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SpiritualDirection.com / Catholic Spiritual Direction

Dealing with Discouragement in Lent

Show Notes:

  • During this episode, Dan and Melissa discuss the struggle with discouragement as Lent is well underway.
  • Divine Intimacy Radio Crown of Thorns 1400x1400 v2 smaller for post on dealing with discouragementDiscouragement is not of God. If you are working hard to bring yourself to God, you can be assured, he is pleased with you. 
  • Falling away from your Lenten commitments is human. God knows this and is waiting for us to return to Him with a loving embrace.
  • Dan and Melissa discuss the importance of confession.
  • Offer your intentions at Mass for strength to fulfill your Lenten commitments. 
  • If you find your Lenten commitments might be more than you can handle, discuss with your spiritual director and either persevere or reassess your goals. 
  • Perseverance is a key characteristic in overcoming sins and temptations and is a common trait among all of the saints.
  • A daily examination of conscience is an important habit to undertake.
  • Spiritual Direction website has a guide for seven steps for a daily examen.
  • Dan and Melissa thoroughly discuss each step of the examen: Opening Prayer, Gratitude, Petition, Review, Forgiveness, Renewal, and Closing Prayer.

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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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  • Jeanette

    This is very opportune for me today. Yesterday, someone dear to me berated my commitment to God in a devastating way. This podcast was very encouraging for me especially where you talked about how the devil tries to throw darts of discouragement at us, especially during Lent.Thank you very much Dan & Melissa. You have lifted my spirit!

    • I am sorry to hear of your suffering but grateful we could help!

      • Jeanette

        🙂

    • LizEst

      My prayers for you, Jeanette.

      • Jeanette

        Thank you Liz.

    • Patricia

      Yes, why is it that a “lay person” is not supossed to have a strong love for and commitment to God which is reflected in their life and person? There was a time when that would be considered something to strive for. It seems the ground has shifted under us, and these days focus on a life centered in God is obsolete. Keep on, keeping on Jeanette!

      • Jeanette

        Thank you Patricia.

        • Patricia

          You are not alone…..heaven is our home!

    • Renee C

      I was so sorry to read your post. I have seen other posts of yours and have been impressed by your strength and dedication to your faith. It hurts to be exposed to unkind words from someone you care about because of your faith. All I can say is that you are blessed. I probably sound preachy but I wanted to quote Mt 5:11-12: “Blessed are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven; this is how they persecuted the prophets before you.” I know you know this but I just wanted to tell you to rejoice, you are doing exactly what God wants you to do and this person you care about was unwittingly allowing God to speak through them, just not in the way they intended.

      • Jeanette

        Thank you Renee, but I think that it was the devil speaking through him, but, of course, God allowed it for His purposes. The very sad thing for me was that this person does not know the love of God. I offered the humiliation/persecution up for his conversion, as my spiritual director has suggested that I do in such cases and I’m sure that the evil one would have been very upset by that! God bless you!

  • Phillip (The Master Beadsman)

    This is a very encouraging podcast. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only person who has to stop half-way through Lent to reassess my penances, and readjust for more realistic expectations. This Lent seems to have been particularly difficult for me.

    Dan, your reference to the Church as a hospital is very near and dear to the hearts of Eastern Christians. I believe St. John Chrysostom (a Doctor of the Church) also referred to the Church as a hospital in his homily on the Good Samaritan. We like to say that the Church is a hospital, not a courtroom.

    God bless you for your work!

  • Phillip (The Master Beadsman)

    Interestingly, the current usage of the Maronite Divine Office in the U.S. has a built-in examen towards the end of the Vespers/Ramsho service.

  • Maria del Carmen Uceda

    Dan, do you mind if I share your messages in Spanish? We have a large number of Spanish dominant Catholics and this encouragement would be well received!

    • Dear Maria – Would you be willing to translate our messages to a spanish version of SpiritualDirection.com?

  • Honestly, I think we need to remember that Lent is all about love–not about what we do, but what He has done for us–and opening ourselves up to His love. That’s what we need to “work on” during Lent. Remember sin cuts us off from His love. That’s why we seek to be free–but even there we need to look to Him for the help to become free. “God loved us first . . . “

  • LizEst

    This is good news Diane. I’m so happy for you! Blessed Lent!

  • DianeVa

    This was a wonderful segment and gave me a boost for one of my weaknesses is to be discouraged by others around me who believe I am “too out there in my Catholicism”. Yes, it is all about love Sr Clarey! All about where I was and how God rescued me from that pit! All I seek from God is to become His pure vessel so I can encourage others yet the devil is doing his best to discourage me. Any pointers on minimizing distractions (like “gnats” all around me) in prayer and Adoration? Even to simply quiet myself to enter into prayer, I experience the pesty gnats are buzzing!

  • God is good – grateful to be of help.

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