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Has Catholic Spiritual Direction helped you?

July 29, 2011 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, General, Reader Feedback

Dear Friends,

About once a year I send out a note to check in on you. Are we serving you well? Have we helped you or someone you love come to know Christ in any way? Have other readers helped you as you dialogue about the posts? If this is the case, in large or small ways, we would be grateful to hear back from you. In your response at the bottom of this post, please tell us your state in life (teen, college student, mom, dad, priest, religious, etc.), let us know from what part of the world you are writing from, and if you don't mind, if you are male or female and what age. This will help to know a bit more about who is out there!

We are grateful that God has allowed this effort to grow and that we can play some small part in the advancement of his kingdom. It is our fervent desire and pleasure to serve you in your journey deeper into his love.

In Him,


PS: If as you reflect on our service to you or those you love, if you are so moved by the Holy Spirit, we would be grateful for a donation to help us continue and to grow this effort both in quality and in other services. Also, if there is any way we can improve our service to you, please let us know that too!

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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.

please consider supporting our mission with a donation!

  • Linda

    I am a happily married 37 year old woman living in Sicklerville, NJ who uses this website daily. It has helped me greatly. I suffer from scrupulosity and feelings of unworthiness so the posts in these areas are the most beneficial to me. Thank you for all of your work and dedication to this site.

  • Rachel

    As I live my daily life, I often reflect on my circle of friends.  Many popular magazines will talk about the need (esp. for women) to have a lot of good friends, your BFF’s as it were.  Everyone needs a circle of support – people w/ common goals and common lives. 

    Looking at my life, drawing my circle as it were, I would first be someone who loves Jesus – that is a pretty big circle but it is under attack from Hitchens and friends.  My circle will become smaller when I state my faithfulness to the Pope and the Catholic Church.  

    My circle then becomes even smaller when my husband’s and I embrace of the teachings on openness to life has resulted in 11 babies (despite the fame of the Duggar’s supersized family, large families remain rare). The circle becomes almost a noose when I mention being stay-at-home not to mention homeschooling….striving for holiness can be a lonely road.

    So – the question being what has this site done from – my circle has become larger as I can read others are walking this same road and – more importantly – there are guides along the way.  I am no longer as lonely.

    • Becky Ward

      God Bless You Rachel!!!

      You provide a much needed example and I have no doubt but that your choices will give support and encouragement to others.

    • Lyonsjoan

      I’m not sure what stage of life you’re in at the moment as you feel your faithflness has become a noose rather than a circle of love and fellowship. As a young mother, I too, was more focused on raising a family and being a witness for my faith in God and in the responsibilities of discipleship. We had 5 children in 6 years, moved 14 times in 7 years while my husband was a pilor in the Air Force during the 1960’s, He was an airline pilot with Pan Am and then United and was gone most of the time. Stay the course. You’ll be honored in your later years by the people you touched with your witness to faithfulness. As St. Paul said keep up the good fight The road is bumpy and lonely with heavenly rewards. I try and use St. Francis’ advice, “Preach the Gospel always and some times use words.” It works. Bless you and yours, Joan

      • Rachel

        Dear Joan –  Thanks for the encouragement, but I want to reassure you that all is well here.  The noose analogy was an imperfect image meant only to illustrate how tight your circle of true friends can become when you walk the narrow path; the road less taken as it were.  When you make a choice for Christ, you will inevitably leave some things, some people behind as they choose not to follow.  This can lead to a loneliness that needs to be abated or despair might set in.

        I was, imperfectly, relating that this spot on the internet dial has become a safe haven, a breath of fresh air and more to me.  Believe me, God is always good, life is happy here in my house and I wouldn’t have my life any different…except perhaps more love and more holy 🙂 

    • K.C.thomas

       Rachel has correctly described the dwindling of the circle of friends. Mention of Jesus, or catholic Church drives some away because they are ignorant and obstinate in not learning what is Catholic Church we can only pray for wisdom from the Holy Spirit in them

    • $1650412

      I live inside the same ‘noose’- funny, poignant image there! I’m 46,  have 13, homeschool, etc.- you are more at home here than you knew!

  • Jeanette Woodley

    I am a 63 year old female who is retired. I live in a small town in Ontario, Canada. I have been seeking to do God’s will in my life. I searched out and found your website before I had a spiritual director. It has been of wonderful help to me. It seems when I am going through questions in my interior life, you will feature an article that speaks directly to me! Keep up this wonderful work. I’m sure that it saves many people from making some mistakes that will keep them from advancing in their spiritual life the way God intended for them. God bless you in your efforts to do His will for you.

  • Ggibons3

    Thank you so much, I have enjoyed and have gained a big smile and passed on the joy of the Lord with your web page Spiritual Direction.
    Pax Christi

  • Sharon2708

    I am a 62 year old female from south Louisiana. I am employed full time and work in a Catholic Church office. I came upon this web site by accident and am thankful that I did. The discussions, questions and comments have given me a lot to think about. I will often print something that I want to think about further and bring it to Adoration to read. This web site is truly a blessing.

  • Daniel Hart

    My name is Daniel Hart
    I live in Scotland, and am 68 years old. I am a cradle Catholic and enjoy reading the posts which are informative and to the point. May the good Lord bless you all and all your good work.

  • LSLinda

    I’m a 49 year old wife and mother in Missouri. I enjoy the good mix of contemporary wisdom and that of the great saints. Sharing of interior life integrated with real life issues, such as we hear sometimes from Dan and others, is the most helpful because it is REAL, concrete, day-to-day life “stuff”.  Hearing struggles and victories of others helps build faith. The site has also helped me utilize the time with my spiritual director more constructively.

  • I am a 21 year old freshman law student. I renewed my prayer life in a retreat last March. It was then that God affirmed my vocation to become an NGO lawyer. I am so very very very grateful to finally be with Him again!
    But my new life with Him also came with many of the trials I used to experience but could not understand. Your website has been so very helpful to me. Many times I have come across an article just when I needed it most! I truly feel that God has been guiding me through your spiritual direction. Thank you so very much!

  • Chrisfirmstone

    I am a retired man who is a member of a Secular Discalced Carmelite community in Sydney, Australia. I live in a town called Bathurst, which is 200 kilometres inland from Sydney.
    I am enjoying the posts very much, thank you. Our community has a Facebook page under Carmelite Seculars, Sydney, in case anyone wants to have a look at the page.

  • Guest

    Since I discovered this Website, my Spiritual Life has been enriched enormously. A Cradle Catholic,now two months shy of 73 years – born of very devout Catholic Parents, I was nurtured and educated by the Consolata and Loreto Sisters in my beloved country, Kenya. After 37 years of active career in the Corporate world, bringing up four wonderful children with the best husband any woman has ever been blessed with – though I sadly lost my only son two years after his father passed on in 1994 – I capped my working career with 10 years in the Catholic University of Eastern Africa. I retired prematurely on medical grounds in August, 2004, but I still retain ties with the University through the many Staff Members I worked with, both Priests and lay people. It is through the advice of Fr. John, that I now have a wonderful Spiritual Director who is also a Senior Lecturer at the University. As a widow and living alone, I prayed to God to show me where He wanted me to serve Him after I retired. He led me where He needed me and I am now an active Eucharistic Apostle of the Divine Mercy. Our Mission of spreading the Message of Divine Mercy to the urban and rural Parishes in our Archdioceses and Dioceses in the country has given my Life a splendid Ministry of serving God in addition to being a Member of the Parish Development Committee of my Parish – The Holy Family Minor Basilica, Nairobi. Though my Spiritual Journey is full of slips and falls along the stony, slippery and hilly twists and turns on the Spiritual Road, this Website, the Daily 3.00 O’clock Divine Mercy Holy Hour Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament followed by Intercessory Hour before the Holy Mass which concludes my days, the Monthly Sessions with my Spiritutual Director, this Website is an invaluable Outreach and informative Education Centre for me where I get encouragement to struggle daily together with the many devoted Respondents. May God bless you always.

    • Rita

      I’m so happy to hear about your Mission to spread the Message of Divine Mercy. I live in Vilnius, Lithuania, where the Message was given to sister Faustina in 1935. We have this miraculous painting of Jesus in the shrine of Divine Mercy, which he asked sister Faustina to be painted. It’s such a blessing to pray for the world.
      May Jesus bless You and everybody You come across in Your Mission.

      • Guest

        Wow, Rita, Praise be Jesus Christ!!!!!! I am overwhelmed to hear from the very Place where Our Lord appointed Our Beloved St. Faustina as His Secretary and Apostle of Divine Mercy……where He promised the World to institute the Day of Atonement for mankind – The Feast of Divine Mercy on the 8th Day after Easter – the Day He appeared to the Apostles in the Upper Room. May all on this Website be blessed by hearing from you, Rita. It must be heavenly to venerate the Original Miraculous Image of the Divine Mercy on the Feast of the Divine Mercy and every time you visit the Shrine. May God Bless Poland for giving mankind the 1st and 2nd Eucharistic Apostles of the Divine Mercy – St. Faustina and Blessed Pope John Paul II

      • Rjk123

        I want to say Amen to what Mary@42 said to you. God bless you!

        • Guest

          Rjk123,I hope you are aware of the Awesome Promise Our Lord gave mankind when He asked that the Universal Catholic Church to institute the Feast of the Divine Mercy on the First Sunday after Easter. It is this – “The soul that will pray the Novena I have dictated to you, starting on Good Friday, go for Confession during that week, attend the Holy Mass on the Feast Day, receive the Holy Communion and solemnly venerate this Image, that soul’s sins and punishment thereof shall be forgiven and I shall restore that soul to the condition it was in on the day of Baptism”. In short, Jesus Christ, our Merciful Saviour, has restored the Day of Atonement as a recourse for all of us to obtain salvation. This is the Day of Atonement which God had established for the Children of Israel as set down in Leviticus Chapter 16. Truly Jesus Christ is pouring His Mercy upon us all.

    • $1650412

      Mary-please pray for me!

      • Guest

        Jo Flemmings, I will certainly pray for you and all on this Website who have been inspired to commence the Divine Mercy Devotion.

  • Elaine

    This is the only website of its kind I have come across. I belong to a spiritual group called the Daughters of St. Francis de Sales. We are encouraged to have a spiritual director. I passed this website on to the group. I don’t think it is easy finding a good spiritual director. It is like a marriage. Either you find it or you don’t. I find your posts just great and helpful. Maybe the Holy Spirit will lead me to a deeper walk with Christ.

  • I am a 21 year freshman law school student from the Philippines. On a retreat last March I renewed the relationship I had with our Lord which I thought I lost many years ago. Those were amongst the best 8 days of my life. It was then that He affirmed my calling to become an NGO lawyer. I am so very very very grateful to finally be with Him again!

    But with this also came many of the trials and difficulties that prevented me from growing in my relationship with Him all those years ago. I did not understand what was happening to me. Nor did I even know what a spiritual director was. I have troubles with bad thoughts, scrupulosity and low-self worth. Your articles on these topics have truly helped me realize just how much He loves me.

    Providentially, I always come across these articles just when I need them most. I truly believe that He has been guiding me through your work. Thank you so very much!

    May God bless you and your efforts to draw people closer to Him!

  • Genevive

    I am a 35 yr old female who is full time mom. I live in Sharjah,UAE. I am an Indian, RC. I am looking to grow more in my Catholic faith. Most of my near ones from my husband’s side of the family are into the New Age and one has embraced Islam for the sake of marriage. I am constantly praying for their return to the Catholic faith and want to be strong in my own faith. I love to read on the lives of our Catholic saints and other aspects that you constantly post. May God bless you and your efforts.

    • Jbennrjjb

      God bless you, Genevive, and continue to give you courage and strengthto be Catholic.

  • Kathy

    I am a 64-year-old divorced female, no children, who lives alone. You have been my only source of spiritual direction, and have helped me a lot in my struggle in my spiritual life. However, I am saddened and discouraged by the fact that I cannot find a spiritual director. Being mostly home bound and living on disability, I also cannot make it to church very often and therefore cannot receive the sacraments on a regular basis. So much emphasis is put on having a spiritual director and receiving the sacraments frequently that I feel at a disadvantage and not as fortunate as others. I hope God understands.

    • Dear Kathy – no need to worry when you do all that you can. If you are doing all that you can, rest in him.

    • Alexandra Campbell

      Hi Kathy, hang in there. I am in the process of divorce as my husband left me in 2008 after 14 years for a younger woman right after we had our marriage validated in the church.
      My two teenage boys will hardly ever go to Mass and my Catholic dad just died last week, so I know about lonliness.
      Keep looking for a director. I just found one. I really wanted a priest, preferably Carmelite, but decided to try working with a woman from a local parish who is trained. At least she is not new age or feminist! She is a wonderful support as is this website. Don’t lose hope!

      I will pray that God will lead you to someone and He does understand and He loves you very much!

      • Kathy

        Thank you, Alex. But unless my circumstances change, which are near to impossible, I cannot find a spiritual director as I haven’t the means to go elsewhere outside of my environment which is mostly home bound. I must admit that I am so envious of those here who have found spiritual directors that at times I think I shouldn’t participate here anymore. It only makes me see the futility of my situation and makes me feel hopeless at times.

        • LizEst

          Kathy, please hang in there.

          Maybe you could ask a few priests to come to see you so that you could talk to them about having one of them provide some spiritual direction. Yes, some do come to see people who cannot get out to go to them. How do you think cloistered nuns get direction? You are basically living a hermit life. You DEFINITELY need a spiritual director. You are one of the treasures of the Church in that, though not asked for, God has set you aside, has given you the opportunity, to live a life of deep prayer devoted to him, under your circumstances. He wants you to himself, not because he is selfish, but because you are so very, very special to him. He is inviting you to share his life in a deeper, more intimate way, without all the distractions of the world, a more contemplative way. Remember that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.

          In the meantime, at least until then, stay with this site. It will help fill in gaps for you and give you some spiritual food to sustain you until that time that you find the director God has waiting for you.

          • Becky Ward


            Good advice here Kathy. I’ve added you to my prayer list – Watch Out!! 🙂

            Offer up your sufferings……God loves you deeply and tenderly….I know it can be hard to believe…..I’ve been there. But I had a priest that gave me a pennance of saying “Thank you God for loving me.” every day for about five weeks.

            I couldn’t believe God really loved me, but I had to do the pennance. At first I was just saying the words…..but then there was a tiny crack inside and it got bigger……and I found hope and healing, and soon I knew it was true. God does love me….amazing! You might give it a try.


        • Guest

          Kathy, please have Faith. God is very, very close to you. We shall pray for you and believe me, you will get a Spiritual Director. In the meantime, remember – Christ is there, suffering with you – and through your suffering, He is saving very many souls. (His own words to St. Faustina – His Secretary and Apostle of His Divine Mercy). I shall remember you in a very special way when we visit our Divine Mercy Shrine this 1st Friday of the Month.

        • Alexandra Campbell


          Please do not stop participating here, at least you have this and people to pray for you. I totally understand the feeling of envy you have. I had to stop reading St. Faustina’s diary at least three times because I was so envious of the fact that she saw and spoke to Jesus directly and often!!

          I was so jealous and I would say “Jesus, why don’t you talk to me directly and help me!!”.. Well, each time I would “get over it” and finally finished her book last spring….God has his reasons for keeping some graces from us, if only to increase our longing for him. while I was waiting for my husband’s annulment to come through between 2006 when I came back to the church and 2008, my longing for the Eucharist became so intense that I could not even go to church without weeping through the whole mass (and trying to hide under my veil :)…When I FINALLY was able to receive I thought I was going to float up and out of the church to heaven.

          The period of longing was perhaps penance for how I had thrown away my faith years earlier, but it definitely made the reception of the Eucharist much more intense when I finally got to go to communion.

          Through Christ you can persevere. Do not let the devil tempt you to despair…Keep asking Him to be your director and read St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross and St. Therese if you have access to these resources.

          What state do you live in?

          Praying for you,


          • Kathy


            I have longed to be closer to God my whole life ever since I was a child. I grew up in a dysfunctional family, although a devoutly Catholic family. I have had both emotional and physical illness my whole life. I have so many questions. As I enter my life as a senior citizen, my greatest fear is dying without getting any closer to God. I live in Indiana. I see no way for my current situation of living changing. I cannot get to Church very often but watch Mass on TV. In my parish, we have only one pastor, and it is a large parish, so our priest has no time for individual counseling. Not a day goes by without my thinking about God. He is always in my thoughts, but my life is so difficult, and I have no one to ask as to what I should do. Since I have no one to counsel me, such as a spiritual director, I don’t know if I’m living the way God wants me to or not. Now that I am older, it is difficult for me to understand the writings of the saints you mentioned. I just try and say my rosary every day, and every morning when I wake up, I ask God to send someone to help me. I will try to not give up. Thank you for your prayers.


          • LizEst


            You need to ask yourself these questions and answer them honestly:
            Have I asked my pastor to come to see me? Have I asked him to counsel me individually? If he can’t come to see me, have I asked him for a recommendation of someone who might be able to do so?

            Sometimes, lay folks make assumptions about priests with large parishes. We may project our own insecurities on them thinking they wouldn’t possibly have time for us. But, tending the flock is their responsibility. And, you are certainly one of the flock, though you may be “hidden” away. But, so much more the treasure to find you!

            Retired priests also make good directors. They are away from the day-to-day busy-ness of parish life. They have had time to sit back and reflect and develop more wisdom in their advanced years. Sometimes, they are retired because of illness. And so, they would be able to more readily identify with someone who can’t get out much.

            Alex is right about God increasing the longing in our hearts for him. Keep the faith! You are a good person. You have dignity and worth. You are a child of God, made in his image, and he loves you very much. For you, he gave himself up to death, death on a cross. He knows your desires and wants the very best for you.

            God bless you. Keep on praying. Keep on hanging in there.

            I am praying for you as well.

    • $1650412

      Kathy- please pray for me!

      • Guest

        I shall definitely pray for you JoFlemmings, especially during the 3.00 o’clock Holy Hour when Jesus promised us that anything we pray for during that Holy Hour when He died for mankind – and it is in consonant with God’s Will, He shall grant. And I am a living witness to this Infinite Mercy of our Loving God. All what He asks us is that we pray with absolute Trust. You can say that the Divine Anthem of the Eucharistic Apostolate of the Divine Mercy is the Signature on the Holy Image – “Jesus I Trust in You”. May you and all on this Website be blessed.

      • Kathy

        I will pray for you Jo. That is about all I can do in my situation, pray for others. I just wish I had more people to pray for me. My mother used to say a rosary for me every night of her life. Since I lost her years ago, I have lost my most faithful advocate. I am very depressed about the whole situation and feel maybe I don’t belong here as it is so difficult to lead a better spiritutal life with no one to guide me.

  • LindaZ

    I am a 53 yr old woman who lives in North Carolina.  After 30 yrs of what I thought was a wonderful marriage, and raising 3 wonderful children, I found out that my husband had been repeatedly unfaithful and I am now in the process of a divorce.  I felt that I wanted to give God a chance to heal our marriage and gave my husband not one, but two chances, but he could not be faithful.  In the two years leading up to my discovery of his affairs, we had fallen away from going to mass.  One Sunday I woke up and felt an insistent calling to go to mass.  As I was leaving my husband woke up and said he wanted to go with me.  After mass, he asked me if I’d gotten that out of my system and I said that I was going to go every Sunday and was upset with myself for having fallen away.  That evening, his “friend” knocked on our door and our life exploded.  I know that God was calling me back to church so that He could embrace me when this happened.  I have felt that embrace every day since.  I also feel that God led me to our wonderful pastor who has shown me that I needed to deepen my prayer life, to a great spiritual director who keeps showing me how God works in my life, He has led people into my life who support me in my faith, and I think He led me to this website.  It reinforces and supports all the other people, readings and prayers in my life and I read it every day.  Even when I wasn’t going to church, I had never stopped praying all throughout the day and I thought that was enough.  It wasn’t because I see now that I was doing all the talking and never listening for God’s answer.  This site helps to remind me to listen to what God is saying to me.
    Next weekend I will make my Cursillo weekend and I am excited and look forward to seeing how the Holy Spirit will touch my life.  

    • $1650412

      Bless you, bless you, bless you, bless you! Thank you for sharing- I live in NC too- you are in my prayers!

    • Rjk123

      I want ot echo JoFlemings’s comment to you in every way. May God richly bless you! I like you and your spunk. Keep it up!

  • Tom

    I only recently found your blog and am learning from it. I am 67, male, married with 4 children and 13 grandchildren (with #14 on the way) retired, and an oblate of the Calaldoese monastery in Big Sur, CA. I now live in a small village in Upstate, NY.

  • Connor Reilly

    Fr. Dan,
    I have been on the distribution list for about 6 months now. Catholic Spiritual Direction has helped me to grow in faith and grace. I am a 22-year-old college senior, interning in NY, NY for the summer. As a male seeking Christ in my life, I have benefited invaluably by having CSD as a resouce. Thank you. 

    • Elizabeth

      God Bless you Connor, you’re off to a great start in life. Not many your age seek spiritual direction. May Jesus always be your first priority and know that He  is always found by those who seek. So keep seeking. Enjoy your stay in NY,NY and expect wonderful blessings as God reveals Himself to you.

  • Elizabeth

    I am a 73 yr. old cradle Catholic married to an 81yr. old convert. We have been married 44 yrs. and always devout and active in our church. Now it is getting difficult to attend weekday Mass, so I look forward each day to your articles. We need, even in old age, inspiration and guidance but mostly continued dialogue and direction which you wonderfully offer. I found this site only a few weeks ago and look forward to each days update. Thank you and God Bless!!

    • Rjk123

      Thank you for y our living witness. Congratulations on your long, loving marriage.

  • gonesimera

    I am 43 currently living in Athens, Greece, I often share your page with my friends on Facebook, most are Catholic.
    you inspiration helps in the struggles of life over here, and up builds my faith in a orthodox country.
    may God bless your continued  work in faith

  • Kathymoser

    I am an almost 59 year old female, live in Columbia, SC, work as a Nurse Practitioner full time, and am a OCDS aspirant, into my 9th month of formation in the Discalced Secular Carmelites. I have enjoyed your weekly, daily emails. many times they speak to my interests in Carmelite prayer and my overall faith. I look forward to the emails I get and I hope you will continue in this work, anything that speaks about prayer and our attempts to reach out to God in faith I find attraction to. Thank you. Kathy M

  • Lyonsjoan

    I’m a mother, grandmother, an widow for 13 years. My husband died of compiications from luekemia with a deep brain stem stroke when we both were 62 years old and married for 38 years. I was a stay at home mother and volunteered at Church, Scouts, and charitable events. My children were all competitive swimmers and attended Catholic elementary school. The four girls went on to public high school our only son went to a Catholic Boys’ high  school. (He had too many women in his life with a father who traveled a lot). My faith and church work trained me in discipleship. As a catechist for 38 years, a lector and extra ordinary Eucharistic minister since Vatican II, I was involved in working as a parish DRE , Archdiocesan religious ed consultant to 26 local parishes and consutltant to a Catholic publishing company. I’m currently working on a doctorate in ministry. My dissertation is After the Last Amen: A Faith Community’s Long Term Support to Bereqaved Parents. Your Catholic Spiritual Direction web site and blog gives me insight to “who is out there” as well as gives me insight into my own weaknesses. The time spent in reading and reflection is time to “pray increasingly,” for others and myself. I also am able to bring  new insights to ministeries I’m currently involved in  such as Peace and Justice, Bible Study, and Bereavement as well as the classes I teach at the local Catholic university as an adjunct professor.
    I also appreciate your responses to questions and your gentleness in giving advice.
    Bless you and yours, Joan

  • John

    62 years of age with 4 children, 2 stepsons, 7 grandchildren and one one the way. I retired at the age of 55 after 35 years of working underground as a coal mine supervisor. After suffering a near fatal heart attack at the age of 46 my wife left me for another man. It took several months and near suicide for me to get my life back together. While standing on a stool with a rope around my neck praying with every cell in my body my Guardian Angel got in my face, nose to nose and said to me ” What about the ones that love YOU!”

    That woke me out of my self pity and I seen that my life was not about me. August will be 15 years since the heart attack and my life is full of love and joy. Their is still some issues with my former wife and our 4 children, but they know that I love them and will always be there for them.
    With my daily reading which include these Spiritual Directions help me on my Pilgrim Journey.
    God Bless you and your mission.   

  • K.C.Thomas

    I have started reading the Spiritual Direction  just a couple of months ago. I find it is useful to those who are sincerely interested in catholic religion.  Kindly give your e-mail id so that I can send my questions and doubts.
     My name  is K.C.Thomas I am from Mumbai, India. I am aged 79, a retired Auditor.

  • Laura

    I am a 39 year old female mom and expecting our second child in November.  I returned to the Church 18 months ago after being away for 25 years.  This site has been a great source for me and in my faith journey.  I have had many questions that burned on my heart but wasn’t able to put them into words – and then I find my questions answered right here!  I also bought the book The Better Part and I am so grateful to have it.  Thank you for all that you do.

  • Casolt

    This site has helped to direct me to more intimate questions of my Spiritual Director. It has also opened up further avenues to strength weaknesses that I had no idea of where they were coming from. The Holy Spirit truly is working through you. Thank you. ;p

  • Scannizzo

    You have been most helpful to me in assisting me to deliver your messages to my mens ministery when we met twice a month.

    Thank you and God Bless


  • Phyllis

    Yes, your site is a constant source of encouragement to me! I’m a 40-year old homeschooling mother, recently Catholic with a still-Protestant family. I’m involved in St. Andrew School of Evangelization, long for a spiritual director, but haven’t been able to find anyone (or maybe haven’t had the guts to search hard enough) yet. I bought many of the books you’ve recommended, and I’m slowly going through the archives of your site. Your posts have encouraged me to trust in God’s love, have given me a vision for a closer relationship with Him, and have given some practical tools to help me in my prayer life. God bless you!

  • Claire from DE

    I’m a 64 year old single woman who lives in the country outside of the small city of Denton, on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. I’ve been a member of my small parish for 38 years and appreciate the closeness and relationships among parish members that come from living in one place for a long time. I’m a lifelong Catholic, on the RCIA team, a lector, and more recently an EMHC which has been a great blessing to me.

    The Catholic charismatic renewal was an important influence in my life which helped me first recognize God’s guidance in my day to day life. After my retirement from teaching several years ago I cared for my mother for a couple years, being home only on weekends, while a good friend cared for my home and pets. She is now my unlikely roommate. I have to laugh at how God works things out.

    Then, almost two years ago, God blessed me with a spiritual director who is also a good friend. It was a shock to realize how very far I am from where I wish I were, which is to be completely open to doing God’s will. I thought I knew a lot and found out I don’t. And several months ago I came across this website which has been a practical help. Sometimes I’ll read the title of the entry and think, ‘oh, that doesn’t apply to me’ but then there will be something in it that is exactly what I needed to hear.

  • Jstang40

    Hello. Im James from Norristown Pa. I’m forty nine, work in labor/roofing/construction. I attend Mass and do some Catholic reading. I have a good friend who is a Catholic diocesan priest.
    Catholic Spiritual Direction has helped me in the last six weeks that I’ve been using the site. It has piqued my interest in the Chuch, Christ and God. It has helped me to better prioritize my energy and focus. It’s helped me resist temptations at times and much more.
    Thank you.

  • Aaron

    Dan – I’m a 32 year old male living in Washington D.C. I thoroughly appreciate, enjoy and value Catholic Spiritual Direction. Amid the frenzy and fast-paced DC area culture, your daily posts provide greater Catholic insight, encouragement, and practical ways to grow in the Faith. Thank you so much for all you do.

  • MissouriMarianCatechist

    I am a 57 yr old wife and mother of 6. I work as a home health aid, but was a stay at home Mom doing volunteer work for many years. I am a Marian Catechist and I have a spiritual director. The Apostolate and spiritual direction has help me wonderfully in my life. I eagerly check each day for new postings on this site. I find it very inspiring and helpful. Thank you for doing God’s work.

    • LizEst

      MMC–home health aides are angels!

      • MissouriMarianCatechist

        It’s very rewarding work. Thank you and God bless Totus2us!

        • LizEst

          Thank you MMC. God bless you, too!

  • Stefanie

    I am a mother of 8 children. This site has helped me tremendously in my faith and I am happy that there are so many out there who share the same belief.
    Thank you for all you do.

  • Jerry Periolat

    I enjoy your site very much. I am a Spiritual Director and use information from your site to share with my directees when the Holy Spirit leads me in that way.

    God Bless


  • Gabgonzalez33

    You are doing a great job! I read you constantly and it has help my Catholic life. I am Senior 78 hrs

  • Sherry

    Wife and mother to grown children. 63 yr old living in auburn al. I am newly subscribed and pray that your guidance will help me to learn to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. I wear the brown scapular.

    • Great to have you Sherry! I live up near Birmingham.


        Thank you I look forward to journeying With everyone. I am a convert with my confirmation this last April. EWTN played a huge roll in my conversion. I have been so blessed by my wanderings on the net to find what I need when I need it. God bless you and everyone who takes this blog on.

  • rico gamogamo

    thank you so much for guiding us in our faith journey, may the Lord bless your work through the generous faithful of the church.. i’m from the Philippines and a 49 year old father of two teenage boys and I work in the government. I’m serving the Lord and the church through Couples For Christ

  • Alexandra Campbell

    I just discovered this wonderful resource a few months ago and it and you, Dan, are helping me tremendously. This site is truly unique and I often feel that the posts are directly speaking to me! As I have have few deeply committed Catholic friends, this site is beginning to fill that void for fellowship.

    Thank you so much and don’t stop! God Bless you and yours.

  • Duhem7

    Only subscribed for a few days–those posts were helpful.  I’m a 81 year old retired scientist from Northcentral PA (150 miles from everywhere) and a convert to the faith (as of 1994).  Involved in showing the consonance of  science and the Church–science neither disproves nor proves anything about religion, but as Psalm 19a tells it, “The Heavens declare the glory of God…”

  • Dolores Castro

    Hi Father Dan,
    I am a female widow 69 years old, Immigrant in Canada for 45 years (original contry Portugal) I have 3 daughter 2 son-in laws 5 granddaughter and one grandson I am so greatful for my catholic faith that been my company since childhood I beleive your work ON LINE is wonderful and only in heaven you will find the benefits of helping so many people around the world this site contains a amazing  information that is always at our finger tips, pls keep this site up it’s a food for our soul. Please keep my family in your prayers that soon they will  return to the Sacraments and follow God’s plan for them specially the gift to increase love between the spouses and the union in the family.
    May God bless you a 100 folds.
    Sister in Crist
    Dolores C

  • Srockers

    I am so grateful for all your posts. I check my email each morning and if I have an email from this site, I read it first. I like enjoy checking my own thoughts about the question posted against the answers given. Sometimes I am encouraged and other times I am challenged; but, I always feel guided. Thank you and please continue to direct us little ones unto Truth.

    Sharon R.
    Wife and mother of 5 children
    30 years old
    From the Delta region of US

  • HJ

    I am a homeschooling mom of 7, with my first child to be married soon to a wonderful faithful young Catholic. Praise be to God for His many blessings and graces, and I count this ministry as a great conduit for recognizing and embracing them!

  • Becky Ward

    Hi Dan!
    I am an almost 52 year old mom, and grandmother, wife, daughter, sister, friend…….from a very small town in NW Oregon, USA.
    This site provides and outlet for sharing both the struggles and the wonders encountered on the journey to God, lets me know that there are others out there with similar experiences, and provides ‘real food’ for my soul.
    May God Bless You Richly in this Ministry!

  • Randy M

    Very much so. Just bumped into it about 3 months ago and I have found it to be very insightful and helpful.

  • mobilepat

    Hi Dan, I enjoyed your interview with Sister Carmen. I am on a journey and have just arrived in St John of The Cross, translated by E. Allison Peers. Advised by a Canon friend to seek a spiritual director I have made contact with Carmel in Glasgow. A Holy Sister suggested I acquire “the Impact of God” by Fr. Iain Matthew. This work is lifting me onto a level above. 
    Our lady of Medjugorje has embedded The Holy Spirit into my life. 
    I first arrived in Medjugorje in October 2003. During several visits I rediscovered religiosity and smothered what I now know was deep hurt and pain, thought this is just right for me. How wrong I was. I am a cradle catholic.
    After 3 years and in the space of a only a few weeks I was introduced to Divine Mercy,True Devotion to Our lady and John Paul II’s Theology of the Body.
    The impact was enormous and since that time Our lady has kept me on a track, sometimes rocky, to combat the embedded depravity of where I had sunk.  Divine mercy and True Devotion is now a big part of life.
    The Theology of The Body has and is the antidote in the Holy Spirit’s purification of my person hood.
    John Paul embraced St. John and carried the True Devotion booklet with him in the shipyards.
    My journey continues and this sharing is but a glimpse of how I was and how I am journeying. 
    I am amazed at the God instances around me just now. 
    This web page has today shown me I am not in isolation.The  journey continues. Peace to all. 

  • $1650412

    I’m the 46 yr old, wife of 27 years, mother of 13, grandmother of 1. I converted to the Catholic Church from Evangelical Protestantism 15 years ago.I am a member of the Regnum Christi movement, and my oldest son is a brother with the Legionaries of Christ. This site is full of so many beautiful insights of depth and with real practical wisdom! And the community gathering here seem so sincere in seeking the Lord-I am continually edified by the entries and by the comments.
    Thanks Dan, so much, for this labor of love!

    • Thank you Jo – you have been a constant source of encouragement over the years.

  • Canefan007

    I have enjoyed reading your articles. I have learned from them and have been spiritually enlightened as well.I am in the R.I.C.A.program at my church and look forward to becomming Catholic by Easter.I am a 42 year old female who was away from the Lord since I was16. At 41 I started to look at my life. I have found the Catholic faith so rich and spiritually rewarding. Thank you for all your wonderful articles,posts,and info.that you provide—–Blessings

    • Rjk123

      God bless you in your journey!

  • woody

    The postings have helped me grow in my spirituality and understanding of our faith tremendously. I appreciate all that you put into this and look forward to every posting. I am a 43 year old married father of 4 who lives in the most beautiful part of the western US. May God abundantly bless you and all that help in this wonderful site.

  • USMC55

    The Catholic Spiritual Direction is an invaluable source for me in growing in my spiritual life. God bless you in your work.

  • Dbduggan_51

    I’m an almost 60 year old Roman Catholic woman, 3 children, 2 grandsons.  Your articles have made me seek out and find a wonderful spiritual director.  I hope to grow in my Faith in this 2nd half of my life.  Thank you, and all of your articles are wonderful.  I can’t even count the ways they help me.  

  • John. Flipsen

    Given direction is a very important issue. I ask please do help me to find a director who allows me to be me. That is the key issue for some one who seeks direction. For some directors this may sound arrogant. It is most certainly not my idea to hurt any one in the field. This what I have been taught studying a course on the spirituality of John of the Cross. God Bless. John                  

    • Thank you John – I delelted the first part because it was off topic, not because it was negative. Thank you for your feedback.

    • John. Flipsen

      I will respond to the above answer some time next week. For reason I am in the midst of moving. The book the” Collected Works of St John of the Cross” is packed. Than I can quote precisely the pages of the book. Blessings. John.

  • Rjk123

    Dan: I don’t know if youw want to print my comment or not, but I just wanted to say that after reading the May 10 comments to your post on What Spiritual Direction is I am not shaming myself so much for the lengthy comments I have made in the last week, the first time I have commented on any blog. I really enjoyed and learned from the back-and-forth comments from that day’s article. And I do want to addthat this site has been a tremendous help to me with its timely articles, so on applicable to my own life in many cases, and with the comments from others that helps me know that I’m not alone or weird and also what is going on in other people. I am so impressed and humbles by the many holy people seeking the Lord with great devotion that we have in our world. It gives me so much hope that what we generally see everywhere around us is not the whole story! God is very much at work and His people are powerfully praying and working together in His body to overcome evil.  Thank you for this site!!! God bless you!

    • No shame necessary – you are obviously a generous person seeking to know him. Thank you for participating!

  • Rochellerosenbaum

    Hi, I am a 51 yr old wife and mother of two who daily prays to have a deep conversion of heart—for if that is not done my heart would not be beating, because this is what it beats for.  My whole being is focused on serving our Good and Gracious God faithfully and trying to help serve His people by evangelizing in all I do.  One of the ministries that was laid upon my heart many years ago (when I was put on disability so I was out of touch with the public) was to evangelize via using the email.  So I would send out articles, prayers, events that were in the area to help feed the faith.  When I came across your site around a year ago I started sending many of your articles out to the many 100’s of people that I forward God’s info to.  I can’t tell you the number of times people would email me back and say, thank you so much, this is exactly what I needed.  Many of these people also tell me that they also forward on the info that I send them to many others who also thank them, so even more are being feed!  Praise God!!! the Holy Spirit knows who needs what and when.  Please continue this fabulous ministry that you have for it is blessing more people than you can even imagine!  

    • Thank you for your service to the Church and for your help!

  • Rod

    I am 39 yr old male. I enjoy this site a lot, and find comfort in reading the writings and post. However I still suffer greatly from my fear that I am seed that has fallen on bad soil. I just don’t get it!! I want to be a good follower of Christ, I seek the sacraments regulary, but I fall and fall and fall again. I feel broken and discouraged, unworthy of His Love.

    • Rjk123

      You are so wonderful. God has you in a place where you hunger for Him. God bless you. What a wonderful thing it is to learn that it is all Him, to know that we are so weak and there is so much we don’t know and that He loves us totally, without restraint or conditions. We can rejoice with St. Paul and St. Therese in our weakness and see His love and strength shining through us. We know that it is all Him. We see and hear Him doing good through us and we wonder how did He do that? It is a life of gratitude we live, gratitude and praise. May God continue to bless you abundantly. Rejoice in your weakness, but let Him show you that you are also strong. You cannot imagine how much He loves you!

      • Rjk123

        I would like to add to my previous comment that as we rejoice in our weakness and are grateful for the mercy of God, we continue to pursue perfection according to God’s will in our life at each moment. We will always see our weakness, but with God’s mercy, we also see that He is growing us miraculously. So, I encourage you to keep striving, Rod, but take time to soak in His love for you. God bless you.

    • Peg

      Hi Rod,

      From the sounds of it, you “get it” better than you think you do …and you’re in good company:

      “What I do, I do not understand. For I do not do what I want, but I do what I hate… For I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want.” -Romans 7:15-19 NAB

      Keep the faith and may God richly bless you!

  • Jesusbpraised

    I haven’t finished reading all the posts on this topic, but wish to say that what struck me from the beginning and what still is so wonderfully obvious is the love and support everyone has for each other. It is truly a beautiful sight!

    I am 68, a retired nurse, mother of three, grandmother of seven, a vowed Secular Carmelite, and blessed to live at a Monastery as an Extern for cloistered Carmelite nuns. God has blessed me beyond my wildest hopes. Heaven can indeed begin on earth!

    • LizEst

      Wow! How did you happen to become an “extern”…and what is that? Do you help them out?

  • Bella and Alberto P. Jiao

    Thankful for your service to us via the Lord. We”re retired couple Filipinos in the
    Netherlands doing loads of volunteering work with Mo. Teresa s House feeding
    homeless – also with Stella Maris helping out ,for seafarers and doing hospital visits, church service coordinating Eucharistic Adoration and member -leader Couples for Christ. ,etc. This is our idea of retirement! Be Blessed.

    • Becky Ward

      God BlessYou!! 🙂

  • MYC

    I’m very grateful for this site. Before I found a spiritual director I found much spiritual food and seeds for contemplation (particularly in  the posts on root sins, of which I’d never heard). Encouraged by this site, I approached a devout and wise Discalced Carmelite friar for direction and have been so thankful for this next step in my spiritual life. For the record, I am an American living in Italy. I’m 39 years old, female and married with children.

  • Stiofan Deburca

    A great source of insight for daily reflection. What a pity that we cannot get a personal SA but then they are a dwindling species.

    Keep up God`s work.

  • Cludwick

    Thank you for the opportunity to praise you and your website! I am a 60 year old Kansas mother/grandmother who has had spiritual directors on three different occasions. Amazing!  God blessed me with a wonderful Redemptorist priest for about two years but his health and other circumstances caused him to leave. Then I was able to meet with a beloved priest in our diocese only to have him become bishop in Kansas and then Archbishop in Oklahoma. Finally, I have met with the national Pro Sanctity director for many years but she is so very busy that it is not possible any longer.

    As I have mourned the losing of each of these God-filled directors, your website has provided me with sustanance.  God bless you for being available to us.

  • Deacon Tom

    Your Spiritual Direction is a thought provoking site that brings me closer to God. It strengthens my spiritual life and brings new meaning to prayer time. Keep up the good work and God Bless.

    Deacon Tom

  • Ronniecrasto

     yes the process has begun i am ronnie crasto male 47 yrs layperson

  • Linda

    I am 55 years old woman and married. I am living in Thorold, Ontario, Canada. I do have a spiritual director which I am very thankful for. I find the website – Catholic Spiritual Direction a real treasure. I occassionally send specific articles to friends and I also send the treasure of the Catholic Faith (via Catholic Spiritual Direction Articles)  to those who have special needs –  (Non-practicing Catholics and those of other faiths.)

    God Bless You All

  • Mike


    Yes this site has helped. My wife and I have seven younger children and occasionally have them read some of your (or Fr.’s) reflections and articles. So you could actually count four of us.


  • Ellana LeCroy

    Yes . I have just discovered you and I am happy that I have.

    • LizEst

      Thank you, Eilana. We are happy you found us. Welcome to our site! You can subscribe for free and receive notices in your email of all our postings.
      God bless you…and Happy Advent!

  • LizEst

    We hope what you have now read on this site has helped you more than what you encountered 30 years ago. Sorry you had such a bad experience, then. God bless you and keep you, Scott.

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