O Radiant Dawn - Preparing for Advent

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 10:32 AM Comments (1)

Every year over at Catholic Spiritual Direction, I am asked about ways to better prepare for the upcoming seasons of worship. I always appreciate the opportunity to find refreshing water in our deep well of tradition. One of the many delights of converting to the Catholic faith has been learning the dance of the liturgical seasons. The beauty of the rhythmic worship of the Church is really something to behold and a joy to be a part of. Every year our family works to reach into the heart of the tradition of the Church only to find new ways that it unfolds into blessings in our home. Sometimes the answers are very simple but beautiful. For advent, this is the case this year. Here’s a simple...READ MORE

Filed under advent, catholic faith

Filtering through the Cacophony – Fr. Mitch Pacwa Suggests Discernment

Wednesday, October 03, 2012 12:29 PM Comments (3)

We are in a particularly important time as faithful Catholics as the election cacophony swirls around us. Which voices do we listen to? How do we know who’s telling the truth? And what version of what’s supposedly true do we follow? How do we sort out the many decisions we have to make and the parameters we should be using to make them?

The process we use could be one of quick judgment, of liking X or Z, of being in line with Y or Q. We might let someone else make the decision for us and just tow a party line. In fact, there are many approaches, but which among our defaults is a truly Catholic approach, one that will bring us closer to God’s will for our lives and our country?


Filed under catholic, discernment, discernment of spirits

A Novena to the Mother of God for the United States

Tuesday, September 18, 2012 2:07 PM Comments (4)

Dear Friends,

As many of you know, the United States is a nation facing a serious identity crisis. The upcoming election will likely determine whether or not the Catholic faith — and the faith of all of our brothers and sisters in Christ — will be more or significantly less welcome in a country whose essence was formed out of the fight for religious freedom.

Our worldwide EWTN family will soon begin a novena invoking Mary’s intercession for the Lord's special grace to be poured out upon the United States.

Please join with us and our friends around the world in prayer for a clear and unequivocal return to the devoted and hope-filled aspiration of our founding fathers: the freedom to...READ MORE

Filed under novena, prayer, religious freedom

Vatican Attacks Nuns!?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012 11:59 AM Comments (84)

In a recent conversation with a faithful religious sister, I stumbled upon a disturbing reality that I have since confirmed is not isolated to her order. She relayed to me that donors contacted her order because they were outraged at how the Vatican was treating them. She had to go to great lengths to help the donors understand that the "attacks" being so widely discussed in the public arena are a fabrication of the media and of some religious whose hearts have gone far astray from the Church. The sister explained that this issue is so serious that it prompted the initiation of specific projects aimed at helping their supporters understand that the religious world represented by the media...READ MORE

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Have You Said Your Prayers?

Monday, August 06, 2012 7:49 PM Comments (13)

In the spiritual life, the language we use intimately reflects our hearts. As an example, let’s look at prayer. Do we “say our prayers?” Or do we pray in an intimate relationship with God? The former is like saying, “I said words to my wife.” The latter is closer to saying, “My wife and I had a wonderful dinner together.” Prayer, when spoken of in impersonal terms, can depict and encourage impersonal aspirations, which can then lead to impersonal attempts at prayer. And impersonal prayer is not prayer at all, because it only amounts to a person saying things, rather than any real encounter with God. Here’s what St. Theresa of Avila had to say about “saying” prayers:

I speak of mental...READ MORE

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Taking Back Our Culture: Catholic Education at Work

Thursday, August 02, 2012 11:00 AM Comments (13)

Last week I attended an extraordinarily encouraging conference put on by the Napa Institute. Topping my highlights list was hearing: Archbishop Chaput and others speak on the topic of religious liberty, Fr. Robert Barron address the philosophical roots of the challenges in our culture, and Hugh Hewitt articulate how to face specific challenges with media communication. And, surprisingly, it was Frank Hanna’s discussion of Catholic education that spoke to me in an especially powerful way.

What I took away from the conference overall was a sense of optimism. No, this was no “rah-rah” event. It was one that really provided solid exploration of the challenges we face. But it also outlined...READ MORE

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What went wrong with the religious right?

Monday, July 02, 2012 9:51 AM Comments (119)

In 1989, I went to work for the most powerful evangelical of his time, Dr. James Dobson. As a young and energetic Christian, I was elated to find myself in the epicenter of a vibrant evangelicalism. Even so, I struggled with the culture from the beginning. Yes, there was a great deal of positive energy. However, as Focus on the Family grew out and away from Dr. Dobson’s initial emphasis on parenting — as expressed in his ground-breaking book, Dare to Discipline — into political activism, I watched a transformation that was personally challenging.

My first encounter with Dr. Dobson was in the living room of a solid group of Protestants who were seeking to deepen their faith and...READ MORE

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I Stand With the Catholic Church

Monday, February 13, 2012 1:15 PM Comments (61)

In light of the growing friction between the Catholic Church and the Obama Administration, our friends over at St. Peter’s List have created several media designs to help those who are standing in defense of the Church. A few of the pictures deal directly with the current HHS mandate turmoil, but most are strong basic statements of fidelity that ring with a boldness akin to Bl. Pope John Paul II’s “do not be afraid.”

They are encouraging Catholics to take these pictures and share them throughout the social media platforms – make them your profile pictures, share them on your twitter, and post them to your blogs and parish websites.

The gallery can be found at St. Peter’s List...READ MORE

Filed under hhs, obama

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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.