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Catholic Spiritual Direction

Are You Longing for a Deeper Prayer Life?


The four waters of prayer as taught by St. Teresa of Avila is one of the most beautiful analogies of growth in prayer provided by the saints. In a state of grace, the soul is like a well of limpid water, from which flow only streams of clearest crystal. Its works are pleasing both to God and man, rising from the River of Life, beside which it is rooted like a tree. ~ St. Teresa of Avila On June... Read More

Spiritual Life, Spiritual Direction: God in You, Part 2 of 5

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Dan Burke spent a week discussing his suffering, conversion and healing with EWTN’s Johnnette Benkovic on her show, Women of Grace. Dan captures the stages of the spiritual life in his award-winning book, “Navigating the Interior Life“. In the second episode of five, Dan continues to discuss his conversion from the Jewish faith to Catholicism and from suffering to healing and love. Are... Read More

Carmelite or Ignatian prayer, which is best for me?

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Dear Dan, I have been studying prayer, primarily the Ignatian method and the Carmelite method.  What would you consider the differences between these two methods?   Also, how can I determine which is best for me?   Dear friend, this is a great question. First it would be helpful to ensure we understand what we are talking about when we use the terms “prayer” and “method.” The prayer we... Read More

Spiritual Life, Spiritual Direction, and God in You – Part 1 of 5

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Spiritual Life, Spiritual Direction, and God in You — Part 1 of 5 Dan Burke had the pleasure of talking with EWTN’s Johnnette Benkovic on her show, Women of Grace. about the spiritual life and his award winning book, “Navigating the Interior Life.” Dan is also the founder of Catholic Spiritual Direction. In the first episode of five, Dan speaks of his own suffering and conversion... Read More

Celebrating Blessed John Paul II’s Canonization (Part 6)


This post is part of a series of talks by Dr. Anthony Lilles celebrating the upcoming canonization of Blessed John Paul II on this coming Sunday, April 27th, Divine Mercy Sunday 2014.   6. Dr. Lilles on Contemplative Prayer from Avila Institute on Vimeo. Video used with permission [Celebrating Blessed John Paul II's Canonization]. Editor’s Note:  For Dr. Lilles’ insights on prayer, don’t... Read More

Sayings of Light and Love #24

March 1, 2014 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, John of the Cross

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The fly that clings to honey hinders its flight, and the soul that allows itself attachment to spiritual sweetness hinders its own liberty and contemplation. 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 Interior Life... Read More

When Faith and Music Collide

February 16, 2014 by  
Filed under Ariel McKinney, Music

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There’s something about the way God created us, that we need music in order to fulfill our being and truly understand what beauty and goodness really are. My studies in music have really refined my personal aesthetic tastes over the past few years. Sure, I still love a good musical number and practically anything written in the 70′s, but for the most part, my heart is happiest when I’m... Read More

Saint Bernard’s Four Kinds of Contemplation

February 8, 2014 by  
Filed under Anthony Lilles, Contemplation, Prayer


At the end of his treatise on contemplation (also known as his treatise On Consideration), Saint Bernard of Clairvaux observes the dimensions of Christian mental prayer.  Specifically, when Saint Paul prays in Ephesians 3:18 that we might come to comprehend and be filled with the breadth and length, height and depth of the fullness of God revealed in the love of Christ, Saint Bernard sees four kinds... Read More

Infused Contemplation – Spiritual Dictionary


INFUSED CONTEMPLATION: An infused supernatural gift, that originates completely outside of our will or ability, by which a person becomes freely absorbed in God producing a real awareness, desire, and love for Him. This often gentle or delightful and sometimes non-sensible encounter can yield special insights into things of the spirit and results in a deeper and tangible desire to love God and neighbor... Read More

Finding Time for God

November 19, 2013 by  
Filed under Book Club, Vicki Burbach

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An Introduction to the Devout Life (Week 4 of 14) Do not children as they hearken to their mother, and, lisping, imitate her, gradually learn to speak her language? And so if we remain close to the Savior, meditating upon Him, and giving heed to His words, His actions, and His affections, we shall gradually, by the help of His grace, learn to speak, to act and will like Him. There we must stop, for,... Read More

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