Anthony Lilles

Anthony Lilles, a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, completed his graduate and post-graduate studies in Rome at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas. He and his lovely wife, Agnes, are blessed with three children and live in California, where he is the Academic Dean, and Associate Professor of Theology, St. John’s Seminary, Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and Academic Advisor for Queen of Angels House of Priestly Formation for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. For over twenty years, Dr. Lilles worked for the Denver Archdiocese directing parish religious education, R.C.I.A. and youth ministry, as well as serving as Director of the Office of Liturgy for the Archdiocese and as Coordinator of Spiritual Formation for the permanent diaconate. In 1999, he became a founding faculty member of St. John Vianney Theological Seminary where he was Academic Dean for nine years and Associate Professor of Theology. He is a Board Member for the Society of Catholic Liturgy. Dr. Lilles has provided graduate level courses on a variety of topics including the Eucharist, the Sacraments of Healing, Church History, Spiritual Theology, Spiritual Direction and on various classics of Catholic Spirituality. His expertise is in the spiritual doctrine of Saint Elisabeth of the Trinity and the Carmelite Doctors of the Church: St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross and St. Thérèse of Lisieux. In 2012, Discerning Hearts published his book “Hidden Mountain, Secret Garden: A Theological Contemplation on Prayer,” a compilation of discussions with seminarians, students, and contemplatives about the spiritual life. He collaborated with Dan Burke on the books “30 Days with Teresa of Avila” and Living the Mystery of Merciful Love: 30 Days with Therese of Lisieux. And, his book “Fire from Above” was published in 2016. Among his many accomplishments and responsibilities, Dr. Lilles now teaches theology for the Avila Institute. He blogs at BeginningtoPray.blogspot.com

Articles By Anthony Lilles

How Do We Know God’s Will?

How Do We Know God’s Will? Many people after discovering the faith soon realize that it is sometimes difficult to discern God’s will in a given situation.  Most people think that knowing God’s will is impossible.  After all, He gave us our natural capacity to reason and He has revealed Himself to us – so

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To Satiate the Thirst of Jesus

To Satiate the Thirst of Jesus Editor’s Note:  Dr. Anthony Lilles gives us a lot to consider during these hot summer months, especially for those of us who live with and/or serve the sick, suffering and dying. When we begin to pray, we implicate ourselves in the plight of others, especially those who are suffering.

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Holy Fear

Holy Fear We find in the writings of the great mystics, especially of those who have been recognized as “Doctor of the Church,” a certain unanimous consent concerning the importance of holy fear if we are to grow in our life of prayer. They have a sense that it is a fearful thing to stand

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How are We Able to Hold Fast to Our Faith? He is Risen!

Alleluia! Christ is Risen! How are We Able to Hold Fast to Our Faith? He is Risen!   In the midst of our busy lives, it is easy to be overwhelmed and to feel overcome by difficult circumstance. For those who strive to pray, Christ risen from the dead allows us to taste this only

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Christ and the Confidence that Comes From the Holy Spirit

Christ and the Confidence that Comes from the Holy Spirit Christ baptizes in the power of the Holy Spirit and his fire animates the Christian life with hope.  The Holy Spirit who moved over the waters of creation, who overshadowed the Virgin Mary, who descended on Christ at his Baptism, who carried the Crucified’s last

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The Lord is Coming — Take Him to Your Heart

The Lord is Coming – Take Him to your Heart “Take Him to your heart… keep Him in you as in a sanctuary… live with Him in intimacy.”  This was advice offered to a new religious sister just beginning her life as a nun.  The beauty of this message only fully discloses itself when we

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Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Mystical Rose

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Mystical Rose The famous image and story of Our Lady of Guadalupe is an important part of the history of the evangelization of the Americas – a continent evangelized more quickly than any other in all of Church history.  Mary appeared to a

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Prayer and Purgatory: Thresholds to Glory

Prayer and Purgatory: Thresholds to Glory Purgatory and prayer are both the thresholds to Glory. In both cases, the disciple of the Lord receives purification to live life to the full, to be free, to stand before God and, finally, to see his face. If we are not purified, healed, strengthened and taught how to

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The Paradox of Holiness and Communion

The Paradox of Holiness and Communion To be holy is to be set apart. To be in communion is to be in solidarity with one another. Prayer both sets us apart and establishes us in a deeper communion. It is a paradox. Although this mystery is not completely solvable, one hint is the relational dimension

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The Life of Prayer: The Sure Path to Freedom

The Life of Prayer: the sure path to freedom Christian prayer is a simple movement of the soul towards God. It is a movement of love, by which we cling to Him with the boldness of faith, trusting in his loving kindness. This movement of love is also a conversation, a heart to heart, in

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That Loving Knowledge of God

That Loving Knowledge of God Although the Almighty is beyond the power of human understanding to grasp, Christians believe that knowing God’s Will is possible because Jesus, in his humanity offered for our sakes, has given us real access to God. The kind of knowledge the Risen Lord gives us is different than the merely

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St Bernard and Coming to the Fullness of Love

St Bernard and Coming to the Fullness of Love (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

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Pilgrimage: Camino Primitivo to Santiago de Compostela

Editor’s Note: Dr. Anthony Lilles recently made a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, the place, where tradition holds, St. James the Apostle, whose feast the Church celebrates on July 25th, is buried. In this post, Dr. Lilles reflects on his journey, and on pilgrimage in particular. On Corpus Christi, Father Piotr Mozdyniewicz and

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Entering Into Prayer

For those struggling to pray, one challenge in prayer is entering into silence. It seems the moment one goes into a chapel or room or some other private place, a thousand thoughts and feelings suddenly flow. Sometimes, in fact, it is to find some relief from particularly painful feelings or haunting thoughts that we find

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The Mystery of the Priesthood: A Post Revisited

My original post on this topic was written when Catholic priests were especially singled out for severe and sometime even unjust criticism.  The zeal and relish with which some impugned the priesthood in general went largely unanswered. There is also the broad supposition on the part of many that the priesthood is only about social

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