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Spiritual Warfare: 30 Days w/ Teresa of Avila: Day 23 Reflections

Spiritual Warfare
30 Days with Teresa of Avila
Day 23 Reflections
Divine Intimacy Radio

St. Teresa diagnoses a spiritual warfare attack of the devil on a fellow nun. Join Dan and Melissa as they discuss St. Teresa’s advice to this nun in a letter from the book 30 Days with Teresa of Avila.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • How does the devil attack us through temptation?30DaysWithTeresaOfAvila
  • St. Teresa diagnoses the cause of another nun’s personal struggles.
  • Does St. Teresa contradict St. Ignatius’ Rules for Discerning of Spirits?
  • How can we resist attacks from the enemy?
  • “Breaking the silence” to fight the devil.
  • Overcoming trials by serving others.
  • Advice to avoid misusing the teachings of the saints.
  • Why does spiritual progress increase the need for good spiritual direction?


  • 30 Days with Teresa of Avila – Dan Burke and Anthony Lilles
  • EWTN Religious Catalogue – Online
  • 1 Corinthians 10:13 – USCCB Bible link “God is faithful and will not let you be tried beyond your strength…”
  • 1 Peter 5:8-9 -USCCB Bible link of the verse found in Tuesday’s Night Prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours “Stay sober and alert…”
  • James 4:7 – USCCB Bible link “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
  • The Discernment of Spirits – An Ignatian Guide for Everyday Living – Fr. Timothy M. Gallagher, O.M.V. (Oblate of the Virgin Mary)
  • 14 Rules for Discerning of Spirits – Text from St. Ignatius with links to podcasts by Fr. Timothy Gallagher
  • Divine Office – Liturgy of the Hours – Online
  • For Call in questions for future shows 818-646-7729 — please leave your name, location, and question.
  • Click on the arrow below to listen to the show! Don’t forget to tell your friends about the show and help us get the word out. If the show is inspiring to you and you would like to help us make it a daily show, please click here to donate. All donors will receive a signed copy of your choice of Dan’s new books: Finding God through Meditation30 Days with Teresa of Avila, or Navigating the Interior Life. Click HERE for mobile devices or on the arrow below to listen to the show:
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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, 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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  • Cathy

    This came as a timely topic this morning,and as God would have it ,the only topic that would be available for me to chew on. (computer seems to be in a confused state ?) what I come away with is the devil has been prowling since
    I made a major shift in my life in the beginning of the year,Grace has sustained
    Me in this move,and I need. To spend more time alone with him,and to find other avenues to be more productive in my service to him .Thank You

  • Jeanette

    How do you determine if you are going through the Dark Night of the Soul causing spiritual desolation or if it’s the evil one oppressing you? Could it be that the evil one takes advantage of this state of the soul to oppress you? What is the best way to combat this?

    • LizEst


      First question: I would read through the links below so as to have a good idea of what is and what is not the dark night. Then, I would take these observations to my spiritual director and explain everything to him/her. If it is the evil one, just bringing this up in direction and/or confession would unmask him.

      Second question: To be sure, the devil is going to try to get someone to turn away from God no matter what stage of holiness they are in. So yes, the evil one can take advantage of the dark night to oppress someone.

      Third question: The Carmelites have some great advice in part III of this four-part series…always keeping in mind that one should never talk directly to a demon.

      So, here are the links:

      The Carmelite Sisters’ four-part series on the dark night is here: (Part III has good advice on how to keep faith alive during the dark night and Part IV has a section titled “Know the Indications of the Dark Night” ).

      Some additional posts may possibly be helpful>
      Father Forte had a good post here:

      And, there is an excellent post here on the dark night or depression:

      Hope that helps…and God bless you, Jeanette.

      • Jeanette

        I have read over the links and they were most helpful, especially Keeping Faith Alive During Life’s Dark Nights (Part (IV). I think I need to see my spiritual director and talk all this over with him. Thank you for your help Liz. You are a very caring person. God bless!

        • LizEst

          To God be the glory! I’m glad the links were helpful to you. May your spiritual director help you with everything!

          • Jeanette

            P.S.: I like your new picture of yourself.

          • LizEst

            Oh, you are most kind, Jeanette. My last one was a little over five years old, so it was time. Besides, the Avila folks wanted a picture. Thanks be to God it works. God bless you, Jeanette!

  • Judy Silhan

    “If you’ve just begun the Interior Life, you are going to be assaulted.” In a way, I wish I had known this most important fact when I started at Avila, and in particular, your class, Dan, on Navigating the Interior Life. This past year and half, while helping me to know and develop a relationship with our Lord, and has been a time of total conversion and transformation, has also simultaneously been a year and a half of Spiritual warfare, both mental as well as physical, When you mentioned discussing fasting and other things with your Spiritual Director, I immediately thought of the beautiful six days I had this past week at the Abbey, as mentioned in a previous post. While there was no Spiritual warfare during this retreat, as there had been during the entire time of a silent retreat which I attended in February, Satan, I believe, was biding his time. In the middle of the night, 3:00 a.m. Monday, after the closing Mass, in which I had experienced Christ as never before, I was awoken from a sound sleep, with thoughts of Christ never being at the Mass again, etc. and for about 30 seconds underwent severe physical assault once again. Twice, in less than 5 minutes this happened. There was no way I could call my Spiritual Director or another priest who I have grown to trust with these occurrences at 3:00 a.m.. to sort this out. Next best thing was go to the computer and quickly send an email to my priest friend. Within two hours he got back to me and said that I had entered, again, into Spiritual warfare and that the Retreat must have been powerful for Satan to resort to this. As you mentioned, Dan, one definitely needs a Spiritual Director, someone to guide him or her through this “battlefield” as I call it. Maybe it was good, after all, that I was not aware of what would happen when I began studies at Avila in an attempt to grow closer to Christ.

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