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The Strength of the Enemy vs the Power of Prayer

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The Strength of the Enemy vs the Power of Prayer   Description: How strong is the enemy? Today Dan and Melissa discuss strength and weakness when faced with temptation from the enemy and how it relates to the active prayer life and the power of prayer.  Topics/Questions covered in the show: What is Saint Teresa of Avila’s advice about the tactics the enemy uses to dissuade those beginning to establish a prayer life? Cooperation... Read More

Sanctity and the Plenitude of Grace

December 1, 2015 by  
Filed under Carmelite Spirituality, Dan Burke, Divine Intimacy, Grace, Holiness

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Sanctity and the Plenitude of Grace Presence of God – I draw near to Jesus, the “fountain of life and holiness,” with an ardent desire to drink from this inexhaustible fount. MEDITATION If Jesus came to sanctify all, if it is God’s will that “all should be saints,” then sanctity cannot consist in extraordinary gifts of nature and grace, which depend solely upon God’s liberality. Sanctity, therefore, must consist... Read More

Mysticism and the Machine: Mysticism and Magisterium Part V

October 13, 2015 by  
Filed under Church, Fr. Geiger, Grace, Liturgy, Magisterium, Mary, Mary, Prayer


Mysticism and the Machine Mysticism and Magisterium Series Part V The central truth running through this series of posts on “mysticism and magisterium” is the active and effective presence of Christ in the Church. This affirmation is not an abstraction, but a fact realized in all the circumstances of history. The Church is a person, not a thing and our relationship with “her” is sacramental, organic and mystical, not... Read More

Grace (Like in Sap)

June 6, 2015 by  
Filed under Grace, Joseph Hollcraft, Joy

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Grace (Like in Sap) Editor’s Note:  Having introduced Dr. Joseph Hollcraft to you in April as a Professor with the Avila Institute here, today we have the great pleasure of acquainting you with his writing.  Please welcome him warmly and make him feel at home! I still remember the opening tune to the popular Saturday morning show Land of the Lost. My favorite subject matter in grade school was the dinosaur age. I would... Read More

God’s Grace and the Evil of Enmity with God

March 11, 2015 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Evil, Grace, Lent, Meditations, Preparation for Death


ON THE GREAT ADVANTAGES OF THE GRACE OF GOD, AND THE GREAT EVIL OF BEING IN ENMITY WITH GOD “Man knoweth not the price thereof.” Job 28:13 “If,” says the Lord, “you separate the precious from the vile, thou shalt be as my mouth” (cf Jeremiah 15:19). They who know how to distinguish what is precious from what is vile, are like God, “who knows how to refuse the evil and to choose the good.”... Read More

What is the Unforgivable Sin?

March 2, 2015 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Grace, Sin, Spiritual Direction


Dear Father John, I’ve heard that God forgives all sins. But, I’ve also heard something about an “unforgivable sin”. It seems there’s a contradiction there. What is that all about? Is there really a sin that God won’t forgive? And, what happens if I commit that? What do I do then? This probably is a reference to the following Gospel passage: “Therefore, I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people,... Read More


July 4, 2014 by  
Filed under Free Will, Grace, Liz Estler, Spiritual Direction


The 4th of July, for the United States, is a day to celebrate independence, liberty and freedom. But, what really is true freedom? God created us in His image and likeness and gave us free will. And, this free will is one of the ways in which we most resemble God. For that reason, God never violates our free will. Yet, we are never so free as when we freely choose the ultimate Good, God Himself. Our true freedom is found in God.... Read More

Christian Prayer

May 6, 2014 by  
Filed under Anthony Lilles, Grace, Prayer


Christian prayer is a true conversation with God. This holy dialogue is based on a real relationship between the Giver of all good gifts and the one who offers sacrifice, between the Protector and the one who seeks His will. Both the similarity and difference of the human person to God together create the boundaries for this relationship. Above the horizon of creation, the Creator draws His work to Himself. The Trinity, who is... Read More

What is Eternal Death?

February 6, 2014 by  
Filed under Death and Dying, Fr. Fortea, Grace


Father Fortea, what is eternal death? The human soul, as a spiritual reality, is immortal (see Catechism paragraph 366). Like any spirit, it is not subject to decay or illness; it cannot grow old or wear out. No matter what sins people commit, their souls cannot die in a metaphysical sense. They will exist forever.  Where they will exist forever – heaven or hell – is another matter. When we use the expressions “mortal... Read More

Pilgrimage of Faith & Christianity’s Unvanquished Hope


I recently accompanied a group of pilgrims from the Tatra Mountains of Poland to Warsaw for the Year of Faith. Twenty years ago, the Pilgrim Pope came to celebrate World Youth Day in Denver and spent time in prayer in a retreat center, high up in the Rocky Mountains.  We decided that we would go to the mountains of Blessed John Paul II to pray and to thank God for the graces of those days and for his witness to the faith, a... Read More

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