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SpiritualDirection.com / Catholic Spiritual Direction

The Solution to Your Sorrow

The Solution to Your Sorrow   It’s impossible to be selfish and happy at the same time.  I know this from experience, for if I’m honest with myself, I find the days that I am most miserable are the days that I am too focused on myself: on my problems, my frustrations, my weaknesses.  I’m certain the same is true for you.  Think about the last time you felt sad or weighed down.  Maybe it was yesterday, or maybe it’s... Read More

What is Custody of the Senses?

I’ve heard about custody of the senses. What exactly is it and why should I practice it? Thank you Father. Your explanations always help. Great question! Yes, we should all practice “custody of the senses.” The core meaning of this traditional phrase from our Catholic spirituality is fairly simple to grasp. It means taking care of what we pay attention to. Our senses put us into contact with reality. But in this fallen world,... Read More

Disciple of a Fool

May 19, 2015 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Self Knowledge, Spiritual Direction

CourtJesterStockholm

St. Bernard of Clairvaux is famous for saying that “Anyone who takes himself for his own spiritual director is the disciple of a fool.” This simply means that in matters that matter most in life, it is dangerous and foolish to fail to habitually seek counsel from others. Why? The simple fact is that the human person has an infinite capacity for self-delusion. To make matters worse, intelligence, drive, and good-will can all... Read More

The rule of three in the battle against sin

Dear Dan, I am struggling with a recurring problem with anger that I can’t seem to overcome. I have read books, tried to understand how it surfaces in me, prayed fervently (I am living in a state of grace outside of this problem). But I seem to be making no progress. I am very very very very very very very very frustrated. After years of observing intelligent, capable, and committed people work to solve recurring challenges... Read More

I am with You Always: Encounters with the Risen Lord

“Behold, I am with you always unto the end of time.”  (Matthew 28:20) These last words of the Risen Christ to the Apostles before He ascended into heaven are words that live in our ongoing encounters with the Son of God today.  Because He has not abandoned us and is at work in the world, He is able to open our prayer to a real conversation with Him and, in the tender but unexpected love He discloses, He constantly... Read More

As the Storm Rages Around Me, How Should I Pray?

January 22, 2013 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Prayer, Self Knowledge

Dear Dan, I have recently become aware that I have no desire to make petitionary prayers for myself.  I noticed this most as Hurricane Sandy raged around me, causing lots of high wind destruction in our area.  The power was out and there was nothing to hear but the howling wind.  I talked to God.  I told Him that I probably ought to be asking Him to keep me safe – but that I knew He keeps me safe always and that I know... Read More

Is spiritual direction for all? I really don’t feel the need

Dear Dan, I noticed on your poll that there are a few people (apparently out of thousands) who don’t think they need a spiritual director. I have wondered if I am also in this category. I feel strong in my faith (I love my faith) and feel like I have clear direction in my life at the moment. I am not struggling with mortal sin or habitual venial sins (that I am aware of). Am I missing something? Shouldn’t regular confession... Read More

Stuck in my spiritual growth. How do I get unstuck? Pt II of II

Dear Sister Carmen, I feel like I am stuck in somewhere in mansion one or two. Is this normal? Where do most people get stuck in the journey through the mansions and is there any common way you can suggest that we get unstuck? Maybe I am just impatient. I feel like I should be growing but I am not. In our first post in this two part series we talked about a few of the reasons we get stuck and touched on the key issues we often... Read More

Who are you?

May 1, 2012 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Self Knowledge

Who are You? Who are you? You are God’s child (John 1:12) You are Christ’s friend (John 15:15) You are a member of Christ’s Body (1 Corinthians 12:27) You are a citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20) You are hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3) You are His chosen one in Him before the creation of the world (Ephesians 1:4, 11) You are adopted as his child (Ephesians 1:5) You are in Him (Ephesians 1:7; 1 Corinthians... Read More

What does St. Teresa mean by “pesky reptiles”?

Dear Sister Carmen, In the Interior Castle St. Teresa talks about “pesky reptiles” and other creatures. What exactly does she mean when she is saying these things?” Those “pesky reptiles!” When you come across a snake unexpectedly, what is your immediate reaction? Well, unless you are a herpetologist it is probably fear, dread or surprise. Let me share with you the reaction of a group of Sisters with one such encounter... Read More

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