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Encounter With Mercy

Encounter With MercyAnnouncing: Encounter With Mercy – A Step-by-Step Guide to the Sacrament of Reconciliation

I am happy to announce the first official publication of Catholic Spiritual Direction!

The forward is written by Cardinal Justin Rigali. This step-by-step guide is compact (back pocket or purse size), simple to read, and perfect for rediscovering or deepening our understanding and practice of one of the greatest gifts we have as Catholics. Read inspiring stories, learn the reasons confession is important, understand the Bible's answers to common objections, and find out how you can promote confession to those around you. Buy one for yourself and several to give away!

To purchase, click HERE and please tell your friends about this important guide!

Here's A Summary of this Fantastic Resource:

  • Forward by Cardinal Justin Rigali
  • Introduction: The Crisis of Love
  • Seeker's Stories
  • 10 Reasons to Go to Confession
  • 10 Things You Can Expect From Confession
  • 7 Things Expected From You in Confession
  • 7 Objections and the Bible's Answers
  • Catholicism 101
  • 7 Ways to Examine Your Conscience
  • 6-Step How-to-Guide to Confession
  • 7 Ways to Promote Confession
  • Resources


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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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  • Fr. Samuel. Waters

    I find it difficult to understand that in today’s times that we have to beg Catholics to take care of their souls. Without confession, absolution and penance our souls have no chance to go to heaven. This is basic Catholic teaching. The sacraments have been given to the church to dispense God’s grace which is necessary for salvation.

    • faithful123

      Please clarify Father, what of our Protestant bretheran who are not graced by the Sacramental life of the church (the real presence and sacrament of reconciliation specifically) Most are validly baptized.
      I know some special neighbors who were SO caring and loving to
      ALL neighbors they knew and ‘the waitress’ they came to know in
      diners they ate at. They went out of their way to ease others
      troubles..DESPITE their own cross they did carry. They were of
      the Lutheran faith… IN ACTIONS their was no doubting they lived
      the life of Christ…

      I’ve heard God is not ‘held to anything’ that HE will judge us on
      what we know…and only what we know. If we were Catholic and
      rejected the FULLNESS of faith that’s one thing…but if not,
      God is merciful and judges THE HEART on what the HEART does

      Is this not true. (I love my Catholic faith…had an awakening to it
      quite a few years ago, I will never leave it… but I can’t think that
      special friends who have cared a lot for me…would not be raised
      into the kingdom) I don’t speak of beliefs with them, because,
      well…I have to admit in terms of love …they LOVE better than
      I. (they are much older, neighbors but like family)

      Please explain. I do think more talking needs be spoken in
      homilies of the Sacramental grace of confession…many think they
      don’t need it. Catholics have taken on the Protestant attitude, I
      think of speaking their sins ONLY TO GOD… and that’s enough.
      I think this is a Protestant Christian dominated nation most of all,
      and especially in workplaces. Catholics shrink back and let the
      Protestants (mainline and evangelical) rule…with their kind and
      caring dispositions. Catholics do not know how to speak of their
      faith practice…in the world…because it is a DEEP faith theology.

      Protestant theology is thus: believe in God, be nice, help others.

      Of course, while it’s good to be that way… it might be done only
      to make others like them and forget ‘the why’ they do.

    • Katie

      March 2015 Samuel Waters has been removed from the clerical state by Pope Francis & therefore cannot present himself as a Catholic priest & is forbidden from celebrating the sacraments as a priest. He is affiliated with Mission of Saints Peter & Paul in York, Pa. which has nothing to do with the Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg.

      • LizEst

        Thanks for letting us know, Katie. I’m not sure this is the same guy. This comment was written four years ago from a location different than those you are referring to.

  • Amanda

    When I tried to order this (from the UK) from the publisher they were going to add $197 postage for a $14 order…. I’d advise UK readers to go through (not available from Amazon UK)…..

  • Becky Ward

    This IS a fantastic resource!! I left one at my church and it’s gone, so I’ve ordered more.

    I have a question though………..can you tell me what qualifies as ‘grave matter’?

    I recently heard a priest say that mortal sins are things like murder, adultery, and stealing from the poor. These are the very same things my mother told me when I was preparing for my first confession, probably in 1966……….and as I had not ever heard anyone add to this list, I thought these were the only mortal sins until about five years ago.

    We had a priest in the early 80’s who gave us an updated examination of conscience, and it listed variations of ways we break the 10 commandments so I knew cheating on taxes was a sin, driving too fast could be a sin, etc……but I’ve still not seen a listing of what constitutes grave matter………and I know I’m not alone.

    I avoided murder, adultery, and stealing from the poor like the plague all my life……I can only imagine how different my life might have been if I had been taught that my soul needs the Eucharist, and therefore missing Mass on Sunday (without a good reason) is grave matter. 30+ years in the same small, rural parish and I’ve yet to hear this from the pulpit.

    I’m not complaining…….I believe priests are a great gift and I know that the devil attacks priests more viciously than the rest of us………and I know that all things are providential. Yet knowing how much we need this sacrament, and how few of us make good use of it…….maybe a list of things that qualify as grave matter would be helpful.

    Thanks, and God Bless!!

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