SpiritualDirection.com / Catholic Spiritual Direction

Are there Two Paths to Holiness?

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Are there Two Paths to Holiness? The other day while doing research for a blog post, I came across a discussion about Teresa of Avila’s Interior Castle in a Catholic forum. One poster wrote that a holy priest told her that Teresa of Avila’s teaching was not meant for most lay people. This is the sort of comment that perturbs me. If the conversation hadn’t been a few years old, I would... Read More

Dryness in Prayer – God’s Part in the Struggle (Part III of III)

April 14, 2014 by  
Filed under Aridity or Dryness, Fr. Bartunek, Prayer

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Dryness in Prayer – God’s Part in the Struggle (Part III of III) Editor’s Note: In Part I, we talked about what is going on with dryness in prayer. In the second installment of this series, we addressed our part in the struggle. Today, we will look at God’s part in the struggle. A reader asks: Dear Father John, I have been praying (mental prayer) for a long time. But lately... Read More

Can We Grow Closer to God Without Hardships?

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Dear Father John, in one of the sayings by St. John of the Cross (awesome guy!) it says (and I believe) that hardships bring us closer to God. But isn’t it still possible to grow closer to Him when there are no hardships going on?” Your instinct is right. It isn’t the hardships themselves that make us grow. Rather, it’s the conscious and intentional exercise of faith, hope, and love in the... Read More

Blessed Mother Teresa’s “Dark Night” (Part II of II)

November 23, 2013 by  
Filed under Aridity or Dryness, Dark Night

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Blessed Mother Teresa’s “Dark Night” (Part II of II) In part I, we discussed what Blessed Mother Teresa’s dark night meant for her and what it means for us, the depth of her holiness, and how her dark night was different than what St. John of Cross describes. Today we will talk about her spiritual formation and how to identify the roots of spiritual aridity. The Formation of... Read More

Blessed Mother Teresa’s “Dark Night” (Part I of II)

November 19, 2013 by  
Filed under Aridity or Dryness, Dark Night, Ralph Martin

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Blessed Mother Teresa’s “Dark Night” (Part I of II) What did it mean for her? What does it mean for us? Even though Mother Teresa’s experience of spiritual “darkness” has been known for several years, the full publication of her private letters in Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light–The Private Writings of the “Saint of Calcutta” drew worldwide media coverage [a few years... Read More

Who can I Trust?

November 4, 2013 by  
Filed under Can I Trust?, Dan Burke, Spiritual Direction

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About a decade before I converted to Catholicism, I was struggling with aridity. Former protestants can attest to the fact that there is little help in protestantism for this or any other significant malady in the realm of spiritual progress. So, I began searching, and I stumbled across a priest who had written on the topic. This priest provided me with the wisdom I needed – wisdom the Holy Spirit... Read More

Why are We so Afraid to be Afraid of Hell?

October 31, 2013 by  
Filed under Hell & Purgatory, Ralph Martin

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Editors’ Note: We are grateful to have one of the Church’s brightest lights join us at Roman Catholic Spiritual Direction. Ralph, in his book, The Fulfillment of All Desire has provided a treasure of inestimable worth to those who hunger to deepen their relationship with the Lord. Ralph Martin is the president of Renewal Ministries, an organization devoted to Catholic renewal and evangelization... Read More

Is My Prayer Good Enough?

October 25, 2013 by  
Filed under Carmelite Sisters, Prayer

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Dear Sisters, my prayer experiences don’t seem good enough or holy enough, long enough or intense enough. Do you have any suggestions as to how I can pray better? Dear Friend, yes, I do have a few suggestions. That’s easy… First of all, I suggest not using the expression “prayer experiences” at all. Hit the delete button on that one. A lot of people tend to speak about their prayer experiences.... Read More

Spiritual Liberty in the Night

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In order to secure our true liberty, even while we were enslaved to sin, Christ suffered the night of death and ransomed us by His blood. This is why the Lord respects human freedom, even when it is the source of great sorrow. Aware of our frailty, God does not overpower our freedom but delights to work through it in a very gentle and beautiful way. As a result, it is easy to frustrate His work... Read More

Love Songs in the Night

February 14, 2013 by  
Filed under Anthony Lilles, John of the Cross, Love, Prayer

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With rich biblical imagery, St. John of the Cross describes the soul as a jubilant bride who sings mysterious verses and wants nothing other than to live in intimacy with her bridegroom. She ventures out with courage while the beauty of night cloaks her from anyone and anything that might prevent her from finding the One for whom her heart longs.  This living icon of the Church, tenderly touched... Read More

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