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Spiritual Direction is NOT Spiritual Reading

Spiritual Direction is NOT Spiritual Reading

 

for post on how spiritual direction is not spiritual readingSpiritual reading is the practice of quietly reading and reflecting on a text that can help us better understand how to love God and others. Though this is most definitely an important practice it is not the same or even a good replacement for spiritual direction because it lacks the third most important element (besides you and the Holy Spirit)… a person who, in this present life, can help you understand God's work in your life! This may seem obvious but in hundreds of conversations (particularly on the internet) when the idea of spiritual direction comes up inevitably a well-intentioned and otherwise knowledgeable Catholic will offer book suggestions for “spiritual direction.” This occurs because, as with most people,  the person is unaware of the historic definition of terms and translates the phrase “spiritual direction” to mean the same thing as spiritual navigation, trajectory, or something similar. Though spiritual reading can help us improve the spiritual trajectory of our lives, it is only a substitute for the real thing if there are no other alternatives.

This is an excerpt from Dan’s book Navigating the Interior Life – Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God. To learn more, click here.

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Art for this post on how spiritual direction is not spiritual reading: Christ and Saint Mina [or Menas], iconographer unknown, 6th-century icon from Bawit, Egypt, PD-US author's life plus 70 years or less, Wikimedia Commons.

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About Dan Burke

Dan is the President of the Avila Foundation, the parent organization of SpiritualDirection.com, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, Divine Intimacy Radio and Divine Intimacy Radio - Resources Edition, Into the Deep Parish Programs, the Apostoli Viae (Apostles of the Way) Community, the High Calling Seminary Preparation Program, and the FireLight Student Leadership Formation Program, author of the award-winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God, Finding God Through Meditation-St. Peter of Alcantara, 30 Days with Teresa of Avila, Into the Deep, Living the Mystery of Merciful Love: 30 Days with Thérèse of Lisieux, and his newest book The Contemplative Rosary with St. John Paul II and St. Teresa of Avila. In 2018, he launched the annual Avila Summit held at Hanceville, Alabama. Beyond his "contagious" love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband, father of four, and grandfather of one, the President and Chief Operating Officer of EWTN News, Inc., a regular co-host on Register Radio, a writer, speaker and pilgrimage director who provides online spiritual formation and travels to share his conversion story and the great riches that the Church provides us through authentic Catholic spirituality. Dan has been featured on EWTN's Journey Home program and numerous radio programs.

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