Questions on Fr Anthony de Mello, Spiritual Direction and Discerning God’s Voice in Prayer
This week Dan and Melissa discuss a follow-up question about the writings of Father Anthony de Mello leading someone to the Catholic Church. Also, Dan answers questions regarding the need to disclose your past during spiritual direction, as well as discerning God’s voice in prayer.
Topics/Questions covered in the show:
- Regarding Father de Mello’s writings, the Holy Spirit will always bring us to the Truth even if by unusual means. But once he has recognized Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Life, the individual must leave those lesser means behind and begin to use authentic Catholic teaching to bring him/her to the fullness of the Faith.
- Because our humanity is affected by original sin, we must not be lead by emotions to make decisions about the Faith. We must use our intellect to form our consciences according to the teachings of Jesus through the Holy Spirit, in and through the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.
- The purpose of a spiritual director is to help one advance in prayer and virtue from his or her current spiritual height. Past events in the directee’s life are not always necessary to discuss unless there is a blockage in spiritual progress based on something negative from the past.
- When discerning whether or not one hears God’s voice in prayer, we must identify whether the message was the work of the Holy Spirit and moved us to an increase in faith, hope and love. Also, what was said must come to pass and not produce pride or clinging to the revelation.
- More can be found on discerning God’s voice in prayer from The Ascent of Mount Carmel by Saint John of the Cross, Book 2, Chapters 28 and 29.
- EWTN Religious Catalogue – online
- Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation
- EWTN Global Catholic Radio
- Can I Trust the Writings of Fr Anthony de Mello? – Previous Divine Intimacy Radio show on Fr Anthony de Mello.
- SpiritualDirection.com posts on Fr de Mello:
- Notification Concerning the Writings of Father Anthony de Mello, SJ – from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Vatican link
- John 6:54 – “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.” USCCB Bible link
- Concupiscence – Spiritual Dictionary definition from Navigating the Interior Life – Book on spiritual direction by Dan Burke
- Numbers 22:21-35 – The donkey spoke to Balaam. USCCB Bible link
- Nostra Aetate – Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions, Paragraph 2: “The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions. She regards with sincere reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings which, though differing in many aspects from the ones she holds and sets forth, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men. Indeed, she proclaims, and ever must proclaim Christ ‘the way, the truth, and the life’ (John 14:6), in whom men may find the fullness of religious life, in whom God has reconciled all things to Himself.”
- John 14:6 – “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through me.” – USCCB Bible link
- Catechism of the Catholic Church – Part 4: Christian Prayer
- Can I Trust Father Thomas Keating? – Post on SpiritualDirection.com
- Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on Some Aspects of Christian Meditation – Cardinal Ratzinger – Post on Spiritualdirection.com
- Navigating the Interior Life – Book on spiritual direction by Dan Burke
- Luke 15:11-32 – Parable of the Lost Son [Prodigal Son]. USCCB Bible link
- Matthew 6:5-15 – Jesus teaches his disciples how to pray, and teaches the Our Father. USCCB Bible link
- Lectio Divina, A Guide: What It Is & How It Helps Prayer Life – Post on SpiritualDirection.com
- Carmelite or Ignatian Prayer: Which is Best for Me? – Post on SpiritualDirection.com
- The Better Part: A Christ-Centered Resource for Personal Prayer – Fr John Bartunek (based on the Ignatian method where one puts oneself in the Scriptural scene and then makes a commitment based on what one has experienced with Christ)
- Psalm 23:2 – The Good Shepherd “…to still waters He leads me.” USCCB Bible link
- The Ascent of Mount Carmel – Book 2, Chapters 28, 29 – Discerning God’s voice in prayer. EWTN Library link
- 1 Thessalonians 5:23 – “May the God of peace himself make you perfectly holy and may you entirely, spirit, soul, and body, be preserved blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – USCCB Bible link
- Questions? Send an e-mail to Questions@myavila.com or call 818-646-7729. Please leave your name, location, and question(s).
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The Divine Intimacy Radio Show is a haven of rest and wellspring of spiritual life for those seeking intimacy with God and the enlightened path of Catholic mystical and ascetical wisdom. Every week, Dan Burke and Melissa Elson explore topics related to the interior life and Catholic teaching, including prayer, spiritual direction, meditation, contemplation, and holiness.
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