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Catholic Spiritual Direction

St. Bernard and Coming to the Fullness of Love

August 20, 2014 by  
Filed under Anthony Lilles, Contemplation, Featured, Prayer

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(Memorial of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Abbot and Doctor of the Church) St. Bernard built a way of life that flowed from Chapter 73 of the Rule of St. Benedict. In this final chapter, St. Benedict urges monks to learn the discipline of the Christian life he has presented because it is a good beginning, the minimum needed to make progress in a life devoted to Christ. Once one makes a good beginning, Benedict explains, “You... Read More

Are You Longing for a Deeper Prayer Life?

June 25, 2014 by  
Filed under Contemplation, Marta Goodwin, Prayer, Webinar

Waters

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 28th, Dan Burke, author of Navigating... Read More

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

Women of Grace 2

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 you thriving to learn more... Read More

Saint Bernard’s Four Kinds of Contemplation

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

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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 of contemplation. For Saint... Read More

Infused Contemplation – Spiritual Dictionary

December 19, 2013 by  
Filed under Contemplation, Dan Burke, Navigating, Prayer, Spiritual Dictionary

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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 in thought, word, and deed.... Read More

What is the “Prayer of Simplicity”? (Part III of III)

November 18, 2013 by  
Filed under Contemplation, Prayer

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…a reader asks: Q: Dear Father John, I’ve heard that the prayer of simplicity is a kind of a bridge from meditation to contemplation. Can you help me to understand what this experience of prayer might be and how one might know that God is leading them down that path?   In the first part of this post, we discussed mental prayer in general, meditative mental prayer and the unity underneath the various prayer methods. ... Read More

What is the “Prayer of Simplicity”? (Part II of III)

November 11, 2013 by  
Filed under Contemplation, Fr. Bartunek, Prayer

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…a reader asks: Dear Father John, I’ve heard that the prayer of simplicity is a kind of a bridge from meditation to contemplation. Can you help me to understand what this experience of prayer might be and how one might know that God is leading them down that path? In Part I, we discussed mental prayer in general, meditative mental prayer and the unity underneath the various prayer methods.  Today, we will continue the... Read More

What is the “Prayer of Simplicity”? (Part I of III)

November 4, 2013 by  
Filed under Contemplation, Fr. Bartunek, Meditation, Mental Prayer, Prayer

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Prayer of Simplicity:  What is it?  (Part I of III) Dear Father John, I’ve heard that the prayer of simplicity is a kind of a bridge from meditation to contemplation. Can you help me to understand what this experience of prayer might be and how one might know that God is leading them down that path? The term “prayer of simplicity” is used differently by different spiritual authors, so there is some danger of confusion... Read More

How can I Avoid False Teachings on Prayer? (I of III)

Duerer-Prayer

How can I Avoid False Teachings on Prayer? (Part I of III) …A faithful follower of the Lord asks:  Dear Dan, I enjoy reading more modern writers about prayer and the spiritual life but I am always worried about false teachings that could lead me away from the heart of the Church. How can I know when an author is not orthodox or teaches something that could lead me to deception instead of to God? You are wise to be concerned... Read More

Theology and Contemplative Prayer

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Contemplative Prayer and Theology Contemplation needs scientific theology and theologians need contemplation.  Historically, contemplatives who have presumed otherwise unwittingly submitted themselves and those they influenced to all kinds of demeaning irrationality.   At the same time, whenever theologians believe they can conduct their investigations without prayer, their body of scholarship becomes less capable of building... Read More

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