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

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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The Mystery of the Priesthood

The Mystery of the Priesthood Because I work at a seminary, I have gotten to know quite a few priests over the years. Many of them have become good friends. Some have left the ministry for one reason or another. All of them have grappled with the meaning of their unique vocation. Simone Weil explained

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Saint Bernard’s Four Kinds of Contemplation

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

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Adoration, Silence and the Lamp of Fire (Part II of II)

In the first part of this post, we talked about silent adoration and the movement of prayer that is an ecstasy of love. Today, we will discuss how adoration is a symphony of love and how silent adoration leads to a life filled with love. If we consider adoration as a going out of self,

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Adoration, Silence and the Lamp of Fire (Part I of II)

“Hunger for silence is the sign of spiritual maturity.” This saying is attributed to [Saint] John Paul the Great and reminds me of the program he proposed to the Church after the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000. He called the Church to gaze on the face of Christ. Learning to gaze on the face

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The Truth to Which Christ Bears Witness

The Truth to Which Christ Bears Witness “For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth” (John 18:37). A Carthusian reflects on these words of the Lord addressed to Pontius Pilate. He believes that these words reveal the most essential secret of Christ’s life.

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Temptation to Power and the Prayer of Humble Obedience

Temptation to Power and the Prayer of Humble Obedience The merely material, psychological and political make lifeless absolutes when it comes to the history of prayer. The ancient prophets of Israel were subversive when they spoke against the worship of bread, sex, and kings. Against these ever present religious propensities, the Church proposes joining the

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Hearing the Call of the Bridegroom

“Let me see you, let me hear your voice.” These final days of Advent lift our hearts to the coming of Christ and are meant to move us to pray. How can we not make prayer part of our lives when we consider what it means that the Word of the Father came in history

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Rejoice in the Lord Always

Christians have the duty to rejoice, to express their joy to the world. Great thinkers like St. Augustine explain to us that joy is love which possesses its object. When we have what we most desire, we are able to enjoy and rest in what we love. We also know that many things we desire,

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Spiritual Direction and Evangelization

Spiritual Direction and Evangelization In the Holy Father’s latest Apostolic Exhortation “Joy of the Gospel” (Evangelii Gaudium) he takes time to remind us of spiritual accompaniment as a key part of evangelization (see paragraphs number 169 to 172). Pope Francis begins by noting the paradox of modern culture: on the one hand, people suffer from

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Saint Angela of Foligno and the Enlightenment of Penance

Even though she died in 1309, Saint Angela of Foligno helps us appreciate the enlightenment that can come from a life of penance. It was a time not unlike our own. Epicureanism was destroying society even as great saints attempted to help their contemporaries see that there is so much more than the short-term pleasures

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St Angela di Foligno and St Elisabeth of the Trinity

Saint Angela di Foligno and St. Elisabeth of the Trinity   One of the influences on the thought and spirituality of Saint Elisabeth of the Trinity was a Third Order Franciscan widow from the beginning of the 14th Century, Angela di Foligno. Pope Francis has just included this master of theology in the Calendar of

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