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Discernment of Spirits – 30 Days w/ Teresa of Avila: Day 24 Reflections

Discernment of Spirits
30 Days with Teresa of Avila
Day 24 Reflections
Divine Intimacy Radio

How can we determine if our crosses are the work of God or the work of the enemy? Dan and Melissa discuss discernment of spirits and St. Teresa’s spiritual advice to a friend in a letter from the book 30 Days with Teresa of Avila.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • Why does God answer our prayers with trials and suffering?over-Front_-_30_Days_Teresa_of_Avila_20150128a_pdf
  • Can the work of the enemy be mistaken for the work of God?
  • How can we tell if a trial is the work of God and not the work of the devil?
  • Some tools for discernment: daily examen, spiritual direction, St. Ignatius’ Rules of Discernment.
  • Can an action that seems to be in service to God be inspired by the enemy?
  • How and why are advanced souls more at risk of attacks from the devil?
  • Moderation in spiritual life in St. Teresa’s time contrasted with modern society.


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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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  • Jeanette

    Thank you Dan & Melissa once again. Dan, you have said that some people are afraid of undergoing the Dark Night of the Soul that serves the purpose of purification of our souls and that we should not worry as God will give us consolations when we need them. It is true, in my life, I have experienced this. God will not try you beyond your strength and will give consolations when you are undergoing this purification, as He deems necessary. He is gracious and watches over us lovingly and will give consolations to enable us to get through this dark time safely. Truly, I believe, we should desire this time of purification as it’s main purpose is to bring us closer to God. Isn’t that what we should desire?

    • Dan Burke

      We should desire Him and accept whatever is necessary to draw us ever more deeply into union with Him.

  • Erin M

    This was a great podcast, thank God for assisting you in this work! I am curious about how one would know if they are an “advanced” soul. I’m sure a spiritual director could help a person in this, but what would you tell someone without access to one? It seems it could be tricky to discern on your own. Thank you again for offering such a rich collection of resources to help the faithful grow in holiness!

    • Jeanette

      Try reading Dan Burke’s book called “Navigating the Interior Life.” It’s available through EWTN’s religious catalogue or This would be very helpful for you as a practical guide for your interior life, especially since you don’t have a spiritual director. God bless you!

  • Paul

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I have gotten behind on episodes and am currently playing catch up (slowly). I have listen to this one 3 or 4 time now. The last couple shows have helped me better understand what has been happening in my life/prayer life and this one has HELPED IMMENSELY. I can not thank you both enough.

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