SpiritualDirection.com / Catholic Spiritual Direction

What is Custody of the Senses?

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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

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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

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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

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“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

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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

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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

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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

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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”?

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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

How can I get out of patterns of sin?

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Dear Sister Carmen, how can I deepen my relationship with God when I am stuck in patterns of sin that I can’t seem to break? I’ve asked this question to several people at different times, but I really can’t seem to figure this out or make any progress. I am really grieved over this. Thank you for your help. It seems to me that your grief over patterns of sin is already the beginning of conversion and spiritual growth. Recall... Read More

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