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How can I go deeper in my faith this Lent season?

February 4, 2010 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Lent, Seasonal Meditations

Lent seasonI recently had the opportunity to speak to a great group of men at parish here in Colorado about my conversion to the Catholic faith. One of the things I shared was the unusual amount of personal suffering I have experienced. The short list of loss includes a brother and sister in their thirties and a niece at two years old. At a young age I have lived the difficult reality that life, for any of us, can end at any moment. Faced with this understanding, there really is no better time than the present to ensure that when we see God face to face he says, “well done” rather than “depart from me, I never knew you.” The latter is a terrifying thought, the former, a glorious one.

At the end of the talk, one of the men asked, “How would you advise someone who is ready to go deeper in their faith?” Here’s the “Going Deeper” plan for anyone looking to better prepare their hearts for this upcoming holy season:

1) Get a copy of “Inside the Passion” by Father John Bartunek and commit to reading a portion of it every day during Lent (starting Ash Wednesday, February the 17th) with a finish date of Tuesday the 1st of April – the day before Good Friday. If you finish this ahead of time, commit to one decade of the Sorrowful Mysteries on a daily basis or pray through the Stations of the Cross each day. A great way to do the latter is through the “Passion Companion” which also leverages the artwork of the film to held us better experience the Stations of the Cross devotion.

2) Commit to praying for five minutes (or add five minutes if you already pray) on a daily basis using any prayer that appeals to you (i.e. Our Father, Rosary, etc). Ask God to reveal himself more fully to you, just as the father of the sick boy in Matthew 9:24 asked Jesus, “…I do believe Lord, please help my unbelief.”

3) Watch the “The Passion of the Christ” on Good Friday. Be careful to watch it devotionally instead of from the standpoint of entertainment. Watch it at night just before you go to bed. Don’t pop any popcorn and keep the chips in the pantry. Prepare your heart and enter into the film. Pray that Christ would reveal himself to you. Engage with Christ as he gives his life up for you. Ask Him, “how can I give back to you in return for such an overwhelming gift?”

After Lent, use that same prayer habit you developed during lent (or further developed) and learn to know Christ more deeply. Pick up a copy of Father John’s book, “The Better Part.” Learn to meditate on the incredible person and work of Christ on a daily basis.

You will never regret your investment in your eternal destiny, and you will never be the same.

Seek Him – Find Him – Follow Him

Dan

 

 

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About Dan Burke

Dan is the founder of Roman Catholic Spiritual Direction and author of the award winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God. Beyond his “contagious” love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband and father of four, the Executive Director of and writer for EWTN’s National Catholic Register, a regular co-host on Register Radio, a writer and speaker 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. If you have an interest in having Dan come speak at your parish or Catholic event or group, contact us at rcspiritualdirection@gmail.com or call 818-646-7729.

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  • Cathy

    I already have The Better Part, and that has been very helpful. It is a fantastic resource to help people who have been away from the church (I have been away for 19 years and am struggling). I have made the commitment to read Inside the Passion, as the more I have an understanding, the more fear, and greater the love in my heart.

    • danburke

      Dear Cathy in Christ – thank you for your note! I pray that you will find the the fullness of the love that Christ is calling you to. It is obvious that he is at work in your heart and life. Keep following him.

  • Sharon

    Thanks so much for this very “practical” guide to Lent, Dan! It's exactly what I needed… each year Lent comes and goes and although I want to capitalize on it with the best form possible, it comes and goes because I never formulate a solid plan. Thanks! This is great advice! God Bless you :)

    • danburke

      Dear Sharon in Christ – thank you for your encouraging words I am grateful to play even a small part in your encouragement! God bless you back!

  • Anonymous

    Dan,

    Thank you for the “Going Deeper” plan. I will share this with the men in my men’s group as well.

    Peace,

    Glenn

    • danburke

      You are welcome Glenn – Blessings on you and the work you are doing to extend the Kingdom!

  • Anonymous

    Dan,

    Thank you for the “Going Deeper” plan. I will share this with the men in my men’s group as well.

    Peace,

    Glenn

  • Mary

    Thank you, Dan. You are a true companion to me as I trod the pebbled path of Faith. With Jesus and your articles on my side. I won't give up. I fall, I wake up and move on. During Lent and Easter Season I also add Morning, Evening and Nigh Prayers from the Divine Office. God bless you

  • http://twitter.com/Genevieve40 Genevieve40

    Maybe this isn't the place (or blog even) to post such a question, but what would you say to someone who doesn't really *like* praying? I'm not saying it should be enjoyable or entertaining, etc., but I never feel any desire to pray, and when I do pray it's just plain awkward and unpleasant, and motivated only out of some sense of obligation. I guess it would be a legit obligation … but I just feel like I'm talking to myself. I've never had any sort of spiritual experience, while praying or otherwise. Plus, everything I've read seems to say that petionary forms of prayer are all-but off-limits; you shouldn't ask for anything. So I'm at a loss.

    I'm intrigued (and admittedly pleasantly surprised) at your #2 suggestion … in that I would have thought that anyone reading this blog would already be praying daily, and probably for way more than 5 minutes. I guess I overassumed..?

    Anyway, I enjoy the interesting posts on this blog. I'm sorry if my question(s) were at all offensive … I'm not Catholic. I'm just a heathen who's sort of entertaining the idea of converting… thus the reading Catholic blogs like this one.

  • Cathy

    I have started the book Inside the Passion, and it is amazing. It has given me information, and has made The Passion very personal to me. I used to look at this time of year as depressing, they tortured an innocent man who came to save the world! How wrong I was, because it wasn't just they, it was I. I know that I have forgotten that Jesus was a man, divine but still a man, and He had emotions just the same as everyone else. The amazing thing is that He went through the agony and torture for each one of us. This time for me is very mixed, sad for what He went through, but very joyous because of the love He has for each one of us! May He bless you all this Lenten season!

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