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Sayings of Light and Love #43

April 12, 2014 by  
Filed under Challenges, Dan Burke, John of the Cross

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Bear in mind that your flesh is weak and that no worldly thing can comfort or strengthen your spirit, for what is born of the world is world and what is born of the flesh is flesh.  The good spirit is born only of the Spirit of God, who communicates himself neither through the world nor through the flesh. Saint John of the Cross More “Sayings of Light and Love” About Dan BurkeDan is the founder of Roman Catholic Spiritual... Read More

The Two Trajectories of the Soul

February 5, 2014 by  
Filed under Challenges, Dan Burke, Spiritual Direction


There is a troubling phenomenon noted by several Doctors of the Church regarding the common waning of spiritual development after a period of progress. It often happens after a fervent soul makes notable gains against habitual mortal and then venial sin. It can also happen on the back side of any virtue based victory. The soul becomes satisfied with itself and then reaches for the cruise control button to relax at a pace that seems... Read More

I Can’t Find a Spiritual Director Loyal to the Magisterium


Q: Dear Fr. John, I have read Dan’s book, Navigating the Interior Life, and have diligently followed all of his suggestions for how to find a spiritual director. Frankly, I am frustrated to tears writing this to you. I have not found a director who actually believes the teachings of the Church. In fact, I have met with several priests and laypeople. Every one of them, to a person, disagrees with Humane Vitae, and they all are... Read More

Does emotional suffering hinder spiritual growth?

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Q: Dear Dan, since many people may suffer from some level of emotional immaturity due to childhood experiences, what effect does this have on becoming spiritually mature? Problems such as shyness, depression, lack of self-confidence, sensitivity to criticism, etc. affect trust in God and being able to benefit from spiritual direction.  What advice would you give those are in such a situation who are seeking spiritual direction... Read More

Should I pay my spiritual director? A lay spiritual director responds.

Dear Friends, after I posted “Should I pay my spiritual director?” a reader sent me a note that I though would provide some important perspective on this matter. This came in response to negative comments regarding the idea of spiritual directors receiving payments for their services. Here’s her note: I find myself called to be a lay spiritual director, yet my husband and I struggle on one income to make ends... Read More

How can I determine if a spiritual director is faithful to the church?

Q: Dear Dan, I am hesitant to go to a local priest for spiritual direction because I am worried about his submission, or lack of submission to the Church. He is a good priest but he has made some confusing comments about abortion and a few political topics etc. Are there simple questions I can ask and a way to ask (that would not be offensive) to help me determine if a particular priest or lay person (a potential spiritual director)... Read More

Can a friend be my spiritual director? Is anyone ever too old to be in spiritual direction?

May 5, 2012 by  
Filed under Challenges, Dan Burke, Perspective, Spiritual Direction

Q: Dear Dan, I’ve been going to spiritual direction for several years with a good friend. At her suggestion I have recently begun seeing a Catholic counselor to deal with issues from my past which have made it difficult for me to progress spiritually, to trust God, etc. Actually she insisted that I must see a counselor if she was to remain my SD. I was heading this way anyway, however, I was stunned and hurt by the way she... Read More

How can a woman build an appropriate relationship with a priest?

December 5, 2011 by  
Filed under Challenges, Fr. Bartunek, Spiritual Direction

How can a woman build an appropriate relationship with a priest?

Q: Dear Father John, I am a woman working hard to deepen my relationship with Christ.  In this process, I have begun to befriend priests.  I wonder how you would suggest molding relationships with clergy to maintain detachment yet create mutually beneficial relationships. A:  This is a real issue.  We have all read or heard about tragic tales of priests having affairs with married or single women whom they were directing spiritually. ... Read More

Should spiritual directors charge for their services?

October 26, 2011 by  
Filed under Challenges, Dan Burke, Spiritual Direction

Should spiritual directors charge for their services?

My recent post encouraging directees to respond in gratitude to their directors met with a firm rebuke in the com box that I have decided to address. The post was, “Should I pay my spiritual director?” Here is what one reader had to say, “You are wrong, wrong, wrong Dan Burke.  Paying for spiritual direction is simony and it is priests along who have the charism for spiritual direction.  What you are suggesting... Read More

My spiritual director has recommended centering prayer, what should I do?

Q: Dear Dan, I have recently sought the guidance of a Spiritual director which I would say was greatly influenced by your and Fr. John’s suggestions. My concern is that my Spiritual Director has suggested Centering Prayer. I’d appreciate it if you can share your thoughts on that. Thanks. A: First things first – I am greatly encouraged by your steps toward deepening your faith through spiritual direction! With... Read More

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