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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 Colorado where Dr. Lilles has worked for the Archdiocese of Denver for over twenty years directing parish religious education, R.C.I.A. and youth ministry as well as serving as the 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 eventually appointed Academic Dean for nine years. Currently, he is an associate professor of theology and 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 Blessed Elisabeth of the Trinity and the Carmelite Doctors of the Church: St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross and St. Therese 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. Among his many accomplishments and responsibilities, Dr. Lilles now teaches theology for the Avila Institute. He blogs at BeginningtoPray.blogspot.com

Entering Into Prayer

March 8, 2014 by  
Filed under Anthony Lilles, Featured, Prayer

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For those struggling to pray, one challenge in prayer is entering into silence. It seems the moment one goes into a chapel or room or some other private place, a thousand thoughts and feelings suddenly flow. Sometimes, in fact, it is to find some relief from particularly painful feelings or haunting thoughts that we find ourselves driven to prayer. Whatever the case, it can happen that the psychological... Read More

The Mystery of the Priesthood: A Post Revisited

February 28, 2014 by  
Filed under Anthony Lilles, Featured, Prayer, Vocations

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My original post on this topic was written when Catholic priests were especially singled out for severe and sometime even unjust criticism.   The zeal and relish with which some impugned the priesthood in general went largely unanswered.  There is also the broad supposition on the part of many that the priesthood is only about social and political power in the Church, another front in the battle... Read More

The Mystery of the Priesthood

February 17, 2014 by  
Filed under Anthony Lilles, Featured, Prayer, Vocations

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Because I work at a seminary, I have gotten to know quite a few priests over the years. Many of them have become good friends. Some have left the ministry for one reason or another. All of them have grappled with the meaning of their unique vocation. Simone Weil explained that we do not know anything without suffering. Suffering is the price of true knowledge. I think this is true to the extent that... Read More

Saint Bernard’s Four Kinds of Contemplation

February 8, 2014 by  
Filed under Anthony Lilles, Contemplation, Featured, Prayer

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At the end of his treatise on contemplation (also known as his treatise On Consideration), Saint Bernard of Clairvaux observes the dimensions of Christian mental prayer.  Specifically, when Saint Paul prays in Ephesians 3:18 that we might come to comprehend and be filled with the breadth and length, height and depth of the fullness of God revealed in the love of Christ, Saint Bernard sees four kinds... Read More

Adoration, Silence and the Lamp of Fire (Part II of II)

January 28, 2014 by  
Filed under Anthony Lilles, Featured, Prayer

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In the first part of this post, we talked about silent adoration and the movement of prayer that is an ecstasy of love.  Today, we will discuss how adoration is a symphony of love and how silent adoration leads to a life filled with love. If we consider adoration as a going out of self, we better understand what Elisabeth of the Trinity intends to convey when she attributes adoration to the inner... Read More

Adoration, Silence and the Lamp of Fire (Part I of II)

January 21, 2014 by  
Filed under Adoration, Anthony Lilles, Featured, Prayer

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“Hunger for silence is the sign of spiritual maturity.” This saying is attributed to Blessed John Paul the Great and reminds me of the program he proposed to the Church after the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000. He called the Church to gaze on the face of Christ. Learning to gaze on the face of Christ takes us into a mystery of great silence – not just the absence of noise, but a peaceful... Read More

The Truth to Which Christ Bears Witness

January 14, 2014 by  
Filed under Anthony Lilles, Featured, Truth, Witness

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“For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth” (John 18:37). A Carthusian reflects on these words of the Lord addressed to Pontius Pilate. He believes that these words reveal the most essential secret of Christ’s life. He explains: “It is awesome to discover that he came to bear witness: that is, to confront each of us with a responsibility... Read More

Temptation to Power and the Prayer of Humble Obedience

January 8, 2014 by  
Filed under Anthony Lilles, Featured, Prayer, Temptation

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The merely material, psychological and political make lifeless absolutes when it comes to the history of prayer.  The ancient prophets of Israel were subversive when they spoke against the worship of bread, sex, and kings.  Against these ever present religious propensities, the Church proposes joining the living prayer of the Risen Lord at work in the world. This denotes a real struggle in our personal... Read More

Hearing the Call of the Bridegroom

December 21, 2013 by  
Filed under Anthony Lilles, Featured, Prayer, Silence

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“Let me see you, let me hear your voice.” These final days of Advent lift our hearts to the coming of Christ and are meant to move us to pray. How can we not make prayer part of our lives when we consider what it means that the Word of the Father came in history and what it means that Jesus continues to come to us in mystery? To help us feel this in our souls, to help us raise our hearts... Read More

Rejoice in the Lord Always

December 18, 2013 by  
Filed under Advent, Anthony Lilles, Featured, Seasonal Meditations

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Christians have the duty to rejoice, to express their joy to the world. Great thinkers like St. Augustine explain to us that joy is love which possesses its object. When we have what we most desire, we are able to enjoy and rest in what we love. We also know that many things we desire, even when we attain them, do not provide a joy that lasts. Most things we desire are too small to occupy our hearts... Read More