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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: Page 5
Feb 26, 2016

Dan and Melissa answer questions on the importance of saints in prayer life, teaching children to pray, and spontaneous prayer. They also discuss some important aspects of meditation as they reflect on the book Finding God Through Meditation by St Peter of Alcántara.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • Are the saints important in prayer life? Why?
  • Should a lay person focus on one saint per year as some religious do?
  • What is the best way to help children develop a regular, personal prayer life?
  • Some tips for spontaneous, or extemporaneous, prayer.
  • What is the difference between discursive and affective meditation?
  • An example of discursive meditation becoming affective meditation.

Resources:

Feb 19, 2016

How can we become more aware of our sins? Why is our disposition so important to effective prayer and meditation? Dan and Melissa answer these questions as they reflect on the book Finding God Through Meditation by St Peter of Alcántara.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • Why do I find myself unaware of how I've offended God, even though I know I am a sinner?
  • How can I overcome the lack of awareness of sin?
  • How does meditation differ from contemplation in Catholic tradition?
  • According to St Peter of Alcántara, how does spiritual reading fit into the "way of meditation"?
  • What should you do when you feel your heart moved during spiritual reading?
  • What is meant by the "proper disposition" for prayer or meditation?
  • Why does our disposition for prayer matter?

Resources:

 

Feb 12, 2016

How encountering God in prayer and deepening your prayer life can impact your life everyday. Why is the desire to have a relationship with God important? Dan and Melissa discuss their own encounters with God in prayer and scripture, and answer some listener questions.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • What does it mean to be "awake to God"?
  • How do we, or will we, experience God in our daily lives?
  • Some examples of saints speaking directly to our current issues and problems.
  • Being awake to the Word of God in the scriptures in our current situations.
  • How does our desire for a relationship with God impact our spiritual lives?
  • Our desire to know God = the promise that we can know God.
  • What can I do if I don't have enough knowledge or experience or imagination to read Scripture beyond just the words on the page?
  • Do I have to be an intellectual to fully understand the Scriptures?
  • What is the best attitude to have to be drawn to the Lord?

Resources:

 

Feb 5, 2016

Posture during Mass and preparation for meditation. Why should we use the words of the saints when we are preparing for mental prayer? Dan and Melissa discuss these topics and more as they answer questions from listeners.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • Is posture in prayer important? 
  • How does Christian teaching on prayer posture differ from that of Eastern, non-Christian religions?
  • Prayer posture in private prayer versus prayer posture in public, or corporate, prayer.
  • What is the meaning of the Sign of the Cross?
  • What are the Nine Ways of Prayer of St Dominic?
  • What does St Peter of Alcántara say about preparation necessary to prayer?
  • Suggestion:  Write down your distractions during prayer.
  • Why should we use the prayers of the Saints in vocal prayer in preparation for prayer? How should we use them?
  • Why do we, men in particular, have difficulty with the romance language of prayer? How can we overcome this?
  • Why Lectio Divina is a good way to begin with mental prayer.

Resources:

Jan 29, 2016

Overcoming difficulties in prayer and the importance of posture in prayer.  What are the Church's guidelines about kneeling and genuflecting? Dan and Melissa discuss these topics and more as they answer questions from listeners.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • Has Dan always found spending time with God in prayer easy?
  • Does it get easier to pray as we progress in the spiritual life?
  • Tips on developing a robust prayer habit.
  • How does the enemy try to disrupt your prayer life?
  • Are we required to kneel at Mass if it causes pain?
  • What does the act of kneeling at Mass signify?
  • Why do people prostrate themselves before the Lord?
  • Why is your posture in prayer important?
  • What are the Church's guidelines for kneeling and genuflecting?
  • Are there legitimate reasons for not observing the rubrics regarding kneeling and genuflecting?

Resources:

  • Divine Intimacy Radio on SpiritualDirection.com website
  • EWTN Religious Catalogue - online
  • Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation
  • The Collected Works of St Teresa of Avila, Volume One - Translated by Kieran Kavanaugh and Otilio Rodriguez. Contains Book of Her Life.
  • The Four Waters of Prayer, Part II of II - Post on SpiritualDirection.com by the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles
  • The three ways: purgative, illuminative, unitive -- Four part series on SpiritualDirection.com (all parts linked to each other)
  • Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God - Daniel Burke with Fr John Bartunek
  • Catechism of the Catholic Church - Part 4, Section 1, Chapter 3, Article 2: The Battle of Prayer
  • Rubrics - New Advent link
  • Why don't people kneel at Mass? - post by Dan Burke on SpiritualDirection.com
  • Ceremonial of BishopsA book that describes the Church services to be performed by Bishops of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church.
    • “A genuflection, made by bending only the right knee to the ground, signifies adoration, and is therefore reserved for the Blessed Sacrament, whether exposed or reserved in the tabernacle…” (CB 69)
    • "No one who enters a Church should fail to adore the blessed sacrament, either by visiting the blessed sacrament chapel or at least by genuflecting: Similarly, those who pass before the blessed sacrament genuflect, except when they are walking in procession." (CB 71)
  • Inaestimabile DonumInstruction Concerning Worship of the Eucharistic Mystery, Sacred Congregation for the Sacraments and Divine Worship "The venerable practice of genuflecting before the Blessed Sacrament, whether enclosed in the tabernacle or publicly exposed, as a sign of adoration, is to be maintained. This act requires that it be performed in a recollected way. In order that the heart may bow before God in profound reverence, the genuflection must be neither hurried nor careless." (ID 26)
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:23 - "May the God of peace himself make you perfectly holy and may you entirely, spirit, soul, and body, be preserved blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." - USCCB Bible link
  • Questions? Send an e-mail to Questions@myavila.com or call 818-646-7729.
Jan 22, 2016

Dan and Melissa answer more listener questions on prayer. They discuss the benefits of a spiritual community to one's prayer life, some specific meditation practices, advice we can take from the Saints and Mystics, and much more.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • Is there something wrong with me if I can't pray more than 10-15 minutes each day?
  • How can being involved in a community help your spiritual life?
  • To whom is the advice from mystics of the Church directed - beginners or the spiritually advanced?
  • How can I progress in meditating on the scriptures daily? Is there a plan I should follow?
  • How can a meditation practice, such as Lectio Divina, help me to encounter Christ?
  • Some aspects of Ignation meditation. How does it differ from Lectio Divina?
  • What should I do when I feel that God doesn't hear my prayers?

Resources:

Jan 15, 2016

Do you have questions on prayer? What causes aridity in prayer? Dan and Melissa discuss topics of aridity and distractions in prayer. They also share some important aspects of their personal prayer routines and what they have learned in life about prayer.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • How can we fight the feeling of not being engaged when we pray?
  • In what way is the soul like the weather?
  • What are some causes of aridity in prayer?
  • Dan shares some specific aspects of his personal prayer life.
  • Looking for God in our everyday life.
  • Prayer as a commitment to God.
  • What part do the sacraments play in prayer life?

Resources:

Jan 8, 2016

What does St Peter of Alcántara think are the six things necessary to prayer? How can we use the six things to begin a daily prayer routine? Listen as Dan and Melissa list and explain these six things, and continue their discussion of the book Finding God Through Meditation by St Peter of Alcántara.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • What are some ways to get through the difficult beginning period of developing a daily prayer routine?
  • Creative ways to pray when you are physically or mentally tired.
  • How can we prepare our mind and soul for prayer?
  • What does St Peter recommend we read after we prepare for prayer?
  • What are some things to meditate on when beginning a daily prayer routine?
  • How to incorporate thanksgiving into a prayer routine.
  • What does affective meditation look like?
  • Oblation - What can we offer to God as a sacrifice?
  • Petition - Putting our desires before God.

Resources:

Jan 1, 2016

Want to start a new prayer life? Dan and Melissa answer a listeners question on getting started in prayer. Join them as they offer suggestions on developing a prayer habit and reflect on the book Finding God Through Meditation by St Peter of Alcántara.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • How can I begin a new prayer life if I’ve never successfully established a daily habit?
  • How long does it take for a practice to become a habit?
  • Why is prayer considered an ascesis?
  • Three key points to developing a prayer habit: clarity, community, and accountability.
  • How does vocal prayer lead to mental prayer?
  • Why does the enemy care about our prayer life?

Resources:

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:

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