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SpiritualDirection.com / Catholic Spiritual Direction

Abandonment XVII – Especially for Us

August 13, 2009 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Detachment

s_ caterina da siena 3We can only be truly instructed by the words which God speaks to us personally. No one grows in knowledge of God either by reading books or by curious historical research. These means give us but a vain and empty knowledge, which serves only to confuse us and inflate us with pride.

That which truly instructs us in what comes to us by the will of God from moment to moment. This is the knowledge gained through experience, which Christ Himself was pleased to acquire before teaching others. In fact, this was the only knowledge in which He could grow, according to the expression of the holy Gospel (Luke 2:52); because being God, there was no degree of speculative knowledge which He did not already possess. Therefore if this experimental knowledge was useful to the Incarnate Word Himself, it is absolutely necessary for us if we would touch the heart of those whom God sends to us.

We only know perfectly that which we have learned by experience through suffering or action. This is the school of the Holy Spirit, who speaks the words of life to the heart; and all that we say to others should come from this source. Whatever we read, whatever we see, becomes divine knowledge only by the fruitfulness, the virtue the light which this experience gives. Without this experiential knowledge, all our learning is like unleavened dough, lacking the salt and the seasoning of experience. Without this experiential knowledge, we have only vague, untried ideas to act on, we are like the dreamer who, through knowing all the highways of the world, misses the road to his own house.

Therefore we have only to listen to God from moment to moment in order to become learned in the knowledge by which the saints lived, which is all practice and experience.

Set aside what is said to others, but listen to what is said to you and for you; you will find enough in that to exercise you faith, because this interior language of God, by its very obscurity, exercises, purifies and increases your faith.

Father Jean-Pierre de Caussade – Purchase The Joy of Full Surrender

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About Dan Burke

Dan is the President of the Avila Foundation, the parent organization of SpiritualDirection.com, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, Divine Intimacy Radio and Divine Intimacy Radio - Resources Edition, Into the Deep Parish Programs, the Apostoli Viae (Apostles of the Way) Community, and the FireLight Student Leadership Formation Program, author of the award-winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God, Finding God Through Meditation-St. Peter of Alcantara, 30 Days with Teresa of Avila, Into the Deep, Living the Mystery of Merciful Love: 30 Days with Thérèse of Lisieux, and his newest book The Contemplative Rosary with St. John Paul II and St. Teresa of Avila. Beyond his "contagious" love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband and father of four, the Executive Director of and writer for EWTN's National Catholic Register, a regular co-host on Register Radio, a writer and speaker who provides online spiritual formation and travels to share his conversion story and the great riches that the Church provides us through authentic Catholic spirituality. Dan has been featured on EWTN's Journey Home program and numerous radio programs.

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