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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 at Juan Diego House, House of Formation for Seminarians. 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

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

Dealing with Sin – A Pathway for Prayer in Advent

December 16, 2017 by  
Filed under Advent, Anthony Lilles, Meditations: Seasonal, Prayer, Sin

Dealing with Sin – A Pathway for Prayer in Advent   God wants to help us deal with sin but He waits for us to come to Him, to invite Him, to welcome Him. Advent is a time for doing just that. Opening our hearts to the Lord with contrition-filled prayer is the most important thing we can do to prepare for the joy of Christmas. Not to do so is to prefer to live in self-contradiction, a cold dark... Read More

A Practical Commentary on St. Teresa’s Way of Perfection

A Practical Commentary on St. Teresa’s Wisdom BOOK PICK: The Way of Prayer In The Way of Prayer, Carmelite Father Gabriel of Saint Mary Magdalen leads us into the refreshing solitude and silence opened up in St. Teresa of Avila’s Way of Perfection. Father Gabriel challenges us to take up St. Teresa’s teachings to satiate our own thirst for Christ in the difficult circumstances of our own lives. With... Read More

Blessings that are Difficult to Receive — Updated

Blessings that are Difficult to Receive (Updated)   Editor's Note: Yesterday May 4th, 2017, Pope Francis declared Cardinal François-Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan “Venerable”, a further step on the road to canonization which began in 2007 when his cause was first opened. With that exciting development, we have updated Dr. Anthony Lilles' post about the prominence of the Cross in Venerable... Read More

Contemplating the Triumph of Mercy — Easter Week

April 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Anthony Lilles, Divine Mercy, Easter, Prayer, Resurrection

Contemplating the Triumph of Mercy   The Resurrection is a mystery of the triumph of divine mercy over human misery. When the Father raised Christ Jesus from the dead, humble humanity was not overcome, surmounted or diminished. Instead, all that is good, holy and true about this life was rescued from futility and death. Christian contemplation beholds this victory and by faith allows the splendor... Read More

Following the Star

January 8, 2017 by  
Filed under Anthony Lilles, Epiphany, Solemnity

Following the Star   Epiphany is a celebration of the manifestation of the Lord to the whole world.  Pope St. Leo says it is the day that Abraham saw and longed to see.  This celebration includes the mystery of a radiant star whose mysterious light draws pilgrims from afar. It is a light that shows, discloses and reveals where those who seek the Lord might find him. The radiant splendor of... Read More

As if Already in Eternity: Saint Elisabeth of the Trinity’s Wisdom

As if Already in Eternity: Saint Elisabeth of the Trinity's Wisdom Saint Elisabeth of the Trinity [canonized last month] is a witness to the primacy of contemplation in the life of the Church, and the mystical wisdom contemplation releases into human history.  This is the wisdom that understands how God is present in both the public square as well as in the intimacy of our hearts. Today, when... Read More

Who is Elisabeth of the Trinity – Our Newest Saint?

Who is Elisabeth of the Trinity – Our Newest Saint?   At 20 years old Elisabeth of the Trinity was a Carmelite nun who died at the beginning of the 20th century at the age of 26.  Born in an Army camp in 1880, the oldest of two sisters, her father was a veteran and POW of the Franco-Prussian War who died while she was still a child. Her mother had a conversion experience before her marriage... Read More

Fighting for Marriage – St Teresa of Calcutta’s Wisdom on Prayer

September 6, 2016 by  
Filed under Anthony Lilles, Marriage Spirituality, Prayer

Fighting for Marriage St Teresa of Calcutta's Wisdom on Prayer   One of the ways Mother Teresa of Calcutta fought poverty was that she taught families to pray together. Typically, she would teach the Rosary. Getting parents to pray with each other and their children gave people hope where there seemed to be none and it helped married couples find love when love seemed most absent. Ironically,... Read More