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Can I Trust the Mercy Center Spiritual Direction Training Program?

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Can I Trust the Mercy Center Spiritual Direction Training Program? Dear Dan, I was searching for your spiritual direction training programs in my area and noticed an advertisement for the Mercy Center in Colorado Springs. Have you had a chance to evaluate them? Do you recommend them? Dear friend, the answer is yes I have had a chance to evaluate their program and another one in the area provided by Benet Hill Monastery and Retreat... Read More

How can I Avoid False Teachings on Prayer? (I of III)


How can I Avoid False Teachings on Prayer? (Part I of III) …A faithful follower of the Lord asks: Dear Dan, I enjoy reading more modern writers about prayer and the spiritual life but I am always worried about false teachings that could lead me away from the heart of the Church. How can I know when an author is not orthodox or teaches something that could lead me to deception instead of to God? You are wise to be concerned... Read More

Theology and Contemplative Prayer


Contemplative Prayer and Theology Contemplation needs scientific theology and theologians need contemplation.  Historically, contemplatives who have presumed otherwise unwittingly submitted themselves and those they influenced to all kinds of demeaning irrationality. At the same time, whenever theologians believe they can conduct their investigations without prayer, their body of scholarship becomes less capable of building up... Read More

Can I Trust? Series: Faithful to the Church?

January 29, 2013 by  
Filed under Can I Trust?, Dan Burke, New Age, PseudoSpirituality


Can I Trust? Series Faithful to the Church? Editor’s Note:  We get many questions in regards to whether or not popular authors, or organizations, are faithful to the Church, her teachings and her Magisterium, and whether or not they should be read and/or followed.  It is a wise person who asks!  So, in a way, this listing of posts has been inspired by you, the readers.  The following is an index of posts (and their links),... Read More

Can I Trust Thomas Merton? (Part I of II)

January 2, 2013 by  
Filed under Can I Trust?, Dan Burke, PseudoSpirituality

thomas_merton_dalai_lama featured

Dear Dan, I read your post on the Holy See’s concerns about Anthony de Mello, and I wondered as well about Thomas Merton. Some of his writings are helpful to me, but some make me very uncomfortable. Do you recommend his spiritual writings? Dear Friend, I am grateful to hear you are investing so much energy into your spiritual reading. You will find immeasurable rewards in your efforts to continually delve into the great... Read More

Should I read non-Catholic devotional or bible study materials?


Dear Dan, should I read or use non Catholic devotional or bible study materials? This is a very important question. There are other cousin questions that follow the same line of concern. “Should I attend non-Catholic bible studies?” “Should I read protestant commentaries on scripture?” Before I answer this I must make one thing abundantly clear. An Important Disclaimer I am in no way anti-protestant or anti-anyone for... Read More

Why not integrate other religious teachings with Catholicism?

Golden Family With World Religions,, 25 December 2007, CCA-SA, Wikimedia CommonsCopy

Dear Father John, the Church has clearly taught that there is truth and good in other religions – so why then is it a problem to integrate the truths found in prayer traditions outside of Christianity with Christian prayer methods? This is a great question, especially for today’s world, in which religious tolerance is spoken about by so many different groups (though not all) as a universal value. Sometimes we can confuse... Read More

Is the Enneagram Something I Should be Involved with?

November 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Enneagram, New Age, PseudoSpirituality

Enneagram featured

Dear Dan, I have run into the Enneagram in my spiritual direction training. There is something about the approach that doesn’t ring true to me but I can’t quite put my finger on it. Well, the reason something doesn’t ring true about it is that the Holy Spirit is working in you to guide you to truth. My friend Susan Brinkman (over at Women of Grace) has written a post on this that will help you understand why these... Read More

The Vatican on Christian Meditation and Centering Prayer


Though a complete understanding of this document requires education in Church history and mystical and ascetic theology – on its face it clearly addresses many current popular teachings on prayer that should be of concern to every Catholic who seriously desires to deepen their understanding of what it means to truly engage with God. This document is a profound summary of true Christ-centered prayer and those false forms... Read More

Is there anything good about Centering Prayer?

May 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Centering Prayer, Dan Burke, Prayer, PseudoSpirituality


Dear Dan, I know that you are not a fan of Centering Prayer. I did read the document you posted from the Vatican and I think I see the problems, at least from the standpoint of what I was taught. Still, isn’t there some good in centering prayer? For instance, isn’t it good to sit still, breathe slowly so you can relax etc.? I have experienced a great deal of good from this practice and little bad that I can see… You... Read More

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