Pope Benedict XVI to Resign on Feb 28th - Full Statement

02/11/2013 Comments (18)

Dear Brothers,

I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonisations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern...READ MORE

Filed under benedict, pope, pope benedict xvi

Restoring the Face of Need

02/11/2013 Comments (2)

The tastes of modernity have never tolerated the needy. They are too dirty, too inconvenient, too ... different. So, we hide them away. 

A number of years ago, I had the privilege of leading a team that launched the Orphan Care initiative at Focus on the Family (icareaboutorphans.org). During that experience, I asked a number of people what they thought about the orphan-care challenge in America. Surprisingly, the most common response was, “We don’t have orphans here.” Well, the painful fact is, we do have orphans here — tens of thousands of them. It’s just that they are hidden behind the walls of government bureaucracy.

This is a tragic illustration of what happens when we allow...READ MORE

Filed under lent

Prayer for the Souls in Purgatory

02/06/2013 Comments (130)

Praying for the Holy Souls in Purgatory--even referring to them that way, in fact--can seem like a quaint, old-fashioned, pre-Vatican II approach to Catholicism. It can feel like a made up sort of devotion, the kind of thing you tell your kids when they don't know what to do with themselves.

Susan Tassone's new book, Prayers, Promises, and Devotions for the Holy Souls in Purgatory (Our Sunday Visitor, 2012), though, the latest in a long line of books devoted to the topic of praying for the souls in Purgatory, has a feel of a book that's been passed down. That doesn't keep it from being relevant, though, and completely accessible to modern readers.

Tassone has approached the topic in a...READ MORE

Filed under books, prayer, purgatory

Call to Prayer: Seven Resources for your Lenten Journey

02/05/2013 Comments (3)

One of the countless joys of the Church is the recurring open invitation to move deeper into the life of grace. These invitations come in a thousand ways, through the lives of the saints, through the sacraments and especially through our liturgical seasons. As Lent begins to rise on the horizon, we are again faced with another divine beckoning to move into a deeper relationship with Christ and His Church.

In the fourteenth chapter of St. John's Gospel we have a compelling promise offered by our Lord to anyone who would desire intimacy with Him. He reveals that He will manifest Himself to those who live within His divine covenant of love. But what does it mean to have God manifest...READ MORE

Filed under books, catholic, lent, recommended resources

The Light of God in Nashville, Tennessee

01/28/2013 Comments (6)

Countless souls have been blessed and encouraged to heaven by the Dominicans Sisters of St. Cecilia (also known as the "Nashville Dominicans"). Several weeks ago, I had the profound honor of briefly joining them in their mission by providing a number of talks and Q&A sessions on the spiritual life for the parents of Overbrook, their elementary school.

My first talk — to the women — was on the deep well of wisdom that the Doctors of the Church provide in their teachings on the path of union with God. Later, during the men’s retreat, my two talks focused on developing a transformational relationship with God, and understanding the various stages of spiritual growth, from spiritual infancy...READ MORE

Filed under catholic, catholic schools week, dominican, education, st. cecilia

The Truth About Movies and Les Miserables

01/18/2013 Comments (5)

I don't usually go to movies to be entertained; instead, I go to engage with truth, beauty, and goodness. I find that movies often allow the Les-Miserables-Movie-Poster-Largevoice of God to break into my soul in a way that no other medium can. Movies to me are like living icons - windows to God and truth.

As such, I have little regard or appreciation for the common kind of analysis that movie critics provide (with a few exceptions). For instance, I agree that There Be Dragons really didn't work well as a movie. Frankly, I don't care about the trivia related to why it didn't work well in general. However, I think that all serious Catholics should see it. Why? Because in this movie we are presented with the opportunity...READ MORE

Filed under art, les miserable, movie reviews, movies

Jesus of Nazareth - The Infancy Narratives

01/07/2013 Comments (1)

You may have avoided the Jesus of Nazareth books by Pope Benedict because you don't feel particularly scholarly. Maybe you're busy. Maybe they just seem like they don't really apply to you.

As we come out of the holiday season, with all of its hustle and hurry, the Pope's third and final Jesus of Nazareth book offers a chance to reflect on what just happened. In just over 100 pages, the pope examines the Gospel accounts of Jesus' childhood. Reading this book is a chance to be part of a discussion, one that doesn't require a degree in theology. It's a relatively short book and within it is a story that touches the very heart of what it is to be human.

Pope Benedict approaches the topic...READ MORE

Filed under catholic, infancy narratives, jesus of nazareth, pope benedict

Glad Tidings of Liturgical Beauty and Joy

12/30/2012 Comments (54)

In St. Ignatius’ eighth rule of discernment he admonishes us that when we are in desolation we should comfort ourselves that we “will soon be consoled.” And so it is that on the final leg of our vacation trip home we encountered a jewel of Catholic worship in Dallas, Texas. As God in His providence obviously provided, we selected a parish purely based on our interest in the beautiful architecture and convenience of location. He had much more in store for us than we could have ever anticipated. 

The Church truly was stunning. Adding to the beauty was the delightful surprise of a faithful liturgy. Here’s my litany of what was done right to balance against the lament of my last post “...READ MORE

Filed under catholic, liturgy, music, novus ordo, prayer

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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.