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Catholic Spiritual Direction

Meditation: Mastering the Fundamentals – A Webinar with Fr. John Bartunek

February 29, 2012 by  
Filed under Classes, Dan Burke, Fr. Bartunek, Prayer, Webinar

Mastering the Fundamentals Webinar Dear Friends – I am pleased to announce that Fr. John Bartunek, author of The Better Part, will provide us with insights into the fundamentals of Christian meditation. In this webinar he will cover the basic concepts that keep us focused in mental prayer. This webinar is scheduled for Saturday March 10th from 10:30am Central Time to 11:30am Central Time. Some of the questions he will answer... Read More

River of suffering – St. John of the Cross

February 28, 2012 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Poetry, Suffering


Suffering And I saw the river over which every soul must pass to reach the kingdom of heaven and the name of that river was suffering: and I saw a boat which carries souls across the river and the name of that boat was love.   PS: This poem is attributed to St. John but I have not been able to find the source. If you know the source, please email me at   Art:  John of the Cross, Zurbarán,... Read More

Can special events be celebrated during Lent?

February 27, 2012 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Lent

Dear Father John, I have a question… My brother’s graduation is this March during Lent and my family normally eats in a really nice restaurant for dinner after graduations. Is it okay if we aren’t able to fulfill our Lenten fast or penance on days like that?  What a beautiful question! It shows that you are sincerely concerned about living Lent well. Since Lent is a season of special penance, prayer, and almsgiving... Read More

I like dogs better than people, am I off base?

February 25, 2012 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Fraternal Love

Dear Dan, I was telling a friend of mine the other day that I really prefer dogs to people. He told me that I needed to pray about this and that he thought it was a serious issue for me spiritually. His response really has me baffled. Still, since Lent has me a bit introspective, I thought I would take his challenge seriously. What do you think? Is this just a silly conversation that I am taking too seriously? Dear Friend, just... Read More

Lent is Not Over Until It is Over – Here’s Some Humorous Help for Latecomer Resolutions

February 24, 2012 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Lent, Seasonal Meditations

Lent is not over until it is over. Some of you have probably found yourself within the lenten season without any direction whatsoever. A brilliant priest, Fr. Shane Johnson, has created a humorous but very effective way of thinking our way through how we might yield our souls to God during Lent. If you have yet to make your commitments, use this chart and don’t be discouraged. It is never too late to give more to God. About... Read More

Vote for Us! – Best Catholic Blog Update

February 23, 2012 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, General

Dear Friends – My last post about this had a significant error. First we were nominated among thousands of sites. Then we were selected as one of the top five finalists in our category! Rather than just being nominated, we have made the final cut in Best Catholic Blog category on’s 2012 Catholic Reader’s Choice Awards. We would be grateful if you would CAST YOUR DAILY VOTE FOR US! As you vote, please... Read More

Best Catholic Blog – Please Vote for Us!

February 23, 2012 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, General

Dear Friends – we have the honor of being nominated for the Best Catholic Blog on We would be grateful if you would cast your vote for us! Also, as you vote, please also share this post on Facebook, you will help us spread the word! Thank you for your help! About Dan BurkeDan is the founder of Catholic Spiritual Direction, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, and author of the award winning book, Navigating... Read More

Ash Wednesday Fasting and Church Teaching

February 21, 2012 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Lent, Seasonal Meditations

Every year a bunch of questions come up concerning Lent and the details of the laws governing it. Sometimes these rules are misstated or not clearly stated in various places on the web, so let’s look at what the Church’s official documents say regarding the practice of fast and abstinence on Ash Wednesday. Before we do that, though, let me offer a few notes of caution: 1) The Church’s laws regarding fast and abstinence today... Read More

What does St. Teresa mean by “pesky reptiles”?

Spiral Transit Interior Castles Featured

Dear Sister Carmen, In the Interior Castle St. Teresa talks about “pesky reptiles” and other creatures. What exactly does she mean when she is saying these things?” Those “pesky reptiles!” When you come across a snake unexpectedly, what is your immediate reaction? Well, unless you are a herpetologist it is probably fear, dread or surprise. Let me share with you the reaction of a group of Sisters with one such encounter... Read More

Could watching certain TV shows be against our Catholic faith? – Part II of III

February 20, 2012 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek

Dear Father John, Is watching a show like the “Medium” against our Catholic faith? The show is from what I have heard is calling on spirits who have passed on from this life and supposedly can be reached through a medium. In our first post in this three part series we reflected on how art and entertainment can touch our entire being. Both can be pleasing and attractive, but how much is really good for us? Avoiding Immorality We... Read More

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