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Embracing Suffering – 30 Days with Teresa of Avila – Reflections on Day 30 – Part 1

Embracing Suffering
30 Days with Teresa of Avila
Part 1, Day 30 Reflections
Divine Intimacy Radio

St. Teresa expresses joy when she learns of the persecution and suffering of the nuns of Seville and Fr. Gracian. Learn when and how to embrace suffering. Dan and Melissa reflect on letters from St. Teresa from the book 30 Days with Teresa of Avila, with particular emphasis on embracing suffering.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • What is the grace of suffering?over-Front_-_30_Days_Teresa_of_Avila_20150128a_pdf
  • Why does St. Teresa express joy in the suffering of others?
  • How do saints view suffering?
  • What can we learn from the saints’ response to suffering?
  • How is it possible to feel deep grief and extreme joy simultaneously?
  • The gift of being humbled.
  • Suffering as an opportunity to grow closer to God.
  • What are the fruits of suffering?
  • Seeing suffering from a holy perspective.
  • Using scripture as a tool to overcome difficulties.


  • 30 Days with Teresa of Avila – Dan Burke and Anthony Lilles
  • Dr. Anthony Lilles
  • Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation
  • EWTN Religious Catalogue – online
  • Bearing Persecution – 30 Days with Teresa of Avila – Reflections on Day 29
  • 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 (in the blue box under his picture).
  • 1 Corinthians 10:13 – “No trial [temptation] has come to you but what is human. God is faithful and will not let you be tried beyond your strength; but with the trial he will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to bear it. – USCCB Bible link
  • Philippians 4:8 – “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” – USCCB Bible link
  • Philippians 4:7 – “Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”- USCCB Bible link
  • 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 – “…take every thought captive in obedience to Christ…” – USCCB Bible link
  • Romans 12:2 – “Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.” – USCCB Bible link
  • Romans 8:5 – “For those who live according to the flesh are concerned with the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the spirit with the things of the spirit.” – USCCB Bible link
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:23 – “May the God of peace himself make you perfectly holy and may you entirely, spirit, soul, and body, be preserved blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – USCCB Bible link
  • Pilgrimage 2016 to Avila with Dan Burke and Teresa Tomeo (March 28 – April 4, 2016)
  • To send questions about the 2016 Pilgrimage to Avila, click here:
  • For Call in questions for future shows 818-646-7729 — please leave your name, location, and question.
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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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  • Catherine Nagle

    Thank you so much, Dan and Melissa! I immediately bought 30 Days with Teresa Avila, after hearing this some time ago. It’s extremely comforting (for me) hearing from Saint Teresa and all our Saints; the beautiful blessings and joy of suffering as an opportunity to receive God’s gift to us; Grace that brings us even nearer and dependent for Him keeps our hope alive.

  • Judy Silhan

    I understand why God allows suffering; to teach us of the need to depend on Him, to grow in grace and holiness. So, also, I hear you when you say that there is difficulty in dealing with suffering, and that there is often stress involved, and both of these are normal. What I would very much like to know, is, how long does one have to be deeply entrenched in the spiritual life before they have and welcome this desire for suffering, and with joy, as you described. Often, you talk about your suffering, Dan, and how long you have gone through it; but are you at that point where you actually desire and welcome the suffering you experience, or do you embrace it as you receive it, or as God allows it? If you are blessed with this grace of desiring suffering, may I ask how long you were involved in the Spiritual Life before you were able to come to this level of holiness?

  • Erin M

    Dear Melissa,
    As a new mom of a 16 month old, I really appreciate your thoughts. It is very encouraging to hear about your struggles, questions and experiences on the podcasts. I thank God for Dan Burke discerning to include you on Divine Intimacy Radio. Please know that you are a great encouragement to me at this station in life. I pray that you and your family continue to grow in holiness. May God continue to bless you abundantly!

  • Patti Day

    Dan and Melissa, This show in particular has given me so much peace. I haven’t been able to follow the program as I would like recently, but I was brought here by the grace of God today to receive your message. My husband has Parkinson’s Disease, and it has progressed more rapidly than I seem able to cope with. You reminded me that this is our God-given opportunity to share in the suffering of Christ, and to grow in holiness. I remember the happiness I felt when I first heard this as a student of Avila Institute, but I seem to have forgotten it as daily life became more difficult. I am also reminded that God will give us all the grace we need to bear this. We have only to lift up our eyes to heaven. Dan, I pray for the courage you have shown in bearing your own suffering. I will pray for you both.

  • MariaGo

    This episode was very consoling! Thank you so very much! 😀

  • Pingback: | Catholic Spiritual Direction | Calming Storms - 30 Days with Teresa of Avila - Day 30, Part 2 / Catholic Spiritual Direction()

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