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Spiritual reading, better prayer: 30 Days w/ Teresa of Avila, Days 13 & 14

Spiritual Reading, Better Prayer Life
30 Days w/Teresa of Avila
Days 13 & 14


Follow the example of St. Teresa of Avila. Today’s show focuses on overcoming faults with spiritual direction, and improving prayer life with spiritual reading. Listen to a discussion of the letters of St. Teresa from the book 30 Days with Teresa of Avila.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • What is “false humility”? How do we recognize it?over-Front_-_30_Days_Teresa_of_Avila_20150128a_pdf
  • Why would someone want to exaggerate their own imperfections?
  • We can move closer to true humility with the aid of good spiritual direction.
  • How understanding of sound theology is related to our spiritual life.
  • Some examples of sound theological works for spiritual reading.


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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, and Divine Intimacy Radio, author of the award-winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God, and his newest books Finding God Through Meditation-St. Peter of Alcantara, 30 Days with Teresa of Avila, Into the Deep and Living the Mystery of Merciful Love: 30 Days with Thérèse of Lisieux. 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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  • Diana Marie Winkler

    Enjoyed the program. It reminded me of a time I listened to a Christian speaker and he was telling the audience that another speaker had given a talk and someone commented to him that the talk was really good. The speaker replied,”oh, it was all the Holy Spirit!” the person responded back, “it wasn’t THAT good!” For years I did not know how to accept a compliment because I kept in the back of my mind my past sins. Once I developed my relationship and friendship with the Lord, reminding myself I am a daughter of The King I have learned to say, “Thank you for your kind words.” Staying in the Word, and carrying with the positive re-enforcements the Lord has left for us helps to stay grounded. Reading how the Saints before us dealt with different situations is a good “class room” lesson. It’s easier to accept positive feedback once we know who we are in Christ. Letting the Holy Spirit be the Guide on how long to carry the compliment works for me.Great program defining humility.

    • LizEst

      So true! Likewise, when someone offers a sincere apology it is important to accept it graciously.

    • Jeanette

      I also feel that being receptive and gracious for the gift of a compliment from someone can be an act of charity, because if we exhibit false humility and deny the compliment, this can lead to the complimenter (did I just make this word up?) feeling unaccepted. Have you ever noticed when you compliment a humble person, how their facial expressions show their humility? They may cast down their eyes or turn away a bit and then change the subject.

      • LizEst

        You are so right. Humility is truth-based. So, giving the credit to God is a good idea…for, to paraphrase the apostle, what have we that we have not received?

        • Jeanette

          It’s all about God’s Grace.

      • Diana Marie Winkler

        You are so right. If a compliment is received graciously then I feel I am telling the person, “I receive your gift of blessing me”. Yes, there are times I may joke a little, but then I once again thank them. I also take that as a lesson of how good that person made me feel so I should do the same for another. It’s why I cling, like velcro, onto the Holy Spirit to guide my ways, thoughts and words. To lift up and not tear down.

  • Paul

    Been loving this series! So helpful. Question to clarify (especially in light of something like this episode) These letters from Teresa are responses to someone seeking and asking for help and Teresa being frank in her answering. Not Teresa seeking to spiritually direct someone of her choice and simply calling them out on what they’re doing wrong. Correct? A pupil asking the teacher (Teresa), not the teacher detracting self imposed students? This is probably obvious, but I just wanted to clarity that her letters are “replies” to someone asking to get knocked over the head.

    Also… When are you guys going to start doing daily shows? (Just hinting)

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