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Catholic Spiritual Direction

Preparing Our Hearts for the Coming King – Advent Preparation

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I don’t know about you, but I have allowed far too many an Advent season to pass me by with far too little devotion. For decades St. Joseph knocked at my door, offering the opportunity to allow the Messiah to be born anew in my heart. I am sad to say that prior to this past decade of my life as a Catholic, there was far too little room at the Inn of my heart. I am also grateful to say that since becoming Catholic, the room for... 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 are speaking of here is an interpersonal... Read More

How can I better prepare for prayer and meditation?

February 24, 2014 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Meditation, Mental Prayer, Prayer

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Dear Father John, in the first part of your book, The Better Part, you mention something about preparing for tomorrow’s meditation the night before. I also heard that mentioned by a priest giving us a talk during a retreat. Can you explain this a little bit more? What do you mean, exactly, and is that something just for religious and priests, or should I be doing it too? It seems to me that your question is being asked in direct... Read More

St. Teresa, should I strive to quiet my mind during prayer?

January 11, 2014 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Meditation, Mental Prayer, Prayer, Teresa of Avila

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Dear Saint Teresa, I have read a number of books on prayer that advocate methods of suppressing, shutting down, or eliminating thinking all together during prayer.  In one centering prayer book it said to “let your thoughts go” and that “thoughts are a normal part of prayer.” Even though the book claimed that it was not teaching to eliminate thoughts, in the end, the method taught that we seek a state where... Read More

Affective Meditation – Navigating the Interior Life Spiritual Dictionary

December 14, 2013 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Meditation, Navigating, Prayer, Spiritual Dictionary

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AFFECTIVE MEDITATION: Often the result of discursive meditation, affective prayer occurs when the heart and mind are engaged, with and beyond the intellect, with the object of the meditation. This Spiritual Dictionary Term is an excerpt from the Glossary of Dan’s book Navigating the Interior Life – Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God. To learn more, click here About Dan BurkeDan is the founder of Catholic Spiritual... Read More

Meditation – Navigating the Interior Life Spiritual Dictionary

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MEDITATION: Reflective prayer.  It is that form of mental prayer in which the mind, in God’s presence, thinks about God and divine things.  While the affections may also be active, the stress in meditation is on the role of the intellect.  Hence this is also called discursive mental prayer.  The objects of meditation are mainly three: mysteries of faith; a person’s better knowledge of what God wants him or her to... 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)

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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

Video – Difference between meditation and contemplation?

October 16, 2012 by  
Filed under Contemplation, Dan Burke, Fr. Bartunek, Meditation, Prayer, Videos

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Meditation and Contemplation: What’s the Difference? A Short Video Resource on Prayer Father John Bartunek and Dan Burke discuss the difference between meditation and contemplation. 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 - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God. Beyond his “contagious”... Read More

Video – What is Christian Meditation?

October 8, 2012 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Fr. Bartunek, Meditation, Videos

Video – What is Christian Meditation?

Christian Meditation:  What is it?  A Video Resource! Father John Bartunek and Dan Burke discuss Christian Meditation: What is Christian meditation? How is it distinct from non-Christian eastern meditation? How is it different from vocal prayer? What are the most important things to understand about Christian meditation and developing a personal relationship with Christ? About Dan BurkeDan is the founder of Catholic Spiritual... Read More

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