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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: Category: lent
Mar 25, 2016

Dan and Melissa strongly recommend watching The Passion of the Christ on Good Friday evening to more effectively meditate on the brutal reality that Our Lord entered into to redeem the world. 

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • Having a visually realistic portrayal of the event of our Lord’s Passion and death to meditate upon.
  • Mary’s role in the Passion and the emotional suffering she endured.
  • Scenes of the everyday life of the Holy Family.
  • The meditations of those acting in the movie during the scene.
  • Suggestions on how to watch the movie.

Resources:

Apr 3, 2015

A beautiful way to meditate on the Lord's Passion is to watch Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ.  Consider making it an annual part of your lenten journey. 

Show Notes:

  • Viewing the movie will help to put you into the scene where you can experience Our Lord's Passion in a spiritual way. It can become an encounter with God.
  • Put aside objections you may have regarding Mel Gibson's personal issues. What's important is that the film is true to the story of the Passion. God uses broken instuments for His good purposes, as He uses us all. Note that Caravaggio, the great artist known for illustrating stories from the Bible, was a scoundrel and possibly a murderer. Yet his works are great inspirations.
  • Dan recalls interviewing Mel Gibson about The Passion of the Christ.  They discussed the use of flashbacks in the film. The flashbacks are intended to provide some relief from the pain and agony that dominate the film. Some flashbacks are of lighter, more tender moments between Jesus and Mary that reveal His humanity and the love between mother and son. Other flashbacks are of the Last Supper and the love Jesus had for the Apostles.
  • Some people may have an aversion to watching the movie due to the brutal reality of it. It may be difficult, but it's just a movie! It ends! Dan's first inclination on seeing the movie was to be angry at the Roman soldiers for what they did to Jesus. Then he became aware of his (and everyones) participation in Christ's suffering through sin.
  • The movie shows us the truth in the prediction for Mary that "a sword will pierce through your own heart also". Melissa tells of the experience of having a child in distress and how she can relate, although in a small way, to Mary's suffering. She is reminded of the experience of her husband's suffering during the difficult birth of her second child. This being only a fraction of Mary's suffering, as she was perfectly united with Jesus.
  • There is a scene in the movie where Mary and Jesus are physically separated, Mary on one floor and Jesus on the floor below. Through their supernatural bond she knows where He is and how He is suffering. The movie helps us to look a Jesus through the eyes of Mary, which is what praying the Rosary is really all about.
  • A story from a book on the filming of the movie by Fr. Bartunek is about shooting the Veronica scene. It was a very difficult scene to shoot and required several takes. The actress who played Veronica had done so many takes and retakes, each time looking on the face of Jesus. She entered into her own meditation, actually entering into the scene while acting, breaking down crying. There are several miraculous stories from the people involved in making the movie.
  • A recommendation: Watch The Passion of the Christ on Good Friday evening. Watch as a family, begin with a prayer. Watch with no distractions, no breaks. Afterwords - no discussion. Just go to bed, as the Apostles did. Let God work in your heart.
Mar 27, 2015

Holy Week, the most important week of the liturgical year, is upon us.  To help us prepare, Dan and Melissa discuss some of the ways we can orient our hearts to this most holy season.

Show Notes:

  • Regardless of how well (or poorly) you have maintained your lenten commitments, it's not too late. Matthew 20:1-16, Parable of the Workers in the Vinyard, tells us that God's grace is available to everyone - even though none of use are deserving.
  • Going "all in" for Jesus during Holy Week. Mary did in Mark 14:3 - the Anointing at Bethany. "She broke the alabaster jar" - it's all for Jesus. Also the Martha and Mary story (Luke 10:38-42) where "Mary has chosen the better part".
  • Suggestions to prepare for Holy Week:
  1. Get to confession.
  2. Learn and participate in the liturgy of Holy Week. Schedule liturgical activities ahead of time. Don't try to squeeze Holy Week events around your regular activities.
  3. Use good meditation materials. (see resources)
  4. Stations of the Cross - remember our own participation in His suffering. Recommend versions by St. Alphonus Liguori or St. Francis of Assisi. Consider doing stations by yourself.
  5. Watch Mel Gibson's film The Passion of the Christ.

Resources:

Mar 20, 2015

Dan and Melissa continue their discussion on humility; in particular how humility does not lower, but instead elevates the soul.

Show Notes:

  • Signs we lack humility: Josemarie Escriva provides some insightful diagnostics.
  • Recognizing all the good we have is a gift from God.
  • False humlity - many of us are guilty.
  • We often worry too much what others think. Do you take your confession outside of your parish?
  • Navigating the Interior Life offers a self-evaluation to gain an understanding of our root sin, and instruction in using the opposing virtue to overcome it.
  • Meditation #108 from Divine Intimacy - "Christian humility does not lower, it elevates; it does not cast down, but gives courage..."
  • St. Paul tells us when he is weak, he is made strong. When a soul recognizes its weakness, it becomes irresistable to God.
  • Sister Mary is and example of humility. A cloistered nun of 40 years humbles herself to take a course on prayer and acknowledges there was still something she could learn about praying.
  • Jesus offers the ultimate example of humility, from the incarnation to the washing of the disciples feet.
  • God gives us a gift in withholding intimacy until we become humble.

Resources:

Mar 13, 2015

Show Notes:

  • Dan and Melissa discuss humility.
  • Meditation #106 from Divine Intimacy - “Humility is the firm bedrock upon which every Christian should build the edifice of his spiritual life.” 
  • Whereas pride is the root of all sin, humility is the root of all virtue.
  • The beginning of the interior life is self-reflection, which brings about humility.
  • Example- Melissa’s experience with humility at her daughter’s ballet class and how the
  • Holy Spirit worked in her soul to combat her falling into pride.

Call-In Question:

  • Dan and Melissa take a call about feeling God’s love vs. feeling defective despite receiving the sacraments.
  • Suggestions to the caller: find out what is behind the feelings of defectiveness, mortal sin or lies she may be believing that are not of God. Also, meditation on the cross of Christ gives us the proof of His love for us.
  • God has created each one of us to love us through all of eternity.
  • We must set our mind always on the Spirit to find peace and orient our hearts toward God.

Resources:

Mar 6, 2015

Show Notes:

  • During this episode Dan and Melissa discuss the struggle with discouragement as Lent is well underway.
  • Discouragement is not of God. If you are working hard to bring yourself to God, you can be assured, he is pleased with you. 
  • Falling away from your lenten commitments is human.  God knows this and is waiting for us to return to Him with a loving embrace.
  • Dan and Melissa discuss the importance of confession.
  • Offer your intentions at Mass for strength to fulfill your lenten commitments. 
  • If you find your lenten commitments might be more than you can handle, discuss with your spiritual director and either persevere or reassess your goals. 
  • Perseverance is a key characteristic in overcoming sins and temptations and is a common trait among all of the saints.
  • A daily examination of conscience is an important habit to undertake.
  • Spiritual Direction website has a guide for seven steps for a daily examen.
  • Dan and Melissa thoroughly discuss each step of the examen: Opening Prayer, Gratitude, Petition, Review, Forgiveness, Renewal, and Closing Prayer.

Resources:

Feb 27, 2015

Dan and Melissa explore mortification, the meaning and purpose.

  • What is mortification? Voluntary actions by which we gradually put to death all of our vices, sinful habits and self-centered tendencies that lurk beneath them. 
  • The purpose of mortification and self-renunciation is about cleaning up “the garden of the soul” as many saints describe it.
  • We must not only uproot sin but fill our souls with virtue to replace those sins, otherwise the soul will be susceptible to more sin.
  • These acts of mortification must be done out of love of God, not because we love suffering.
  • If you are truly mortifying yourself out of love, that’s the true expression of mortification, and if done correctly, you will see this as a path of liberation from the bondage of sin…liberating the soul from the bonds into the abundant life of Christ.
  • Acts of mortification can be little as St. Therese of Lisieux described.
  • Acts of mortification can be external or internal.
  • The battle of mortification is often the same battle as that of spiritual warfare. St. James says that if you resist the devil, he will flee from you. Then, draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
  • Mortification has no meaning outside of the cross of Christ through love.
  • Suggestion: To better meditate during Holy Week watch, “The Passion of the Christ” on Good Friday.

Resources: 

Feb 13, 2015

Show Topic: Preparing for Lent Part 3

Segment 1

Last episode the discussion focused on preparing for Lent and participating in the sacraments during the Lenten season.

  • Began talking about the chapter, “Spiritual Self Evaluation” in “Navigating the Interior Life.”
  • Sacraments are foundation of our relationship with God and prayer draws us more deeply into the sacraments.
  • What is the state of my prayer life?
  • Important practices to begin: praying the rosary, mental prayer, examination of conscience.
  • Dan mentions his new book coming out, “Finding God Through Meditation” by St. Peter of Alcantara to enhance your prayer life.
  • What is your root sin (aka: dominant defect, predominant fault, dominant fault)?
  • You may follow capital sins listed in Catechism, but in Scripture (1John 2:16) these sins are bundled into three main categories, which are the basis of the self-evaluation in “Navigating the Interior Life.”
  • Purpose of the self-evaluation - how can we empty ourselves of the things that hinder our love of God and hinder the dwelling of God in us, and fill ourselves with all of those things that draw us closer to Him.

Segment 2

  • Melissa’s 5 Ways to Prepare for Lent:
    1. Go through self-evaluation and examination of conscience.
    2. Go to confession
    3. Make a strong commitment to God about your Lenten promises in front of the Blessed Sacrament.
    4. Make your plan, including prayer, fasting and almsgiving.
    5. Pray for the grace to follow through with your commitments.
  • Image in book of farmer removing large rocks before he can get to the smaller ones.
  • Complete this self- evaluation in front of the Blessed Sacrament 
  • Example of anger - if i don’t get my way, or I am not taken into account in a particular decision.
  • Example of pride - refusing or resisting assent to others without a satisfactory explanation.
  • Definitions of the three categories of sin: Pride - excessive love of one’s own excellence or desired excellence. Vanity - excessive concern for and seeking our security in how we are perceived. Sensuality - seeking our security and self-worth in possessions, comfort, or the avoidance of discomfort (real or perceived).
  • Quotes St. John of the Cross, “Ascent of Mount Carmel” first book, chapter 11, paragraph 4. 
  • Appetites are insatiable.
  • St. Teresa of Avila, “This body of ours has one fault, the more you indulge it, the more things it discovers to be essential to it.”
  • Never give up or be discouraged. Enemy is always looking to keep you from God. Never change your spiritual resolution, double-down and try harder. Go to confession if you do fall.
  • Offer Mass intentions to fulfill these commitments to the Lord.
  • This is not about a checklist. Do not become like the Pharisees, outward practice of faith, but nothing inward.
  • In the end we want God to say, “Well done,” because we have loved Him and because we know Him and He knows us.

Resources:

 

Feb 6, 2015

Show Notes:

Fasting - What are the spiritual benefits continued…DivIntRadio 1400x1400 v2 smaller

  • Appetites - the insatiable nature of our appetites - never can find true satisfaction
  • True satisfaction is only found in relationship with God
  • Jesus modeled the practice of fasting
  • Desire to love God through self sacrifice
  • John of the Cross
    • Soul is finite and can’t love God and creation simultaneously
    • Attachments limit our spiritual growth
    • Illustrations of the impact of attachments - bird and hot air balloon
    • The contemplative life requires that we abandon attachments
    • Necessity of shedding habitual venial and mortal sin
    • We can be free of habitual sin and attachments - it really is possible
    • Attachment is an inordinate desire for pleasure
    • Faster way through dark night and into the illuminative way - rules for detachment (from Ascent of Mount Carmel)
  • Authentic Spiritual disciplines
    • Set us free rather than constrain us
    • Give us true and lasting joy
  • Melissa’s example of the wrong way to prepare for lent - Sunkist!
  • Spiritual self-evaluation using Navigating the Interior Life
    • The goal of all spiritual discipline is to know and love God in this life and beyond
    • Evaluate sacramental participation (confession, adoration, reconciliation)
    • Can we increase our participation in Mass for lent?
      • John of the Cross - every negation is also an affirmation
    • Can we increase participation in Adoration?
      • Melissa’s experience of the impact of Adoration
  • Other practices of self-evaluation from Navigating the Interior Life

Next Show:

  • More on Preparing for Lent - the goal is to conclude this series with simple and clear steps to lenten planning.

Resources:

Jan 31, 2015

Show Notes

Interruption in our discussion about spiritual direction that we will return to after Easter…

The name of the show “Divine Intimacy Radio” comes from an incredible work by a Discalced Carmelite Priest named Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen. It was first published in 1964… reflections for every day of the liturgical year following the pre-conciliar liturgical calendar.

Shifting from discussion about general spiritual direction to how to prepare for lent.

Reflection on how the Eastern liturgy and preconciliar liturgy in the West can help us to better prepare for Lent.

Five Considerations to Help Us Prepare for Lent:

  1. We are sinners and we need to acquire a deep consciousness of sin (old introit of mass “The groans of death have surrounded me, the pains of hell have laid hold on me”
  2. Gods invitation to become a part of his work. It is never too late. You are invited to relationship with him and to know his redemption.
  3. Christian life is not a life of ease but hard work.
  4. During the struggle, the “wreath of victory beckons” the reward of eternal life is before us.
  5. Warning - “You are now approaching that which is most sacred: baptism and Eucharist, the heart of the paschal mystery. Woe unto you, if your life fails to correspond to God’s will; then you will fare as did the fathers in the desert. They too received a baptism and heavenly food, but they died in the wilderness and never saw the Promised land.”

Call-In Question and Discussion: What are the spiritual benefits of fasting?

  • Why do we fast?
  • How is Jesus an example of the practice of fasting? (Luke 4:1)
  • Why did Jesus fast?
  • Why did fasting impact whether or not the discipled could cast out a demon?
  • How does fasting help us to orient our hearts toward loving God? (John of the Cross)

Resources: 

Divine Intimacy by Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen - Published by Baronius Press

http://www.baroniuspress.com/DivineIntimacy 

Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God

http://www.emmausroad.org

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