The Devil’s War on Silence

10/01/2013 Comments (73)

There are key strategies of indirect attack that the enemy of our souls uses to significantly disrupt our spiritual progress. One is the corruption of human sexuality. As the analogy of holy spousal love is one of the most effective in understanding divine intimacy, the enemy desires to corrupt human sexuality in order to further obscure what it means to understand the possibilities of union with God. 

Similarly, there is another indirect attack that wreaks havoc on the soul’s ability grow in intimacy with God — noise. In our culture, noise is everywhere. Day after day, our peace is invaded by television screens at gas pumps screaming ads and programming at us, music in stores, and...READ MORE

Filed under catholic, prayer, spiritual warfare

Pope Francis’ Central Message

09/26/2013 Comments (42)

One reason that Pope Francis rattles the cages of many faithful Catholics is that the emphasis of his message is prying at our disordered attachments. It is not that he is seeking to strip us of our commitments to critical social causes like the abolition of abortion or pornography, but that he wants us to move these important things to their proper place.

To illustrate this, we can imagine a target with concentric circles and a center bull’s-eye.  The bull’s-eye would contain the single most important thing, and each ring out from the center would reflect things that are in degrees of descending importance.

So, what would be in the center? Before we answer this seemingly obvious...READ MORE

Filed under francis, gospel, moral majority, politics, pope francis

The Discernment of Pope Francis

Pope Francis and St. Ignatius

09/20/2013 Comments (15)

In Pope Francis recent interview with America magazine he frequently references “discernment.” Though many are aware of what he means by this, those who have never been exposed to Ignatian spirituality might need a little more information.

Here are a few of the ways he illustrated or used the idea of “discernment” in this interview:

“He also speaks about the moment during the conclave when he began to realize that he might be elected pope. At lunch on Wednesday, March 13, he felt a deep and inexplicable inner peace and comfort come over him, he said, along with a great darkness. And those feelings accompanied him until his election later that day.”

Question: What element of...READ MORE

Filed under discernment, discernment of spirits, ignatian spirituality, ignatius, pope, pope francis, prayer

The Danger of Martha’s Vindication

09/18/2013 Comments (83)

I have noticed a troubling trend in past years when the Gospel reading about Mary and Martha’s encounter with Christ surfaces. Of course we all know the passage:

“Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen...READ MORE

Filed under prayer, spirituality

The World is In Flames

08/09/2013 Comments (33)

In the Discalced Carmelite Propers today is the Feast of St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) who was martyred during the Nazi persecution. At a time close to her death she penned an ominous reflection on the state of the world and of our need to abandon all to Christ. Though we are not in a world war now, we are no less in a battle for the soul of our country. On the stage of the world, in the past 100 years, more Christians have been martyred for their faith than in all previous centuries combined. Her words are worthy of reflection:

The world is in flames. The struggle between Christ and Antichrist rages openly, and so if you decide for Christ you can even be asked to...READ MORE

Filed under teresa benedicta, edith stein,

False Teachings on Prayer – Getting to the Root of the Problem

07/30/2013 Comments (21)

My recent series on avoiding false teachings on prayer drew much ire and fire from a number of readers. Yes, the series received an amazing response with respect to the number that read it — approximately 20,000 pageviews — and you passed it along on your facebook pages more than 6,000 times. I am still in the midst of a series of radio interviews from a number of different talk shows about the posts. So yes, the positive comments and reactions far outweigh the negative, even in the light of the appropriate focus on World Youth Day in the past weeks.

But even so, one common bit of angst surfaced both in the combox and in personal notes to me (all dripping with charity): the expression...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, navigaing the interior life, prayer

Village of Hope

07/22/2013 Comment

How often do you serve the poor and disenfranchised strangers and neighbors in your life with a smile, a laugh, a sharing of joy? When was the last time you showed up at a food pantry or pregnancy center humming a tune, with a sense of joy and anticipation for the tasks that lay ahead?

Pope Francis has repeatedly encouraged us to help the poor, and it hasn't taken long for us to get the distinct impression that he enjoys it.

He's not the only one. The staff of volunteers who make possible the miracles of Martha's Village & Kitchen in Indio, Calif., are not just posing for smiles in the pictures on their website ( As you talk with them and read about the work...READ MORE

Filed under charity

How can I avoid false teachings on prayer? Part III of III

07/16/2013 Comments (33)

Q: Dear Dan, I enjoy reading more modern writers about prayer and the spiritual life but I am always worried about false teachings that could lead me away from the heart of the Church. How can I know when an author is not orthodox or teaches something that could lead me to deception instead of to God?

In this third post we will explore the dangers of reducing God to a cosmic force along with ways we can better gain a healthy perspective on prayer and enhance rather than diminish our progress in prayer. (You can read the first post here and the second post here.) It is fitting that I have completed my edits and made this final post ready on the eve of a very special day for me. It is the...READ MORE

Filed under navigating the interior life, prayer

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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 Above all, Dan is a grateful husband and father of four and a student sitting at the feet of His Master.