SpiritualDirection.com / Catholic Spiritual Direction

Mortification & Spiritual Progress

Dan and Melissa explore mortification, its meaning, and purpose.

mortificationTopics:

  • What is mortification? Voluntary actions by which we gradually put to death all of our vices, sinful habits and self-centered tendencies that lurk beneath them. 
  • The purpose of mortification and self-renunciation is about cleaning up “the garden of the soul” as many saints describe it.
  • We must not only uproot sin but fill our souls with virtue to replace those sins, otherwise, the soul will be susceptible to more sin.
  • These acts of mortification must be done out of love of God, not because we love suffering.
  • If you are truly mortifying yourself out of love, that’s the true expression of mortification, and if done correctly, you will see this as a path of liberation from the bondage of sin…liberating the soul from the bonds into the abundant life of Christ.
  • Acts of mortification can be little as St. Thérèse of Lisieux described.
  • Acts of mortification can be external or internal.
  • The battle of mortification is often the same battle as that of spiritual warfare. St. James says that if you resist the devil, he will flee from you. Then, draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
  • Mortification has no meaning outside of the cross of Christ through love.
  • Suggestion: To better meditate during Holy Week watch, “The Passion of the Christ” on Good Friday.

Resources: 

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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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