The Three Advents of Ascent

12/07/2013 Comments (7)

As I sit here writing this I just returned from giving a retreat to a group of Directors of Religious Education based in part on my book Navigating the Interior Life. We talked about spiritual growth secrets of the saints yesterday, and then with one more session to go, I lost my voice - 100% gone.

Now at home I am wiped out, tired, and feeling run down. Even so, I have a great deal of joy and peace. I saw God work yesterday in a few folks who allowed themselves to be moved by Him. Don’t be fooled by an instinct to think that I am speaking figuratively. I saw Him in a powerful and tangible way, offering healing, hope, and the abundant life. My prayer for each participant is that they...READ MORE

Filed under advent

Christmas in Hell

11/20/2013 Comments (16)

Dante described the inscription over the gates of hell: “Abandon Every Hope All Ye Who Enter Here.” And though the eternal torments of hell associated with the rejection of God are incomparable with any suffering in this life, there is an appropriate expression that reveals the worst that this life can bring: “Hell on Earth.” The key distinction between the two types of hell? Despite the anguish of “hell on earth,” there is always the possibility, even if remote, of relief, comfort and hope

The original title for this post was, “My Christmas Wish List” — and it still applies because my list this year is not about getting something, but about giving something. If you were to ask me...READ MORE

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The Devil’s War On Silence in Mass

11/05/2013 Comments (170)

A consistent thread in the resulting dialogue from my post “The Devil’s War On Silence” was on the common problem of the disturbing absence of silence in Mass. This is clearly a challenge that is very familiar to the majority of faithful Catholics.

Frequently, the noise assaults us right when we enter the church — from the choir, the parishioners and other sources. This despite the fact that the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) clearly outlines the critical importance and specific instructions for the place of sacred silence in the Mass:

"Sacred silence also, as part of the celebration, is to be observed at the designated times," the GIRM says. "Its purpose, however,...READ MORE

Filed under liturgy, mass, silence, traditionalism, traditionalists

Who Can I Trust?

10/22/2013 Comments (38)

About a decade before I converted to Catholicism, I was struggling with aridity. Former protestants can attest to the fact that there is little help in protestantism for this or any other significant spiritual malady. So, I began searching, and I stumbled across a priest who had written on the topic. This priest provided me with the wisdom I needed — wisdom the Holy Spirit used to not only help me get past that particular challenge, but also to deepen my understanding of how the Lord works in and through aridity to further our union with him.

After becoming Catholic, I discovered that this author was condemned by the inquisition, and appropriately so, for the heresy of Quietism. That...READ MORE

Filed under heresy, teilhard chardin, truth

Longing for the Face of God - Navigating the Interior Life - Part IV of IV

10/17/2013 Comments (11)

In our first post of this series we covered an introduction to the concept of the three ways of the interior life. In part II and part III we covered the first and second of the three ways. In this post we will finalize our exploration of the ways. Before we jump into this final post and close out this series, I want to provide one last opportunity for you to join an online interactive webinar on this topic that I will provide on the evening of November 1st. To learn more and to REGISTER, click HERE.

Unitive Way (Spiritual Adulthood):

The principle characteristic of this phase is a simple and constant awareness of God’s presence, a near constant state of communion with Him, and...READ MORE

Filed under navigating the interior life, prayer, spiritual progress, spirituality, three ways

Longing for the Face of God - Navigating the Interior Life – Part III of IV

10/14/2013 Comments (6)

In our first post of this series we covered an introduction to the concept of the three ways of the interior life. In part II we covered the first of the three ways. In this post we will continue to focus on a summary of the second phase, the Illuminative way. If you have not yet read the previous posts, you might want to; this post is not likely to be well understood without context. For easy reference and orientation I have again provided the illustration that compares the human to spiritual development lifecycle here:

The Illuminative Way (Spiritual Adolescence):

The soul in this phase is characterized by purposeful and consistent growth in prayer, virtue, love of neighbor, a...READ MORE

Filed under navigating the interior life, prayer, spiritual progress, spirituality, three ways of the interior life

Longing for the Face of God - Navigating the Interior Life – Part II of IV

10/09/2013 Comments (13)

In our last post we introduced the concept of the three ways. In this post and those following we will explore general descriptions of each phase with help from a classic in Catholic spiritual literature, the Soul of the Apostolate by Dom Chautard. I have provided the illustration again here for easy reference.

Purgative Way (Spiritual Childhood):

Our entry into this first phase of the interior life begins with the most basic movements to pursue God through a meaningful spiritual life. The nascent motivations that bring us to this point are often rooted in fear and duty rather than love and devotion. Even though imperfect, these motivations are appropriate for this phase and...READ MORE

Filed under illuminative, navigating the interior life, prayer, purgative, spiritual progress, spirituality, three ways, unitive

Longing for the Face of God - Navigating the Interior Life – Part I of IV

10/07/2013 Comments (19)

As the Leadership Conference of Women Religious continues to demonstrate that they are without mooring in the heart of Christ and the Church, it is important to continue to reorient ourselves to the timeless teachings of the one true faith. While they seek a cosmic evolutionary theology rooted in the incongruous musings of a questionable paleontologist (Pierre Teilhard de Chardin) and a New Age styled spiritual relativism, those who desire an authentic relationship with God and neighbor continue to be drawn again to the dynamic reality of authentic Catholic spirituality – the faith of the saints.

Our faith reassures us that can know God in a personal and intimate way. His incarnation...READ MORE

Filed under navigating the interior life, prayer, spiritual progress, spirituality

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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 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.