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

Filed under

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

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About Dan Burke

Dan Burke
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Dan Burke is an award-winning author, writer, and speaker on Catholic spirituality, sharing a contagious love for Jesus and His Church. Dan serves as the Executive Director and writer for EWTN'S National Catholic Register and is a regular co-host on Register Radio in addition to his appearances on many other EWTN television and radio programs. Dan is the founder and president of the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, and he is the creator of Divine Intimacy Radio and SpiritualDirection.com. Above all, Dan is a grateful husband and father of four and a student sitting at the feet of His Master.