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Divine Intimacy Radio

Divine Intimacy Radio is a haven of rest and wellspring of spiritual life for those seeking intimacy with God and the enlightened path of Catholic mystical and ascetical wisdom. Weekly we will explore topics like prayer, spiritual direction, meditation, contemplation, holiness, and much more.
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Now displaying: 2015
Dec 25, 2015

What is "centering prayer"? Can it lead to contemplation? Do I need to pray to be saved? Dan and Melissa discuss these questions and more as they reflect on the book Finding God Through Meditation by St Peter of Alcántara.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • Is contemplation the same thing as centering prayer?
  • Can contemplation be attained or prepared for through the centering prayer method?
  • What does the Catholic Church say about centering prayer?
  • What's wrong with the concept of "letting thoughts go"?
  • Is prayer necessary for salvation?
  • What does St Bonaventure say about prayer?
  • How do I become holy?
  • How does mental prayer help keep us on "the narrow way" to holiness?
  • Prayer as a means of keeping our spiritual vision clear.
  • Does a life of faith without prayer make any sense?

Resources:

Dec 18, 2015

How does one get started in mental prayer? What are the imporatant elements to having a good prayer life? Dan and Melissa take on complexities of answering the question "What is prayer?" as they discuss the book Finding God Through Meditation by St Peter of Alcántara.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • Answers to the question "What is prayer?"
  • How does Jesus' humanity help to orient us to God the Father and The Blessed Trinity?
  • Why prayer is so much more than "asking for stuff" or doing religious acts that are in some way meritorious or good.
  • Is the recitation of all vocal prayer always actual prayer?
  • How prayer keeps us away from sin.
  • About methods of prayer.
  • What does it mean to call something "sacred"?
  • Three important elements for starting a good prayer life.
  • Why is it important to dedicate a set time for prayer?
  • Some advise for setting up a sacred space for prayer in your home.
  • How do our surroundings help to orient us toward God?
  • Keeping our minds attentive during prayer.

Resources:

Dec 11, 2015

How can we overcome distractions in prayer? How do we recognize transitions in our prayer lives, and how should we respond to them? Dan and Melissa address these questions and more as they discuss the book Finding God Through Meditation by St Peter of Alcántara.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • Are the distractions we experience in prayer from God?
  • Where do inspirations in prayer come from?
  • How can I overcome the temptation to get on the computer when I go to pray?
  • Why is having a sacred space for prayer so important?
  • Understanding transitions in prayer through the teaching of St Peter.
  • Definitions of vocal prayer and mental prayer, and the distinctions between them.
  • What does the Catechism say about meditation?
  • Prayer as a battle.
  • How does the enemy try to keep us from praying?

Resources:

Dec 4, 2015

Advent is here. Are you ready? What should you be doing spiritually to prepare for Christmas? Dan and Melissa discuss ways we can prepare our hearts for Christmas during Advent with devotional ideas and lots of resources.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • Why is Advent so important in the liturgical calendar?
  • How does imagery, like icons and manger scenes, help to orient our hearts toward God?
  • How does the Old Testament help us understand Advent?
  • How can we get the longing for Jesus that we want during Advent?
  • Why is Advent considered a penitential season?
  • Daily Mass readings and the Liturgy of the Hours as extra devotionals during Advent.
  • Preparing your heart before Mass.
  • Why is confession so important during Advent?
  • What devotional elements are essential in spiritual preparation for Christmas?

Resources:

Nov 27, 2015

What is "centering prayer"? What did Sts Peter of Alcántara and Teresa of Avila teach about good prayer? Dan and Melissa reflect on the differences between good prayer and false prayer, as found in St Peter of Alcántara's book Finding God Through Meditation.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • Are there incorrect ways to pray?
  • What did Jesus have to say about prayer?
  • How does the Catholic Church relate to non-Christian religions?
  • The asceticism of St. Peter.
  • Do St. Peter's thoughts on prayer affirm or contradict St. Teresa of Avila's teaching?
  • Do we need to empty our minds in order to pray well?
  • How should we orient our minds for good prayer?
  • What does St. Teresa mean by "human industry" regarding prayer?
  • Why are some methods of prayer good and others not good?
  • If the spiritual life is supposed to be simple, why is so much written about it?
  • Why are so many people drawn to centering prayer?

Resources:

Nov 20, 2015

Who was St. Peter of Alcántara? What did he have to say about prayer? Join Dan and Melissa as they begin a discussion of his book Finding God Through Meditation, and answer a question from a listener about prayer.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • Do I really need to set aside a specific time for prayer every day?
  • How do ascetical practices help us in prayer?
  • Can we train our bodies to aid in our prayer lives?
  • Why is morning the best time to devote to prayer?
  • What if we don't have time for prayer in the morning?
  • What is Lectio Divina?
  • Ways to get our minds oriented toward God.
  • Does God call us to prayer? How do we recognize His call?
  • What's the difference between duty and devotion when it comes to prayer?
  • How does spiritual reading improve our spiritual life?
  • How did St. Teresa of Avila use the teaching of St. Peter?
  • Some background on the life of St. Peter.
  • Next time: Introduction to the book Finding God Through Meditation, and why St. Peter is relevant today.

Resources:

Nov 13, 2015

What do giant trees and screaming monkeys have to do with praying? Dan and Melissa will tell you. Join them as they discuss reasons why we are distracted in prayer, and offer some strategies to deal with the distractions. 

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • What does the Catechism of the Catholic Church say about "the battle of prayer"?
  • What is the best time to schedule daily prayer?
  • What if the "best time" for prayer is not possible?
  • Is it a sin to fall asleep during prayer?
  • What does God expect from us in prayer?
  • How can we reach the point where we crave prayer?
  • Is anyone completely free from distractions in prayer? How is this possible?
  • Avoiding discouragement over distractions.
  • Training ourselves to be more disciplined in prayer.
  • What is the enemy's role in our distractions.

Resources:

Nov 6, 2015

Why does God allow suffering? St. Teresa helps us make sense of God's role in our suffering. Join Dan and Melissa as they reflect on letters from St. Teresa from the book 30 Days with Teresa of Avila. 

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • Why does God "raise up storms" in our lives?
  • What is the gift nobody wants?
  • What should we do during times of consolation?
  • How can we prepare for trials?
  • Finding the sources of suffering in the Bible.
  • How can we measure spiritual progress?
  • Finding help in scriptures, sacraments, and saints in times of trials.
  • What can happen to us if we fail to find purpose in suffering?

Resources:

Oct 30, 2015

St. Teresa expresses joy when she learns of the persecution and suffering of the nuns of Seville and Fr. Gracian. Learn when and how to embrace suffering. Dan and Melissa reflect on letters from St. Teresa from the book 30 Days with Teresa of Avila. 

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • What is the grace of suffering?
  • Why does St. Teresa express joy in the suffering of others?
  • How do saints view suffering?
  • What can we learn from the saints' response to suffering?
  • How is it possible to feel deep grief and extreme joy simultaneously?
  • The gift of being humbled.
  • Suffering as an opportunity to grow closer to God.
  • What are the fruits of suffering?
  • Seeing suffering from a holy perspective.
  • Using scripture as a tool to overcome difficulties.

Resources:

Oct 23, 2015

Learn from a saint how to respond to persecution. St. Teresa advises a Carmelite nun to avoid the temptation to indulge in righteous indignation in response to an accusation. Dan and Melissa reflect on a letters from St. Teresa from the book 30 Days with Teresa of Avila. 

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • Does God provide ways to escape temptations?
  • How does the enemy work to accuse people, especially those striving for holiness?
  • Should we actually desire the difficulties we encounter in life? Why?
  • How can we deal with persecutions in a way that will help us progress spiritually?
  • Is it possible to accept persecutions with peace? Can we actually embrace them?
  • How do saints deal with persecutions?
  • What can we learn from how Jesus dealt with persecutions?
  • How should we respond to someone persecuting us?
  • Using scripture to help endure persecution.

Resources:

Oct 16, 2015

St. Teresa reveals the secrets to working through, and surviving, suffering. Dan and Melissa continue their discussion of St. Teresa's letter of consolation to her friend Doña Maria de Mendoza from the book 30 Days with Teresa of Avila. 

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • How can we condition ourselves spiritually to withstand trials?
  • How can we help and be helped through spiritual friendships?
  • What does love of neighbor really mean?
  • Can our own suffering be used to help another?
  • Using suffering to grow spiritually.
  • What does St. Ignatius teach us about dealing with suffering?
  • Can how we deal with suffering lead to sin? How to avoid this.
  • How do we identify our root sin? How can we combat it?
  • Using the Examen Prayer.

Resources:

Oct 9, 2015

In the midst of her own suffering, St. Teresa "lifts the eyes" of Doña Maria de Mendoza who is experiencing trials. St. Teresa consoles her friend by helping her to understand God's role in her suffering. Dan and Melissa discuss joy, suffering, emotions, and acts of the will as they reflect on letters from St. Teresa in the book 30 Days with Teresa of Avila. 

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • How to identify the saint who can best help you in your spiritual life.
  • Can you actually feel joy in the midst of your trials?
  • Can you prepare yourself in advance for suffering?
  • What are some things that hinder our spiritual growth?
  • Can we recognize the value in our suffering?
  • Does joy in suffering require an act of the will, or is it a gift?
  • How does suffering aid in spiritual growth?
  • How do "victim souls" participate in Jesus suffering and salvation of the world?
  • Understanding that the suffering that God allows is for our salvation.

 

Resources:

Oct 2, 2015

St. Teresa orders her brother, Lorenzo, to get some sleep. She also councels him on how to deal with attacks of the enemy. Dan and Melissa discuss evil spirits and demonic activity as they reflect on letters from St. Teresa in the book 30 Days with Teresa of Avila. 

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • How do we know when prayer is a mystical gift from God?
  • How are mystical graces, gifts from God, related to holiness?
  • Was St. Teresa physically attacked by the devil?
  • Some examples of other saints who have confronted the devil.
  • Is the devil still active today, or are there psychological answers to problems thought to be demonic?
  • What is the power of the devil?
  • How does the devil attack people who are spiritually advanced?
  • How can we defend ourselves from evil?
  • Can occult practices lead to demonic activity?

 

Resources:

Sep 25, 2015

St. Teresa continues her discussion with her brother, Lorenzo, on physical mortification and addresses his questions about transitioning into contemplative prayer. Dan and Melissa discuss “the prayer of quiet” and confronting temptations as they reflect on letters from St. Teresa in the book 30 Days with Teresa of Avila. 

 

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • What is “the discipline” and why is it used? 
  • How much physical mortification is too much?
  • The role of the Holy Spirit in physical ascetical practices. 
  • What is “the prayer of quiet”?
  • How does a devout soul transition into contemplative prayer?
  • Recognizing an increase in holiness within the soul.
  • Addressing temptations during prayer as advised by St. Ignatius.

 

Resources:

Sep 18, 2015

When St. Teresa's brother expressed a desire to practice physical mortification she gave him some spiritual direction. Dan and Melissa discuss acesis and spiritual progress as they reflect on letters from St. Teresa in the book 30 Days with Teresa of Avila.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • What is a hair shirt? How is it used in the spiritual life?
  • The role of the Holy Spirit in physical ascetical practices.
  • How can one avoid the sin of pride when practicing ascesis?
  • Discerning whether, or how, to practice mortification.
  • Interior mortification vs. external mortification
  • What are the benefits of ascetical practices?
  • What are the fruits of suffering? Is voluntary suffering as fruitful as involuntary suffering?

Resources:

Sep 11, 2015

St. Teresa describes her spiritual ecstacies and how they caused her distress. Dan and Melissa talk about how everyone is called to the heights of holiness as they read from St. Teresa's letter to her brother from the book 30 Days with Teresa of Avila.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • Is there a Universal Call to Holiness?
  • Can everyone reach the advanced stages of prayer that the Saints do?
  • How do lay people reach the heights of holiness? What should they do when they get there?
  • What is the evidence of authentic prayer?
  • Is spiritual aridity normal? Where does it come from?
  • How should we deal with periods of aridity and consolation?
  • How the marital experience is like the spiritual life.
  • What is the measure of spritual progress?

Resources:

Sep 4, 2015

How can we recognize temptations from the enemy when they are disguised as good works? Join Dan and Melissa as they discuss St. Teresa's advice to a friend in a letter from the book 30 Days with Teresa of Avila.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • Does God grant special graces? What is a special grace?
  • How can we know if God has granted us special graces?
  • Does God work on us through our human frailties?
  • How does good spiritual direction help us recognize what is, and what is not, a grace from God?
  • What is the proper response to a gift from God?
  • How does the enemy disguise his temptations?
  • Some clues to help recognize the work of the enemy.
  • The enemy varies his attack based on the spiritual state of the subject. 

Resources:

Aug 28, 2015

How can we determine if our crosses are the work of God or the work of the enemy? Dan and Melissa discuss St. Teresa's spiritual advice to a friend in a letter from the book 30 Days with Teresa of Avila.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • Why does God answer our prayers with trials and suffering?
  • Can the work of the enemy be mistaken for the work of God?
  • How can we tell if a trial is the work of God and not the work of the devil?
  • Some tools for discernment: daily examen, spiritual direction, St. Ignatius' Rules of Discernment.
  • Can an action that seems to be in service to God be inspired by the enemy?
  • How and why are advanced souls more at risk of attacks from the devil?
  • Moderation in spiritual life in St. Teresa's time contrasted with modern society.

Resources:

Aug 21, 2015

St. Teresa diagnoses an attack of the devil on a fellow nun. Join Dan and Melissa as they discuss St. Teresa's advice to this nun in a letter from the book 30 Days with Teresa of Avila.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • How does the devil attack us through temptation?
  • St. Teresa diagnoses the cause of another nun's personal struggles.
  • Does St. Teresa contradict St. Ignatius Rules for Discerning of Spirits?
  • How can we resist attacks from the enemy?
  • "Breaking the silence" to fight the devil.
  • Overcoming trials by serving others.
  • Advice to avoid misusing the teachings of the saints.
  • Why does spiritual progress increase the need for good spiritual direction?

Resources:

Aug 14, 2015

Dan and Melissa discuss the impact of suffering on prayer and how to differentiate true prayer from manufactured prayer. Listen as they reflect on letters from St. Teresa from the book 30 Days with Teresa of Avila.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • Where does suffering come from?
  • Why does God allow suffering?
  • Where is God in our suffering?
  • The impact of suffering on prayer.
  • How to pray effectively in the midst of profound physical suffering.
  • True prayer vs. manufactured prayer.
  • What is the goal of true prayer?
  • How we can make vocal prayer contemplative.

Resources:

Aug 7, 2015

Dan and Melissa discuss stages of prayer and the transitions between the stages, focusing particularly on contemplative prayer. Join them as they reflect on letters of St. Teresa from the book 30 Days with Teresa of Avila.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • What is contemplative prayer, or contemplation?
  • How does contemplative prayer differ from meditation and other forms of prayer?
  • How to recognize contemplative prayer.
  • What to do when one experiences contemplative prayer.
  • Melissa shares a personal experience as an example of contemplative prayer.
  • What are the fruits of contemplation?

Resources:

Jul 31, 2015

Listen to reflections on letters of St. Teresa from the book 30 Days with Teresa of Avila. In today's show Dan and Melissa answer the questions: What is a "rule of life"? Why do you need one? How do you make one?

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • Motivation vs. structure when making a plan for loving God.
  • How to start with a "small yes".
  • The importance of having a written plan.
  • How to identify your root sin. Why do you need to?
  • How to find joy in discipline and beauty in structure via a Rule of Life.

Resources:

Jul 24, 2015

St. Teresa gives insight into effective leadership techniques. Dan and Melissa reflect on letters from St. Teresa from the book 30 Days with Teresa of Avila

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • St. Teresa returns to the Convent of the Incarnation, which is in a state of rebellion and spiritual poverty.
  • A historical look at the situation at the Convent at the time of St. Teresa's return.
  • What does it mean to be a successful leader?
  • Does the gift of good leadership skills necessarily lead to pride?
  • What is the true source of our authority as leaders?
  • How to use love and prayer as leadership tools.
  • St. Teresa demonstrates that provision grows with holiness.

Resources:

Jul 17, 2015

How does a saint respond to persecution? Recognizing the aspects of a saint's character. St. Teresa's letters reveal some of the secrets to sainthood. Reflections on Day 18 from the book 30 Days with Teresa of Avila.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • Do your emotions drive you toward God or away from Him?
  • Avoiding the victim mentality.
  • How to obtain the grace to hold up under persecution.
  • Holiness through obedience, humility, and docility to the Church.
  • How can we feel peace in the face of repression or persecution?
  • What does the enemy have to do with a lack of obedience?
  • What the saints know about what God wants from us.

Resources:

Jul 10, 2015

Join Dan and Melissa as they reflect on letters from St. Teresa from the book 30 Days with Teresa of Avila. Todays letter reveals some of the Saint's personal tragedies and how she deals with them.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • How suffering allows us to more fully experience joy.
  • What is the relationship between contrast and clarity in the spiritual life?
  • What does it mean to be a contemplative?
  • Does detachment mean a lack of emotion?
  • Some practical benefits to prayer and the contemplative life.
  • How prayer can give us the tools to function effectively in everyday life.
  • Making time for adoration.

Resources:

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