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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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.


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.


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.


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.


Feb 20, 2015

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This new series is focused on traditional themes of lent with respect to how we orient ourDivIntRadio 1400x1400 v2 smaller hearts and minds to God through mortification, mitigation of appetites and all other manner of cleaning out our spiritual gardens to prepare for God's indwelling work in, on, and through our souls.

Show Notes:

Guest, Dr. Anthony Lilles, academic dean of the Avila Institute and St. John’s Seminary in the Archdiocese of Los Angels and specializes the spiritual doctrine of Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity as well as the Carmelite doctors of the Church.

Dr. Lilles takes us through an overview of appetites as described by St. John of the Cross in his work, The Ascent of Mount Carmel.

  • St. John refers chiefly to appetites that interfere with our relationship with God (not every appetite or simply our human nature).
  • Specific examples of common problems with appetites.
  • Steps that St. John of the Cross recommends to overcome the appetites as referenced in his work, The Ascent of Mount Carmel.
  • In order to overcome the appetites, St. John recommends in his first council, to foster in our hearts the habitual desire to imitate Christ in everything that we do by bringing our lives in complete conformity with His by studying the life of Christ.
  • Study prayerfully on your knees, not purely academically.
  • If we feed our affection, the stronger the desire and movement of the heart becomes. Similarly, if we feed our appetites, those things that are not for the glory of God, we will be more inclined to do those things.
  • Renunciation of the appetites brings you the freedom to imitate Christ.
  • How do we increase our love of God during Lent? Fasting from food, entertainment, more time spent in prayer, more charitable good works. There is a painfulness in it at first, but then it becomes sweet.
  • Act against the impulses that otherwise drive our behavior so that we are free to serve the Lord.
  • Our love for Jesus should drive everything we do.


Don’t forget to tell your friends about the show and help us get the word out. If the show is inspiring to you and you would like to help us make it a daily show, please click here to donate. All donors will receive a signed copy of your choice of Dan’s new books, Finding God through Meditation30 Days with Teresa of Avila, or Navigating the Interior Life.

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.



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.


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)


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

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

Jan 20, 2015

First show - Introducing the show and the hosts Dan Burke and Melissa Elson

General Topic: Spiritual Direction Discussion exploring Dan's book Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God

Spiritual Direction - Why we need it (blind spots) - Mountain Lion Story - the three doors or entry ways to the soul - the World, the Flesh, and the Devil

Spiritual Direction - What it is and Is Not 

Spiritual Direction is Not:

  • Psychological Counseling

Caller Question:

  • Can a lay person provide spiritual direction or is it most preferable to have a priest as a spiritual director?
    • Spiritual direction and confession are two different things
    • Value of a priest in spiritual direction - special role
    • Value and limits of a layperson in spiritual direction
    • St. John Paul II had a lay spiritual director


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