21)

My recent series on avoiding false teachings on prayer drew much ire and fire from a number of readers. Yes, the series received an amazing response with respect to the number that read it — approximately 20,000 pageviews — and you passed it along on your facebook pages more than 6,000 times. I am still in the midst of a series of radio interviews from a number of different talk shows about the posts. So yes, the positive comments and reactions far outweigh the negative, even in the light of the appropriate focus on World Youth Day in the past weeks.

But even so, one common bit of angst surfaced both in the combox and in personal notes to me (all dripping with charity): the expression...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, navigaing the interior life, prayer

Village of Hope

07/22/2013 Comment

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

07/16/2013 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

07/09/2013 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

07/04/2013 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

06/29/2013 Comment

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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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.