SpiritualDirection.com / Catholic Spiritual Direction

About Anthony Lilles

Anthony Lilles, a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, completed his graduate and post-graduate studies in Rome at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas. He and his lovely wife, Agnes, are blessed with three children and live in California, where he is the Academic Dean, and Associate Professor of Theology, St. John's Seminary, Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and Academic Advisor for Queen of Angels House of Priestly Formation for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. For over twenty years, Dr. Lilles worked for the Denver Archdiocese directing parish religious education, R.C.I.A. and youth ministry, as well as serving as Director of the Office of Liturgy for the Archdiocese and as Coordinator of Spiritual Formation for the permanent diaconate. In 1999, he became a founding faculty member of St. John Vianney Theological Seminary where he was Academic Dean for nine years and Associate Professor of Theology. He is a Board Member for the Society of Catholic Liturgy. Dr. Lilles has provided graduate level courses on a variety of topics including the Eucharist, the Sacraments of Healing, Church History, Spiritual Theology, Spiritual Direction and on various classics of Catholic Spirituality. His expertise is in the spiritual doctrine of Saint Elisabeth of the Trinity and the Carmelite Doctors of the Church: St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross and St. Thérèse of Lisieux. In 2012, Discerning Hearts published his book "Hidden Mountain, Secret Garden: A Theological Contemplation on Prayer," a compilation of discussions with seminarians, students, and contemplatives about the spiritual life. He collaborated with Dan Burke on the books "30 Days with Teresa of Avila" and Living the Mystery of Merciful Love: 30 Days with Therese of Lisieux. And, his book "Fire from Above" was published in 2016. Among his many accomplishments and responsibilities, Dr. Lilles now teaches theology for the Avila Institute. He blogs at BeginningtoPray.blogspot.com

A Battle for Something Beautiful

November 10, 2018 by  
Filed under Anthony Lilles, Desolation, FEATURED, Perseverance, Suffering

Many of my closest friends, though they live disciplined and prayerful lives, struggle with various kinds of depression and painful sorrows.  They are tested beyond what seems humanly possible to bear.  Sometimes this struggle is related to exterior circumstances – a disease, the loss of a friend or an accident at work. At other times, this struggle emerges from within. Although counseling... Read More

Are Action and Contemplation Mutually Exclusive?

Many believe that action and contemplation are mutually exclusive efforts. Some argue that a prayerful life is an escape from the difficult effort of loving service. Others argue that the apostolic life lacks a certain depth and devotion to the Lord. Yet the greatest mystics never saw a tension between apostolic service and contemplative prayer — for them, it would be impossible to have one without... Read More

The Indwelling of the Trinity

October 27, 2018 by  
Filed under Anthony Lilles, Contemplation, FEATURED, Holy Trinity, Trinity

What animates Christian Contemplation is the most beautiful and intimate mystery of the universe — the Glory out of which all things visible and invisible have issued forth.  This unseen Glory causes all that is to exist and holds all things in existence for no other reason that sheer love and goodness. By an utterly excessive outpouring of love, in a divine and wholly gratuitous gift of sheer... Read More

Don’t Give in to Discouragement in Prayer!

October 25, 2018 by  
Filed under Anthony Lilles, Difficulties, FEATURED, Perseverance, Prayer

Sometimes, when you offer all that you have and there is no more to give, all the good that you intended seems to crash down around you. All of your efforts seem to have been for naught. Hidden sacrifices and hidden tears seem to have paid no dividends. Sometimes, while offering a noble sacrifice and tender act of mercy, you only accomplished your own humiliation. Not only the project that you failed... Read More

How Do We Remain in the Word?

October 20, 2018 by  
Filed under Anthony Lilles, FEATURED, Free Will, Freedom, God's Word

How do we remain in the Word? The night before He died, Christ commanded his disciples to remain in Him – and explained that  this means to keep His Word. (See John 15.) Obeying this command goes beyond any moralism or fulfillment of a minimal obligation. Minimalism does not keep the Word – for the Word, in its sheer grandeur and inexhaustible wonder, is maximal. We need to live with a... Read More

The Power of Contemplative Prayer

Contemplative prayer has immense power against all kinds of evil. This silent movement of the heart unveils self-contradictions and rash judgments that threaten one's own integrity and, at the same time, this vulnerability to God is healing balm for the integrity of others. This deep stillness of spirit allows God to establish one's whole being in His very Presence so deeply that one cannot remotely... Read More

Battle of Contemplative Prayer

October 8, 2018 by  
Filed under Anthony Lilles, Contemplation, FEATURED

There much pre-occupation with ecclesiastical authority. It is time to remember that the Church not only has a head, but a heart – and for the heart of the Church, the Head, the Bridegroom laid down His Life. No one can act in the person of Christ the Head and betray this self-gift of the Lord – to do so is to lose one's own integrity and poses a threat to the integrity and dignity of... Read More

Angels On Our Side

October 2, 2018 by  
Filed under Angels, Anthony Lilles

In the battles and challenges of this life, we have an army of holy angels on our side. Working in invisible and spiritual ways, they stand with us against everything that would threaten our dignity or undermined our integrity. Because they have been sent by God Himself, they rejoice in this great project — safeguarding, guiding, encouraging and sometimes warning us – just when we need... Read More

Christian Prayer

January 13, 2018 by  
Filed under Anthony Lilles, Grace, Prayer

Christian prayer is a true conversation with God. This holy dialogue is based on a real relationship between the Giver of all good gifts and the one who offers sacrifice, between the Protector and the one who seeks His will. Both the similarity and difference of the human person to God together create the boundaries for this relationship. Above the horizon of creation, the Creator draws His work to... Read More

The Lord Hears the Cry of the Poor, Blessed be the Lord!

December 23, 2017 by  
Filed under Advent, Anthony Lilles, Christmas, Poverty, Suffering

  The Lord Hears the Cry of the Poor, Blessed be the Lord! Contemplation of the mystery of Christmas, almost upon us, sees the Lord's attentiveness to the plight of the poor. He who came into our poverty, in silence and obscurity, also comes into the hidden plights of every man and woman. Though He seems powerless or even absent, His love is the gravity that holds together not only the world... Read More