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

Tidings of Discomfort and Liturgical Abuse

12/28/2012 Comments (202)

This Christmas, I was delighted to have the opportunity to travel across at least three states to celebrate the joy of this season with my family. This was the good news. The bad news? I was pelted to a spiritual pulp by liturgical abuse after abuse. Because the Mass in my home parish is faithful, I have not had to endure this level of concentrated torture for some time — and, frankly, the shock was a bit much to take.

So I share with you here a list of the dastardly deeds of the ignorant, sloppy, slothful, unfaithful and the well intended. Each of these listed below is prohibited by the liturgical norms or other instructions from the Holy See or is an omission contrary to expressed...READ MORE

Filed under catholic, liturgical abuse, liturgy, mass

Navigating the New Year

12/26/2012 Comments (8)

– Photo by Georges Jansoone on 26 May 2005

Lay people often overlook a source of deep spirituality and safety. One of the spiritual secrets of those in the religious life is a kind of spiritual guardrail system that helps them to know the path of peace on a moment to moment basis. This wisdom-born approach has aided thousands of ordinary people to become saints and to experience the heights of union with the Lord in this life. One part of this system is called a “rule of life.”

A “rule” could sound restrictive or negative but it is more akin to a guide-rail on a nature trail footbridge than it is to any kind of restrictive, constraining force. I have had the opportunity to walk over many footbridges in dangerous and beautiful...READ MORE

Filed under navigating the interior life, predominant fault, root sin, rule of life, spiritual direction

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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.