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Vicki Burbach on EWTN Live with Father Mitch Pacwa

Vicki Burbach on “EWTN Live” with Fr Mitch Pacwa

The Full Interview

On the “EWTN Live” show, Fr. Mitch Pacwa interviews SpiritualDirection.com Book Club’s own Vicki Burbach about her life, her conversion to Catholicism, raising and homeschooling her six children, and her book How to Read Your Way to Heaven. Vicki talks about how Christian classmates impacted her when they stood up to their atheist professor. She reflects on the impact of Saint Gianna Beretta Molla, St. John XXIII, and others, on her faith and how her “head knowledge” of the faith became “heart knowledge” — how this can happen for you, too!  Explaining how she would read and read and not retain all the exciting things she was learning, she remembered how Ben Franklin had been very organized. And so, she determined to organize her own reading in order to reach goals she had set for herself: to develop and deepen her faith, and also her relationship and conversation with Our Lord through the work of the Holy Spirit … skills she shares with readers through her new book.

This is a wonderful interview and a great chance to get to know the Vicki we already know and love, from the Book Club, in a more personal way. Sit down, grab a cup of coffee or your beverage of choice, get comfortable and enjoy!

for post on Vicki Burbach on EWTN LiveVicki’s book How to Read Your Way to Heaven: A Spiritual Reading Program for the Worst of Sinners, the Greatest of Saints, and Everyone in Between can also be purchased at Sophia Press Institute by clicking here. As mentioned on the show, Vicki also blogs at Pelican’s Breast.com.

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Art for this post regarding Vicki Burbach’s appearance on EWTN Live with Father Mitch Pacwa: video courtesy of EWTN and used with permission. Book cover of How to Read Your Way to Heaven: A Spiritual Reading Program for the Worst of Sinner, the Greatest of Saints, and Everyone in Between used with permission.

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About Liz Estler

Editor, SpiritualDirection.com. Liz holds a Master of Arts in Ministry Degree (St. John's Seminary, Brighton, Massachusetts), Liturgy Certificate (Boston Archdiocese), and a BS degree in Biology and Spanish (Nebraska Wesleyan University - Lincoln). She has served as hospital chaplain associate, sacristan, translator and in other parish ministries. She was a regular columnist for a military newspaper in Europe and has been published in a professional journal. She once waded in the Trevi Fountain!

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  • Lisa

    Dear Vicki and Liz,
    Thank you for sharing this video. I recently learned of this book (wanting to buy it asap) and heard the Divine Intimacy Radio interview as well. Great to know this resource is available. As I listened to an audience guest on Fr. Mitch’s show, he posed the question of how to make the head and heart connect what is being read. I relate to this strongly… struggling to make room for God to manifest what I’ve learned into the daily actions/thoughts/words in my day. (I seem to be my worst enemy in implementing the beautiful wisdom and truths I am reading, due to patterns of habitual sin over time.)
    I would like to ask this question to connect further with his:
    As I read (under the direction of my spiritual mentor) recommended books on the spiritual life and our faith journey, I often become very discouraged. I read these incredible words of advice, suggestion, exhortations, etc… and I know well my daily failures and imperfections. My resolve starts strong, then weakens almost as soon as I step into the day with my family. (Aware and trying to work on this.) So what might you offer someone like me who seems so easily overwhelmed in growing and struggling in these saintly behaviors – but is so far far far from practicing them? I don’t want to give up, and I know we must persevere and pick up our cross every day, but my emotional and mental thoughts can work against me. I love this site, as it has been extremely instrumental in my own spiritual walk, and deepening my knowledge of the Truth. I love to read ANYTHING posted by Vicki. You are a kindred spirit, Vicki, as I feel like I relate to so much of what you share. May Our Lady bring you every grace you need this day for His glory and will.

    • Vicki

      Lisa,
      You are right! I identify with you absolutely! I have often likened my time spent before the Blessed Sacrament and in spiritual reading to the time an alcoholic spends in a treatment center. After six weeks of therapy and healing, they are at peace and feel so “whole”; but when the time comes, they are terrified to step out into the real world of temptations where old habits die hard. Sanctifying grace is not instant. But we can be confident that if we are actively seeking God’s Will, doing our best to live it out, and returning to Him each time we fall (which will be often), over time the deepest recesses of our souls will be transformed by God’s grace. He will be faithful. But we must accept that His work will be accomplished in His time, and we must (so important) be patient with ourselves. I will offer your intentions in prayer today – may God bless your faithfulness and your deepest desire for union with Him!!!

  • Jill

    I was nodding my head vigorously as you spoke about how you had been mainly feeding your mind, but not focusing as much on your heart. I so relate to that and am trying to redirect the ship. I should get a copy of your book!

    One point that Fr. Pacwa interrupted you in the midst of was your two target audiences. One was a person who was new to the faith and to spiritual reading. Who is the other one?

    • Vicki

      Jill, I’m so glad you asked this question! The other audience would be someone like me. A person who enjoys reading and already has some habit of spiritual reading, but perhaps has no rhyme or reason – reading one book here and another book there as they look or sound interesting. Having an integral program that allows the reader to focus on an area of the spiritual life for an extended period of time bears great fruit! I can’t say enough for the notion of “syntopical” reading (focused reading in the same pillar of faith from various sources in tandem for an extended period of time) – the method is further described and laid out in the book. God bless you!

      • Jill

        One other question. The answer is probably no but I feel the section I would most benefit from right now is life in Christ or prayer. Would it mess up the system to start in the middle?

        • Vicki

          Jill,
          Because it’s “your” program, you can start wherever you like. The program is technically set up to begin at Year 1 (5 year program), Year 2 (3 year program) or Year 5 (1 year program). Instructions for beginning at any of those places are in the book. BUT… If you choose to begin at Year 4, you could always just use the readings for Sacred Scripture from Year 1 or Year 5 (New Testament Readings) along with the CCC readings and book readings from Year 4. Then, when you finish Year 4, you could just continue on to Year 5 or go back and begin at Year 1. Sacred Scripture is something that can never be read too much – reading the NT two years in a row would be a wonderful experience I’m sure! Regardless, May everything you read draw you closer to Christ. God bless!

  • Jill

    My book came yesterday. I wolfed down the first half in one day and ordered the first two books assigned for Year 5. Realized I have the 3rd book, Interior Freedom, so began this morning with Scripture and CCC for Day 1 Week 1, but Week 4? in the reading. I’m hoping this sticks as I see such an advantage to reading this way, systematically. I also respond well to the ‘assigned’ reading of Scripture and CCC. I’ve failed when the ‘order’ comes from in me.

    I do have another question, Vicki. How did you settle on the books you did given the numerous wonderful texts that meet the criteria? Were they the ones most often named? Or maybe the most accessible and ‘finish-able’ for the average reader? A few I’ve read, but at my stage of life – never a rerun. 🙂

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