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Has Catholic Spiritual Direction helped you?

July 29, 2011 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, General, Reader Feedback

Dear Friends,

About once a year I send out a note to check in on you. Are we serving you well? Have we helped you or someone you love come to know Christ in any way? Have other readers helped you as you dialogue about the posts? If this is the case, in large or small ways, we would be grateful to hear back from you. In your response at the bottom of this post, please tell us your state in life (teen, college student, mom, dad, priest, religious, etc.), let us know from what part of the world you are writing from, and if you don’t mind, if you are male or female and what age. This will help to know a bit more about who is out there!

We are grateful that God has allowed this effort to grow and that we can play some small part in the advancement of his kingdom. It is our fervent desire and pleasure to serve you in your journey deeper into his love.

In Him,


PS: If as you reflect on our service to you or those you love, if you are so moved by the Holy Spirit, we would be grateful for a donation to help us continue and to grow this effort both in quality and in other services. Also, if there is any way we can improve our service to you, please let us know that too!

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About Dan Burke

Dan is the founder of Catholic Spiritual Direction, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, and author of the award winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God. Beyond his “contagious” love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband and father of four, the Executive Director of and writer for EWTN’s National Catholic Register, a regular co-host on Register Radio, a writer and speaker who provides online spiritual formation and travels to share his conversion story and the great riches that the Church provides us through authentic Catholic spirituality. Dan has been featured on EWTN’s Journey Home program and numerous radio programs. If you have an interest in having Dan come speak at your parish or Catholic event or group, contact us at or call 818-646-7729.

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  • woody

    The postings have helped me grow in my spirituality and understanding of our faith tremendously.  I appreciate all that you put into this and look forward to every posting.  I am a 43 year old married father of 4 who lives in the most beautiful part of the western US.  May God abundantly bless you and all that help in this wonderful site. 

  • USMC55

    The Catholic Spiritual Direction is an invaluable source for me in growing in my spiritual life. God bless you in your work.

  • Dbduggan_51

    I’m an almost 60 year old Roman Catholic woman, 3 children, 2 grandsons.  Your articles have made me seek out and find a wonderful spiritual director.  I hope to grow in my Faith in this 2nd half of my life.  Thank you, and all of your articles are wonderful.  I can’t even count the ways they help me.  

  • John. Flipsen

    Given direction is a very important issue. I ask please do help me to find a director who allows me to be me. That is the key issue for some one who seeks direction. For some directors this may sound arrogant. It is most certainly not my idea to hurt any one in the field. This what I have been taught studying a course on the spirituality of John of the Cross. God Bless. John                   

    • Anonymous

      Thank you John – I delelted the first part because it was off topic, not because it was negative. Thank you for your feedback.

    • John. Flipsen

      I will respond to the above answer some time next week. For reason I am in the midst of moving. The book the” Collected Works of St John of the Cross” is packed. Than I can quote precisely the pages of the book. Blessings. John.

  • Anonymous

    Dear Friend, thank you for you feedback. Here are a few thoughts in response which may or may not be helpful to you. The purpose of the site can be found here:

    When we use “spiritual direction” we use it in two ways because it is used that way in the general populous. When we speak of the process of spiritual direction we are very specific as this link illustrates.

    Regarding St. Ignatius, you are right, we don’t have enough of his thought. If you know a magisterium faithful Jesuit or Ignatian scholar who writes well and will do so for free, please send them our way. I would really like to have content on discernment of spirits and the exercises in general.

    Regarding the editing of your post, I don’t remember it so I can’t comment specifically. We are not anti-Charismatic by any means. I probably just determined that the feedback wasn’t helpful. Here’s a link to our FAQ’s which includes a section on how we handle moderation. It might be helpful to you.

    Thanks again!

  • Rjk123

    Dan: I don’t know if youw want to print my comment or not, but I just wanted to say that after reading the May 10 comments to your post on What Spiritual Direction is I am not shaming myself so much for the lengthy comments I have made in the last week, the first time I have commented on any blog.  I really enjoyed and learned from the back-and-forth comments from that day’s article.  And I do want to addthat this site has been a tremendous help to me with its timely articles, so on applicable to my own life in many cases, and with the comments from others that helps me know  that I’m not alone or weird and also what is going on in other people.  I am so impressed and humbles by the many holy people seeking the Lord with great devotion that we have in our world.  It gives me so much hope that what we generally see everywhere around us is not the whole story!  God is very much at work and His people are powerfully praying and working together in His body to overcome evil.  Thank you for this site!!!  God bless you! 

    • Anonymous

      No shame necessary – you are obviously a generous person seeking to know him. Thank you for participating!

  • Rochellerosenbaum

    Hi, I am a 51 yr old wife and mother of two who daily prays to have a deep conversion of heart—for if that is not done my heart would not be beating, because this is what it beats for.  My whole being is focused on serving our Good and Gracious God faithfully and trying to help serve His people by evangelizing in all I do.  One of the ministries that was laid upon my heart many years ago (when I was put on disability so I was out of touch with the public) was to evangelize via using the email.  So I would send out articles, prayers, events that were in the area to help feed the faith.  When I came across your site around a year ago I started sending many of your articles out to the many 100′s of people that I forward God’s info to.  I can’t tell you the number of times people would email me back and say, thank you so much, this is exactly what I needed.  Many of these people also tell me that they also forward on the info that I send them to many others who also thank them, so even more are being feed!  Praise God!!! the Holy Spirit knows who needs what and when.  Please continue this fabulous ministry that you have for it is blessing more people than you can even imagine!  

    • Anonymous

      Thank you for your service to the Church and for your help!

  • Rod

    I am 39 yr old male. I enjoy this site a lot, and find comfort in reading the writings and post. However I still suffer greatly from my fear that I am seed that has fallen on bad soil. I just don’t get it!! I want to be a good follower of Christ, I seek the sacraments regulary, but I fall and fall and fall again. I feel broken and discouraged, unworthy of His Love.

    • Peg

      Hi Rod,

      From the sounds of it, you “get it” better than you think you do …and you’re in good company:

      “What I do, I do not understand. For I do not do what I want, but I do what I hate… For I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want.” -Romans 7:15-19 NAB

      Keep the faith and may God richly bless you!

  • Jesusbpraised

    I haven’t finished reading all the posts on this topic, but wish to say that what struck me from the beginning and what still is so wonderfully obvious is the love and support everyone has for each other. It is truly a beautiful sight!

    I am 68, a retired nurse, mother of three, grandmother of seven, a vowed Secular Carmelite, and blessed to live at a Monastery as an Extern for cloistered Carmelite nuns. God has blessed me beyond my wildest hopes. Heaven can indeed begin on earth!

    • Totus2us

      Wow!  How did you happen to become an “extern”…and what is that?  Do you help them out?

  • Bella and Alberto P. Jiao

    Thankful for your service to us via the Lord. We”re retired couple Filipinos in the
    Netherlands doing loads of volunteering work with Mo. Teresa s House feeding
    homeless – also with Stella Maris  helping out      ,for seafarers  and  doing hospital visits, church service coordinating Eucharistic Adoration and member -leader Couples for Christ. ,etc. This is our idea of retirement! Be Blessed. 

    • Anonymous

      God BlessYou!!  :)

  • Rachel

    Dear Joan –  Thanks for the encouragement, but I want to reassure you that all is well here.  The noose analogy was an imperfect image meant only to illustrate how tight your circle of true friends can become when you walk the narrow path; the road less taken as it were.  When you make a choice for Christ, you will inevitably leave some things, some people behind as they choose not to follow.  This can lead to a loneliness that needs to be abated or despair might set in.

    I was, imperfectly, relating that this spot on the internet dial has become a safe haven, a breath of fresh air and more to me.  Believe me, God is always good, life is happy here in my house and I wouldn’t have my life any different…except perhaps more love and more holy :-) 

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  • MYC

    I’m very grateful for this site.  Before I found a spiritual director I found much spiritual food and seeds for contemplation (particularly in  the posts on root sins, of which I’d never heard).  Encouraged by this site, I approached a devout and wise Discalced Carmelite friar for direction and have been so thankful for this next step in my spiritual life.  For the record, I am an American living in Italy.  I’m 39 years old, female and married with children.

  • Rjk123

    You are so wonderful.  God has you in a place where you hunger for Him. God bless you.  What a wonderful thing it is to learn that it is all Him, to know that we are so weak and there is so much we don’t know and that He loves us totally, without restraint or conditions.  We can rejoice with St. Paul and St. Therese in our weakness and see His love and strength shining through us.  We know that it is all Him.  We see and hear Him doing good through us and we wonder how did He do that?  It is a life of gratitude we live, gratitude and praise.  May God continue to bless you abundantly. Rejoice in your weakness, but let Him show you that you are also strong.  You cannot imagine how much He loves you!

    • Rjk123

      I would like to add to my previous comment that as we rejoice in our weakness and are grateful for the mercy of God, we continue to pursue perfection according to God’s will in our life at each moment.  We will always see our weakness, but with God’s mercy, we also see that He is growing us miraculously.  So, I encourage you to keep striving, Rod, but take time to soak in His love for you.  God bless you.

  • Stiofan Deburca

    A great source of insight for daily reflection. What a pity that we cannot get a personal SA but then they are a dwindling species.

    Keep up God`s work.

  • Gsibley

    I just signed up lastg week, but feel certain it will be beneficial.

    God Bless!
    Gordon OCDS

  • Cludwick

    Thank you for the opportunity to praise you and your website!  I am a 60 year old Kansas mother/grandmother who has had spiritual directors on three different occasions.  Amazing!  God blessed me with a wonderful Redemptorist priest for about two years but his health and other circumstances caused him to leave.  Then I was able to meet with a beloved priest in our diocese only to have him become bishop in Kansas and then Archbishop in Oklahoma.  Finally, I have met with the national Pro Sanctity director for many years but she is so very busy that it is not possible any longer. 

    As I have mourned the losing of each of these God-filled directors, your website has provided me with sustanance.  God bless you for being available to us.

  • Deacon Tom

    Your Spiritual Direction is a thought provoking site that brings me closer to God. It strengthens my spiritual life and brings new meaning to prayer time. Keep up the good work and God Bless.

    Deacon Tom

  • Totus2us

    Kathy, please hang in there. 

    Maybe you could ask a few priests to come to see you so that you could talk to them about having one of them provide some spiritual direction.  Yes, some do come to see people who cannot get out to go to them.  How do you think cloistered nuns get direction?  You are basically living a hermit life.  You DEFINITELY need a spiritual director.  You are one of the treasures of the Church in that, though not asked for, God has set you aside, has given you the opportunity, to live a life of deep prayer devoted to him, under your circumstances.  He wants you to himself, not because he is selfish, but because you are so very, very special to him.  He is inviting you to share his life in a deeper, more intimate way, without all the distractions of the world, a more contemplative way.  Remember that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.

    In the meantime, at least until then, stay with this site.  It will help fill in gaps for you and give you some spiritual food to sustain you until that time that you find the director God has waiting for you.

    • Anonymous


      Good advice here Kathy.  I’ve added you to my prayer list – Watch Out!!  :)

      Offer up your sufferings……God loves you deeply and tenderly….I know it can be hard to believe…..I’ve been there.  But I had a priest that gave me a pennance of saying “Thank you God for loving me.” every day for about five weeks.

      I couldn’t believe God really loved me, but I had to do the pennance.  At first I was just saying the words…..but then there was a tiny crack inside and it got bigger……and I found hope and healing, and soon I knew it was true.  God does love me….amazing!  You might give it a try.


  • Ronniecrasto

     yes the process has begun i am ronnie crasto male 47 yrs layperson

  • Mary@42

    Kathy, please have Faith.  God is very, very close to you. We shall pray for you and believe me, you will get a Spiritual Director.  In the meantime, remember – Christ is there, suffering with you – and through your suffering, He is saving very many souls. (His own words to St. Faustina – His Secretary and Apostle of His Divine Mercy).  I shall remember you in a very special way when we visit our Divine Mercy Shrine this 1st Friday of the Month.

  • Linda

    I am 55 years old woman and married. I am living in Thorold, Ontario, Canada.  I do have a spiritual director which I am very thankful for.  I find the website – Catholic Spiritual Direction a real treasure.  I occassionally send specific articles to friends and I also send the treasure of the Catholic Faith (via Catholic Spiritual Direction Articles)  to those who have special needs –  (Non-practicing Catholics and those of other faiths.)

    God Bless You All

  • Kathy


    I have longed to be closer to God my whole life ever since I was a child.  I grew up in a dysfunctional family, although a devoutly Catholic family.  I have had both emotional and physical illness my whole life.  I have so many questions.  As I enter my life as a senior citizen, my greatest fear is dying without getting any closer to God.  I live in Indiana.  I see no way for my current situation of living changing.  I cannot get to Church very often but watch Mass on TV.  In my parish, we have only one pastor, and it is a large parish, so our priest has no time for individual counseling.  Not a day goes by without my thinking about God.  He is always in my thoughts, but my life is so difficult, and I have no one to ask as to what I should do.  Since I have no one to counsel me, such as a spiritual director, I don’t know if I’m living the way God wants me to or not.  Now that I am older, it is difficult for me to understand the writings of the saints you mentioned.  I just try and say my rosary every day, and every morning when I wake up, I ask God to send someone to help me.  I will try to not give up.  Thank you for your prayers.


    • Totus2us


      You need to ask yourself these questions and answer them honestly:
      Have I asked my pastor to come to see me?  Have I asked him to counsel me individually?  If he can’t come to see me, have I asked him for a recommendation of someone who might be able to do so? 

      Sometimes, lay folks make assumptions about priests with large parishes.  We may project our own insecurities on them thinking they wouldn’t possibly have time for us.  But, tending the flock is their responsibility.  And, you are certainly one of the flock, though you may be “hidden” away.  But, so much more the treasure to find you!

      Retired priests also make good directors.  They are away from the day-to-day busy-ness of parish life.  They have had time to sit back and reflect and develop more wisdom in their advanced years.  Sometimes, they are retired because of illness.  And so, they would be able to more readily identify with someone who can’t get out much.

      Alex is right about God increasing the longing in our hearts for him.  Keep the faith!  You are a good person.  You have dignity and worth.  You are a child of God, made in his image, and he loves you very much.  For you, he gave himself up to death, death on a cross.  He knows your desires and wants the very best for you.

      God bless you.  Keep on praying.  Keep on hanging in there. 

      I am praying for you as well.

  • Mike


    Yes this site has helped.  My wife and I have seven younger children and occasionally have them read some of your (or Fr.’s) reflections and articles.  So you could actually count four of us.


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  • tricia

    Dan and RCSpiritual Direction-I don’t even know if anyone is still responding to this post, but I’ve been blessed to grow with you for the past few years, so I want to say thanks for all the work you do to bring us little souls to Christ!
    I’m a mom from Michigan–32, home with 3 little ones, youngest with chronic illness. Your website is dew for the soul. And I can trust anything you publish, which is amazing.
    I’ve been on a journey like everyone here–just trying to respond with love to the call of the Lord. Pray for my husband’s conversion, please.
    I am from the RC family; I was a coworker before the founder died. I’ll end at that. God is good and draws good from all. I’ll trust Him and who knows where I would be without that year! It gave me the salty desire for sainthood. I’m hoping you all ignite the fire within those you touch, as well. God is giving us all a mission and I thank everyone on this website; contributors, you, Dan, editors, behind the scenes people, readers, priests, religious, and family members like me…I know the Blessed Mother and the Good Lord are gathering the flock, from near and far. Thank you again for your generosity…I’ve started to tell people about the website. It will help them grow closer to Christ. I truly enjoy the Divine Intimacy meditations and know that daily, consistent, and constant prayer give me the grace to keep grounded and keep going.
    A suggestion–I haven’t seen anything on consecration to Mary (either Louis de Monfort or the new book by Fr. Michael Gaitley; and Fr. Gaitley’s book is followed up by another book about living Divine Mercy.) Anyway, the Blessed Mother has changed my relationship with her Son and she did say that in the end her Immaculate Heart would triumph. I trust that true devotion comes through the Blessed Mother. Could you maybe do a book study on Marian Consecration?

    • MarytheDefender

      Hi Tricia! Thank you for your gracious words. I’m sure Dan and the other contributors are very glad that they helped you grow closer to our Lord!

      We did Fr. Gaitley’s Marian Consecration during our book club, May last year. Maybe you would to read the reflections and join the discussion. Here is the link! :)

      Maybe we could try St Louis de Monfort’s as well?

      God Bless!

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  • K Borah

    I love this website. I would like to hear more and especially see Fr. Sullivan’s fourth part article on yoga. This is a topic causing consternation and I think we need to hear more about New Age practices in general. I have become more mindful that our battle is constant and keeping plugged into Our Lady and her intercessory assistance is of great value. Thank you for this website.