SpiritualDirection.com / Catholic Spiritual Direction

Distractions, Aridity, and Self-Knowledge

Join Dan Burke and Melissa Elson as they answer questions from listeners about distractions in prayer, contemplative aridity, and the importance of self-knowledge in overcoming sin. Topics/Questions Covered in the Show: What should we do if we feel guilty when we get distracted while spending time in mental prayer? Is contemplation the same as meditation? How important are short prayers throughout... Read More

But What if I Don’t Feel Like It?

But . . . What If I Don’t Feel Like It?   Dear Father John, How can I overcome my feelings of not wanting to evangelize, especially when there are some people I don't want to even be around? SOMETIMES KINDNESS OVERFLOWS effortlessly from a warm and affectionate heart. At other times that same heart feels cold and antagonistic, and even the possibility of kindness is crowded back into a hidden... Read More

Attachments: What are they? How do they hinder my spiritual life? (II/II)

…a reader asks: In your recent series on getting stuck in spiritual growth (which was very helpful by the way) you mentioned the idea of “attachments.” I think I understand this as I have read a bit of St. John of the Cross. However, I would be grateful if you could help me understand it a bit better and for any practical advice about identifying attachments and then shedding them. I remember... Read More

Attachments: What are they? How do they hinder my spiritual life? (I/II)

In your recent series on getting stuck in spiritual growth (which was very helpful by the way) you mentioned the idea of “attachments.” I think I understand this as I have read a bit of St. John of the Cross. However, I would be grateful if you could help me understand it a bit better and for any practical advice about identifying attachments and then shedding them. I remember St. John of the Cross... Read More

The Rule of Three in the Battle Against Sin

Dear Dan, I am struggling with a recurring problem with anger that I can't seem to overcome. I have read books, tried to understand how it surfaces in me, prayed fervently (I am living in a state of grace outside of this problem). But I seem to be making no progress. I am very very very very very very very very frustrated. After years of observing intelligent, capable, and committed people work to... Read More

As the Storm Rages Around Me, How Should I Pray?

January 22, 2013 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Prayer, Self-Knowledge

Dear Dan, I have recently become aware that I have no desire to make petitionary prayers for myself.  I noticed this most as Hurricane Sandy raged around me, causing lots of high wind destruction in our area.  The power was out and there was nothing to hear but the howling wind.  I talked to God.  I told Him that I probably ought to be asking Him to keep me safe – but that I knew He keeps... Read More

How Can I Get Out of Patterns of Sin?

Dear Carmelite Sisters, how can I deepen my relationship with God when I am stuck in patterns of sin that I can’t seem to break? I’ve asked this question to several people at different times, but I really can’t seem to figure this out or make any progress. I am really grieved over this. Thank you for your help. It seems … that your grief over patterns of sin is already the beginning of... Read More

The Beauty of Your Soul …

A Matter of Life and Death: What Meditation is! From St Teresa of Avila

“…the soul of the just person is nothing else but a paradise where the Lord says he finds his delight. So then, what do you think that abode will be like where a King so powerful, so wise, so pure, so full of all good things takes his delight? I don't find anything comparable to the magnificent beauty of a soul and its marvelous capacity. Indeed, our intellects, however keen, can hardly... Read More

Self-knowledge and the spiritual life-Part III of III: Sacred Silence

August 17, 2010 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Self-Knowledge, Silence, Spiritual Life

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Editor's note: In part two, we discussed how silence is important to self-knowledge. What is sacred silence? There are many scripture passages that convey important elements of a true God-ward silence. One that is sublimely concise is Psalm 46:10: Be still, and know that I am God This passage clearly reveals the type of silence necessary for a God-ward self-knowledge. First, we have the purpose of... Read More

Self-knowledge and the Spiritual Life – Part II of III

July 31, 2010 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Self-Knowledge, Silence

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In Part I of this series we discussed the problem of spiritual delusion and darkness as a consequence of the lack of a God-ward self-knowledge. The purpose of this awareness is simply this: To reveal the sin(s) that hinder our relationship with God and that keep us from the fullness of God's person, love, and provision for us in this life and the life to come. As well, we desire to respond to this... Read More

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