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Catholic Spiritual Direction

Skills for the Contemplative Disciple: Seasons of the Soul (Part II of III)

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Skills for the Contemplative Disciple: Seasons of the Soul! (Part II of III)   Susan came for spiritual direction for the first time, after experiencing a spiritual awakening. When she prayed, God was richly present to her. She secretly wondered why other people struggled to pray. Brian, an awakened disciple for some time, yearned for the consolation of God in prayer. Periodically, God seemed... Read More

Consolation and Abandonment

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Consolation and Abandonment Presence of God – Into Your hands, O Lord, I abandon myself with all confidence. MEDITATION “There are many who desire to make progress [in the spiritual way] and constantly entreat God to draw them and let them advance to this state of perfection [the state of union], but when it pleases God to begin to bring them through the first trials and mortifications, as is necessary,... Read More

Dryness in Prayer – God’s Part in the Struggle (Part III of III)

April 14, 2014 by  
Filed under Aridity or Dryness, Fr. Bartunek, Prayer

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Dryness in Prayer – God’s Part in the Struggle (Part III of III) Editor’s Note:  In Part I, we talked about what is going on with dryness in prayer.  In the second installment of this series, we addressed our part in the struggle.  Today, we will look at God’s part in the struggle. A reader asks: Dear Father John, I have been praying (mental prayer) for a long time.  But... Read More

Dryness in Prayer – Our Part in the Struggle (Part II of III)

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Editor’s Note:  In Part I, we talked about what is going on with dryness or aridity in prayer.  Today, we will look at our part in the struggle. A reader asks: Dear Father John, I have been praying (mental prayer) for a long time.  But lately I seem to be experiencing dryness in my prayer – I just don’t seem to get as much out of it as I used to.  Is this the “dark night... Read More

Dryness in Prayer – What is going on? (Part I of III)

March 31, 2014 by  
Filed under Aridity or Dryness, Fr. Bartunek, Prayer

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Dear Father John, I have been praying (mental prayer) for a long time.  But lately I seem to be experiencing dryness in my prayer – I just don’t seem to get as much out of it as I used to.  Is it the “dark night of the soul”?  If not, what’s going on, and what should I do? The Catechism (#2731) mentions dryness as one of the most common obstacles to prayer.  But this... Read More

Sayings of Light and Love #19

February 20, 2014 by  
Filed under Aridity or Dryness, John of the Cross

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The soul that in aridity and trial submits to the dictates of reason is more pleasing to God than one that does everything with consolation, yet fails in this submission. Saint John of the Cross More “Sayings of Light and Love” About Dan BurkeDan is the founder of Catholic Spiritual Direction, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, and author of the award winning book, Navigating the... Read More

The Sweetest Heart of Jesus

February 14, 2014 by  
Filed under Donna Sue Berry, Poetry

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THE SWEETEST HEART OF JESUS From the corner of my church pew, Sometimes I feel alone, When I see the happy couples,  In love when I’m alone. + I hide behind my lacy veil, And duck my head to pray, ‘Please, Jesus, be my Valentine This sweetheart’s special day.’ + I look up past the altar rails, And see the Sacred Heart, His eyes full of affection and My tears begin to start. + His Mother stands... Read More

Consolation – Navigating the Interior Life Spiritual Dictionary

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CONSOLATION: An interior movement aroused in the soul, by which it is inflamed with love of its Creator and Lord. It is likewise consolation when one sheds tears that move to the love of God, whether it be because of sorrow for sins, or because of the sufferings of Christ our Lord, or for any other reason that is immediately directed to the praise and service of God. Consolation can also be every increase... Read More

What is Spiritual Consolation?

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Dear Father John, what kind of general advice should I give to a person who is experiencing a lot of consolation in their spiritual life? From what this person has told me in spiritual direction, this consolation is certainly coming from God. Is there any practical advice I should give this person? God gives consolation in order to strengthen us and draw us closer to himself, just as he allows desolation... Read More

Broken? – Stanza VI – Part II

October 19, 2012 by  
Filed under Becky Ward, Broken

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Broken, to the World means useless.  “We must be strong, and never weak!” But in contrast to this vision, brokenness is what You seek. The original idea that came to me with this stanza was the image of what is strong and powerful in the world, especially that which is depicted in the media as being such, as opposed to the image of Our Lady at the foot of the cross.  Imagine the mass media headlines... Read More

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