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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 6
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:

Jul 3, 2015

Obedience in the modern culture, and enduring loneliness. Dan and Melissa discuss these forms of suffering from the perspective of St. Teresa as they reflect on her letters from the book 30 Days with Teresa of Avila.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • Categories of suffering - beneficial vs. destructive.
  • How is obedience related to humility, and why are they both necessary?
  • Resist, embrace, pursue - Three steps to spiritual growth through suffering.
  • Do you feel lonely or isolated from others due to your faith?
  • Can the pain of loneliness be good for us?
  • Finding peace and happiness in our loneliness.

Resources:

Jun 26, 2015

Can suffering be a blessing? How to understand God's role in our suffering. Dan and Melissa look at St. Teresa's attitude toward suffering as they reflect on her letters from the book 30 Days with Teresa of Avila.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • How can suffering be considered a blessing?
  • Seeking positive diversions when faced with suffering.
  • The dangers of destructive forms of escape from suffering.
  • Can suffering lead to peace?
  • How can we understand God's will in our suffering?
  • Understanding suffering comes in stages - a pathway rather than a destination.

Resources:

Jun 19, 2015

Follow the example of St. Teresa of Avila. Today's show focuses on overcoming faults with spiritual direction, and improving prayer life with spiritual reading. Listen to a discussion of the letters of St. Teresa from the book 30 Days with Teresa of Avila.

 Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • What is "false humility"? How do we recognize it?
  • Why would someone want to exaggerate their own imperfections?
  • We can move closer to true humility with the aid of good spiritual direction.
  • How understanding of sound theology is related to our spiritual life.
  • Some examples of sound theological works for spiritual reading.
  • Call in with questions: 818-646-7729.

Resources:

Jun 12, 2015

Why does St. Teresa feel relief when all her faults are exposed? Dan and Melissa help us to get the most out of spiritual direction from the example of St. Teresa. Reflections on her letters from the book 30 Days with Teresa of Avila.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • What are some signs of a healthy spiritual life?
  • Are you concerned about what your confessor or spiritual director thinks of you?
  • What a spiritual director needs from you to help you grow in holiness.
  • Some tips to help you prepare to receive spiritual direction.
  • Why you should not avoid seeking spiritual direction in your own community.
  • Though difficult, why and how we should accept frankness from those closest to us.
  • Call in with questions: 818-646-7729.

Resources:

Jun 5, 2015

Why are we tempted to stop praying, and what are the consequences of doing so? Dan and Melissa share some of St. Teresa of Avila's thoughts on these topics as documentsed in her letters from the book 30 Days with Teresa of Avila.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • Where does the temptation to stop praying come from?
  • What are the biggest obstacles to prayer and how can we overcome them?
  • How is prayer connected to our salvation?
  • The secret to perserverance in prayer - St. Teresa has some practical advice.
  • St. Teresa's experience with false humility and how it kept her from prayer.
  • What are the benefits of keeping a daily prayer routine?
  • Call in with questions: 818-646-7729.

Resources:

 

May 29, 2015

Spiritual direction and spiritual aridity are the topics today as Dan and Melissa discuss letters written by St. Teresa from the book 30 Days with Teresa of Avila.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • Find your core spirituality with the help of a good spiritual director.
  • How is the soul like the weather?
  • How not to become discouraged because of distractions during prayer.
  • What is spiritual aridity?
  • Human (natural) vs. Supernatural causes of aridity.
  • How can we identify the causes of spirtual aridity?
  • St. John of the Cross and the Dark Night of the Soul
  • Read along with the SpiritualDirection.com book club, and call in with questions: 818-646-7729.

Resources:

May 22, 2015

"Do not tire your brain by trying to work it during meditation." - St. Teresa of Avila. Dan and Melissa look at progressive development in prayer and the spiritual life 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 the spiritual Doctors of the Church describe the stages of prayer?
  • What is mental prayer?
  • Different types of meditative prayer.
  • St. Teresa advises on transitioning from meditation to contemplation.
  • How to deal with aridity.
  • Is "centering prayer" beneficial?
  • Some recommendations if you get "stuck" in prayer.
  • St. Teresa's Four Waters.
  • Read along with the SpiritualDirection.com book club, and call in with questions: 818-646-7729.

 Resources:

May 15, 2015

Why we can rejoice in suffering, and ways to identify attachments. Dan and Melissa discuss these topics and more as they reflect on letters from St. Teresa in the book 30 Days with Teresa of Avila.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • St. Teresa struggles with sin, revealing her humanity. How does she deal with it?
  • Reflections on 1 Peter, Chapter 1 regarding suffering as an opportunity to grow closer to God.
  • The more we grow in the interior life, the less need we have for earthly consolations.
  • Using a "spiritual dashboard" to identify your attachments.
  • Dealing with disordered attachments to things we need to live, e.g. food and exercise.
  • Read along with the SpiritualDirection.com book club, and call in with questions: 818-646-7729.
  • Help bring Avila to Aspen - Participate in a project that aims to revitalize the Catholic Church in Aspen, Colorado.

 Resources:

May 8, 2015

Does the Catholic Church suppress women? How should Christians interceed in political issues? Dan and Melissa address these questions and more as they reflect on letters from St. Teresa in the book 30 Days with Teresa of Avila.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • Announcement: Help bring Avila to Aspen - A new project that includes a revitilization of the Catholic Church in Aspen, Colorado.
  • St. Teresa has the ability to affect political situations with her power and humility.
  • Does the Catholic Church suppress women? Look at St. Teresa's life in the Church. How does the Church regard the Blessed Mother?
  • Should we, as Christians, act to interceed in government affairs? Reflections on 1 Timothy, Chapter 2.
  • Action and voting in conjunction with holiness and prayer.
  • Letter for Day 6: Tune in next week for more on the humility, discernment, illness and suffering of St. Teresa.
  • Read along with the SpiritualDirection.com book club, and call in with questions: 818-646-7729.

 Resources:

May 1, 2015

Dan and Melissa look at advancing against the gates of hell, embracing suffering, and the inspiration of Mother Angelica as they reflect on letters from St. Teresa in the book 30 Days with Teresa of Avila.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • Some historical context of the letters and great works of St. Teresa of Avila.
  • St. Teresa's understanding of what happens when we go into "enemy territory" - a reflection on Matthew 16:18.
  • Knowing God by embracing suffering. Don't let your suffering be in vain.
  • The value of love which is tested by sacrifice.
  • How to deal with the suffering of the people we love in a positive way.
  • Are trials and suffering necessary in order to move forward? A look at the story of Mother Angelica and the founding of EWTN as an example.
  • Read along with the SpiritualDirection.com book club, and call in with questions: 818-646-7729.

 Resources:

Apr 24, 2015

Dan and Melissa discuss detachment and suffering by reflecting on the first two letters from St. Teresa in the book 30 Days with Teresa of Avila.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • Attachments: How to recognize them. Are they bad?
  • What are the steps to achieving detachment?
  • How can we obtain freedom and peace through detachment?
  • Dan shares his story of how interior peace and freedom are helping him go through a time of suffering.
  • St. John of the Cross reveals how suffering and detachment are related.
  • Using periods of consolation to rest and prepare for desolation, from St. Ignatius Rules for Discernment.
  • Book of Revelation: When will suffering end?

 Resources:

Apr 17, 2015

Dan and Melissa discuss some concerns and questions that were raised after last weeks episode where we discussed several approaches and beliefs about Yoga along with recommended resources.

Topics/Questions Covered in the Show:

  • Several people had negative responses to last weeks show, some informed others not-so-informed, so some clarification is offered.
  • Is Yoga a "gateway spirituality"? What is a "gateway spirituality"?
  • Are there are good, healthy Catholic alternatives to yoga.

Some comments on the last show are addressed:

  • Is there a "good peace" and a "bad peace"? Isn't all peace good?
  • Response to the accusation of "yogaphobia". 

Resources:

Apr 10, 2015

A caller asked about the practice of yoga and it's link to potential demonic activity. Dan and Melissa discuss a Catholic perspective on yoga, including the opinions of an exorcist and theologians. They also provide suggestions on alternatives to yoga for faithful Catholics.

Show notes:

  • Fr. Fortea, an exorcist and expert on possession, says that if you do not have the intent for a malevolent force engage with you it is unlikely to happen.
  • Many say yoga is just stretching and for them there is no spiritual element - is this ok?
  • Can you practice yoga if you are strong in your faith? Should you? 
  • Many of us need to stretch - it's good for our health. Also, people who practice yoga extoll its calming benefits. What can we, as Catholics, do that won't endanger souls? Are there alternatives to yoga which are solidly Catholic?
  • Cardinal Ratzinger wrote "Letter to Bishops of the Catholic Church on Some Aspects of Chrisitian Meditation" in 1989. In it he warned against practices which bring about a false peace, and psychic state damaging to the soul.

Resources:

Apr 4, 2015

Easter is upon us!. Rejoice in the triumph of Christ! On this edition of Divine Intimacy Radio, Dan and Melissa discuss the Glory of the Resurrection and the dramatic changes that it brought about in the lives of His disciples.

Show Notes:

  • Rejoice! It's holy to be joyous. There is no spiritual depth without joy. When the Apostles were be persecuted for the sake of Christ they rejoiced.
  • Easter is a foreshadowing of heaven. Life is one long purgation. The greater the suffering here on earth, the more glorious heaven will be. Lent is a season of purgation. The harder we dig in and work at lent, the more meaningful Easter will be.
  • In times of suffering where do we find joy? The only true joy we'll ever find in this life is through Christ. Redemption has been accomplished - all we need to do is cling to Him.
  • The world says happiness is in the pursuit of the desires of the flesh. The opposite is true. Christ teaches that true joy comes when we give ourselves up for others and for God.
  • There are two things we need to access God. One is humility, which comes either by choice or external circumstances. Humility is required, but not sufficient. We also need the grace of God to roll back the stone to help us see that he is risen. He is risen for our salvation and risen within us that we may have a relationship with Him.
  • Simon Greenleaf, a well know lawyer and expert on testimony and evidence, wrote a book The Testimony of the Four Witnesses. In it he used the standards of legal evidence to show the Gospels were true beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • The reality of the Resurrection is that lives were changed. The New Testament reveals the weaknesses of the Apostles. Pre-Resurrection there were many instances of cowardice, denial, and desertion - Peter was even called Satan. Post-Resurrection Peter becomes a hero, asking to be crucified upside-down because he was not worthy.
  • The Apostles, after the Resurrection and the Pentecost, had a chance to run and escape death. Instead they subjected themselves to prison, beatings, and stonings. In the face of death they fearlessly proclaimed Christ. They gave everything, including their lives, in affirmation of their faith. Would anybody die for a lie?
  • Imagine we all have a spiritual dashboard, similar to a car,  with gages - joy, evangelism, holiness, etc.  If the gages are not registering high numbers, something is wrong. Barring spiritual issues, like purgation or dark night, you should have joy, peace, a sense that God is with you. Work on it!
  • Celebrate Easter. Have a feast. Partake in the sacraments. Indulge in the good things you gave up for lent, and leave the bad ones behind. Above all, Rejoice!

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:

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