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How can I go deeper in my faith this Lenten season?

February 4, 2010 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Lent, Seasonal Meditations

Lent seasonI recently had the opportunity to speak to a great group of men at parish here in Colorado about my conversion to the Catholic faith. One of the things I shared was the unusual amount of personal suffering I have experienced. The short list of loss includes a brother and sister in their thirties and a niece at two years old. At a young age I have lived the difficult reality that life, for any of us, can end at any moment. Faced with this understanding, there really is no better time than the present to ensure that when we see God face to face he says, “well done” rather than “depart from me, I never knew you.” The latter is a terrifying thought, the former, a glorious one.

At the end of the talk, one of the men asked, “How would you advise someone who is ready to go deeper in their faith?” Here's the “Going Deeper” plan for anyone looking to better prepare their hearts for this upcoming holy season:

1) Get a copy of “Inside the Passion” by Father John Bartunek and commit to reading a portion of it every day during Lent (starting Ash Wednesday, February the 17th) with a finish date of Tuesday the 1st of April – the day before Good Friday. If you finish this ahead of time, commit to one decade of the Sorrowful Mysteries on a daily basis or pray through the Stations of the Cross each day. A great way to do the latter is through the “Passion Companion” which also leverages the artwork of the film to held us better experience the Stations of the Cross devotion.

2) Commit to praying for five minutes (or add five minutes if you already pray) on a daily basis using any prayer that appeals to you (i.e. Our Father, Rosary, etc). Ask God to reveal himself more fully to you, just as the father of the sick boy in Matthew 9:24 asked Jesus, “…I do believe Lord, please help my unbelief.”

3) Watch the “The Passion of the Christ” on Good Friday. Be careful to watch it devotionally instead of from the standpoint of entertainment. Watch it at night just before you go to bed. Don’t pop any popcorn and keep the chips in the pantry. Prepare your heart and enter into the film. Pray that Christ would reveal himself to you. Engage with Christ as he gives his life up for you. Ask Him, “how can I give back to you in return for such an overwhelming gift?”

After Lent, use that same prayer habit you developed during lent (or further developed) and learn to know Christ more deeply. Pick up a copy of Father John’s book, “The Better Part.” Learn to meditate on the incredible person and work of Christ on a daily basis.

You will never regret your investment in your eternal destiny, and you will never be the same.

Seek Him – Find Him – Follow Him




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About Dan Burke

Dan is the President of the Avila Foundation, the parent organization of, 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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  • Cathy

    I already have The Better Part, and that has been very helpful. It is a fantastic resource to help people who have been away from the church (I have been away for 19 years and am struggling). I have made the commitment to read Inside the Passion, as the more I have an understanding, the more fear, and greater the love in my heart.

    • Dear Cathy in Christ – thank you for your note! I pray that you will find the the fullness of the love that Christ is calling you to. It is obvious that he is at work in your heart and life. Keep following him.

  • Sharon

    Thanks so much for this very “practical” guide to Lent, Dan! It’s exactly what I needed… each year Lent comes and goes and although I want to capitalize on it with the best form possible, it comes and goes because I never formulate a solid plan. Thanks! This is great advice! God Bless you 🙂

    • Dear Sharon in Christ – thank you for your encouraging words I am grateful to play even a small part in your encouragement! God bless you back!

  • glennbouthuthillette


    Thank you for the “Going Deeper” plan. I will share this with the men in my men’s group as well.



    • You are welcome Glenn – Blessings on you and the work you are doing to extend the Kingdom!

  • Guest

    Thank you, Dan. You are a true companion to me as I trod the pebbled path of Faith. With Jesus and your articles on my side. I won’t give up. I fall, I wake up and move on. During Lent and Easter Season I also add Morning, Evening and Nigh Prayers from the Divine Office. God bless you

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  • Cathy

    I have started the book Inside the Passion, and it is amazing. It has given me information, and has made The Passion very personal to me. I used to look at this time of year as depressing, they tortured an innocent man who came to save the world! How wrong I was, because it wasn’t just they, it was I. I know that I have forgotten that Jesus was a man, divine but still a man, and He had emotions just the same as everyone else. The amazing thing is that He went through the agony and torture for each one of us. This time for me is very mixed, sad for what He went through, but very joyous because of the love He has for each one of us! May He bless you all this Lenten season!

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