The Liturgy of the Hours for the Rest of Us

05/23/2013 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

05/20/2013 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

04/12/2013 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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Facing the Cross

03/26/2013 Comments (16)

Dear Dan, Every year on Good Friday, a friend invites me over to watch The Passion of the Christ,  and thus far I have turned her down every time. I have not seen the movie yet and worry about how watching such an intense depiction of the suffering of Our Lord might affect me emotionally. Yet I really feel compelled to watch the movie, in gratitude for Jesus’ sacrifice. Should I reconsider and accept the invitation this year?

Dear friend, You're not alone in your struggle with the idea of watching Christ suffer in a manner as severe as it is depicted in Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. In 2005, Gibson himself responded to concerns that it was too violent for a broad audience by...READ MORE

Filed under crucifixion, good friday, passion of christ

Prayer Intentions for Our New Pope!

03/14/2013 Comments (17)

Q: Dear Dan, I have been more involved in this papal election than any in my life, and I have been praying every day for the cardinals and the new pope. Now that we have a new pope, how can I keep this positive momentum? I am very excited for the future of the Church, and I know I should continue to pray for Pope Francis.

A: Dear Friend, thank you for doing your part in praying for our cardinals so seriously. Our prayers really do make a difference. The Holy Spirit is clearly at work within you, as the Church has always asked us to pray for and with our popes. These are exciting times!

One way you can keep your heart and prayers connected to our new pope is to stay abreast of...READ MORE

Filed under intentions, pope, pope francis, prayer

Putting "Catholic" Back Into Education

03/07/2013 Comments (100)

When you send your child to a Catholic school, what do you expect?

Chances are, among the other essentials of education, you expect that the individual instructing your child will be faithful to the Catholic Church's teachings and her Magisterium (teaching authority). It is Catholic education you are seeking, right?

These days, though, it's hard to tell what you'll actually get. Look no further than the many catechetical horror stories of Catholic education in the 70s and 80s.

So it's easy to cheer the example of Bishop Robert Vasa, who put his diocesan teacher contract where his authority is.

His diocese, in Santa Rosa, Calif., is requiring its 200 school teachers to sign an...READ MORE

Filed under archbishop naumann, bishop vasa, catholic, catholic education, education

Are You Insane?!

03/06/2013 Comments (12)

Are you insane?! Has anyone ever asked you this question? If they did, they were probably very concerned with something you were doing or, maybe something you were failing to do that was extremely important. My question to you is, are you praying for our next pope? To be clear, I am NOT asking you the following:

  • Are you "thinking" about the next pope?
  • Are you nodding at the idea of the need to pray for our next pope?
  • Have you said a little prayer here or there about the new pope?


The renowned Carmelite Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen has this to say about prayer as a critical means of God's grace:

"God wishes our collaboration. He wants it so much that he has...READ MORE

Filed under conclave, navigating the interior life, pope, prayer

Lenten Intentions for Our New Pope

02/12/2013 Comment

I don’t know about you, but when I heard the news about Pope Benedict XVI, my heart dropped. I was immediately saddened.

Being in the news business, I had to immediately push this aside in order to work to confirm the statement — and work with our Register team and EWTN to get the word out. Since this initial scramble, I have had time to take a moment to reflect on the timing of this monumental event.

There are times in the Church when we are reminded to pray in a manner that is more solemn and focused. Lent is such a time. Beyond this normal period of penance, we now add urgency. Our urgency is not characterized by fear, but a deep recognition of tremendous need.

In God’s economy,...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.