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

Wednesday, October 09, 2013 5:25 AM 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

Monday, October 07, 2013 8:08 AM 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

The Devil’s War on Silence

Tuesday, October 01, 2013 7:03 PM 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

Thursday, September 26, 2013 6:49 AM 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

Friday, September 20, 2013 2:37 PM 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

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 8:30 AM 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

Friday, August 09, 2013 6:28 AM 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

Tuesday, July 30, 2013 11:44 AM 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

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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.