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Showing posts with label DanBurke. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DanBurke. Show all posts

Saturday, 18 January 2020

Spiritual Warfare and the Discernment of Spirits - Dan Burke

Spiritual Warfare and the Discernment of Spirits
Spiritual Direction Series
Dan Burke
Sophia Institute Press
ISBN 9781644132579
eISBN 9781644132586
ASIN B082FG1489


If you only read one Catholic book this year outside your bible, make it this volume. I am very serious in that statement, and do not make it lightly. Last year I read almost 400 books, 194 were non-fiction, and almost 185 were Catholic books. And This book Is a book that I honestly believe every Catholic, every Christian should read, and will benefit from reading. A few years ago, I read Into the Deep, by Burke. When I finished it, I researched his other titles and planned to get around to reading them. This book has reinforced that desire. When I finish reading a book I usually give it away if it is a physical book, and if an eBook remove it from my devices. I did not do that this time. I know I will reread this book. Likely very soon. I guarantee that this book will have a deep and lasting impact on your life.

The chapters in this volume are:

Foreword, by Fr. William Watson, S.J., D.Min.
Preface (and a Promise)
Introduction: Out of the Darkness
Counterfeit Remedies
An Invitation to Healing
Foundations for Discernment and Navigating the Path of Peace
The Voice of the Devil — The Voice of God
Rules for Discernment of Spirits
Rule #1: For Those Moving from Mortal Sin to Mortal Sin
Rule #2: For Those Moving from Good to Better
Rule #3: What Is Consolation Exactly?
Rule #4: What Exactly Is Desolation?
Rule #5: What Is the Most Important Decision I Can Make When in Desolation?
Rule #6: What Changes Should I Make When in Desolation?
Rule #7: How Can I Adjust My Thinking While in Desolation in Order to Better Overcome It?
Rule #8: How Can I Better Persevere When I Am in Desolation?
Rule #9: What Are the Causes of Desolation?
Rule #10: How Should I Act or Prepare When I Am in Consolation?
Rule #11: How Can Humility Help Me Deal with the Ebb and Flow of Consolation and Desolation?
Rule #12: Understanding and Dealing with the Aggression and Threats of the Enemy
Rule #13: The Power of Exposing the Enemy’s Efforts
Rule #14: How to Strengthen Yourself against Spiritual Attack
What’s Next?
Recommended Resources for Continued Spiritual Growth

This book from the beginning of the forward to the end of the support resources is an incredible read. Over the last 30 years I have read many books on Spiritual Warfare. And this is honestly one of the best. I have come away with a new focus. With tools to deal better with things in life when they pop up, and a renewed experience of the daily examine. The book alone will be life changing but Dan has offered access to online resources to take this knowledge much deeper and to sustain the enthusiasm of the book and really install deep growth.

A few years ago I was challenged to create a Top Ten Catholic Books List, If I had read this book prior to creating that list it would have taken 6th place. And it has been added to the list of books I would include today.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Daniel Burke:
Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God
Finding God Through Meditation-St. Peter of Alcantara
30 Days with Teresa of Avila
Into the Deep
Living the Mystery of Merciful Love: 30 Days with Thérèse of Lisieux
Spiritual Warfare and the Discernment of Spirits

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Top Ten Catholic Books, plus a few other great reads!

Top Ten Catholic Books, plus a few other great reads!

I was recently really pushed to pick my Top Ten Catholic Books. It was not an easy decision. There are a lot of great books out there which is why I do a Top Ten Non-Fiction each quarter and each year. Matthew Kelly in many of his books mentions that he had a shelf at home with his 30 favourite books, his go to reads. But he only publishes his top ten list, because the other 20 books change occasionally. It took a long time to come up with this list and I have been thinking about it for a whole week now. So here are my Top 10 Catholic Books and a few non catholic books that are excellent and that I go back to often.

1. The Bible - My three preferred versions are:
a. The Jerusalem Bible (Love reading this edition)
b. The Saint Jerome Study Bible
c. Didache Study Bible
2. Catechism
a. I Prefer the US version over the Canadian Version, especially in ebook format. The US edition moves the links and references to the end of the chapters.
3. The Way, Furrow and Forge by Saint Josemaria Escriva the three in one edition is excellent and you always get to keep them with you. Can be read from beginning to end, use the topical index or just randomly flip open and read. I keep one on my desk at work and one at home.
4. In Conversation with God - Francis Fernandez - 7 Volume Set Daily Devotions following the church year and 2 volumes of special feasts. I have reviewed all 7 volumes and am currently planning on theviewing the new split ebook editions.
5. Handbook of Prayers by: Rev. James Socias General Editor - excellent book. I have copies at work, home and in my backpack. I also now have the ebook and always have it with me.

6. 33 Days to Morning Glory: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat in Preparation for Marian Consecration - Michael E. Gaitley
7. The Manual For Spiritual Warfare - Paul Thigpen an excellent resource.
8. In the School of the Holy Spirit - Jacques Philippe thought almost any book by Father Philippe will bless your spiritual life.
9. Unearthing Your Ten Talents - Dr. Kevin Vost, great jumping off point.
10. Resisting Happiness - Matthew Kelly

11. God is Not Reasonable - Irma Zaleski, really opened my eyes at a specific point in time.
( I could not get it down to just 10!)

Though to be honest any books by Escriva, Vost, Philippe, Matthew Kelly, Paul Thigpen, and Michael Gaitley would be a great read.

A few Non-Catholic Books that I read again most years are:

1. Jacob the Baker - Noah benShea
2. Bench Press - Sven Linqvist
3. The Closing of the American Mind - Allan Bloom
4. Bench Press - Sven Linqvist
5. As You Think - James Allen

So there you have it 15 books that can change your life.

December 2017: I would add:
Love Is Patient, But I'm Not - Christopher West
November 2019 added:
Learning to Love: Journeys Through Life with the Rosary - Father Nigel Woollen
December 2019 added:
Memento Mori Prayers on the Last Things- Theresa Aletheia Noble, FSP
January 2020 added:
Spiritual Warfare and the Discernment of Spirits - Dan Burke

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Into the Deep - Dan Burke - Finding Peace Through Prayer

Into the Deep:
Finding Peace Through Prayer
Dan Burke

Wellspring Publishing
Beacon Publishing for
Dynamic Catholic
ISBN 9781942611530
eISBN 9781929266777

I was interested in this book because of the publisher, but once I read the forward by Matthew Kelly I was even more excited to be reading this incredible book on prayer. The bible has numerous passages about prayer. And there are literally thousands of books written about prayer, so you might be asking yourself, why another. And the answer is that Dan Burke has spent years teaching Catholics and other Christians this method of prayer. In the introduction Dan states: "The bottom line? If you want something to go right in life, pray! God didn't make us for the purpose of abandoning us to meaningless toil and suffering. The reality is that he wants to work with us in life so that we can know a kind of abundance that cannot be known outside of a relationship with him." And to be honest we all if we are honest would admit our prayer life could be a little better.

The Chapters in this book are:

Introduction: Why Pray?
One: Your Desire for God, God's Desire for You
Two: Discovery Prayer
Three: Essential Elements for Progress in Prayer
Four: Making a Solemn Commitment to God
Five: Step-by-Step into the Presence of God
Six: Winning the Battle of Prayer
Seven: Experiencing God in Prayer
A Final Word of Encouragement: Be Scrappy

I have read through this book twice now, and know that I will do so again. I could prattle on about how great it is, and I do believe it is a great book. But I want to give you a series of quotes from the book that highlight some of the teaching Dan Burke shares with us through this volume.

"Discovery Prayer is a modern name for an ancient but ever new practice called Lectio Divina (a Latin phrase that means "Divine Reading"); this practical method will build a strong foundation for an ongoing prayer life."

"Sacred Time: As with any serious attempt to progress in the spiritual life, prayer requires time and patience. There has never been anyone who experienced significant progress in prayer without a daily commitment to meet with God."

"Sacred Space: Jesus instructed his followers to pray in secret in their "inner room" (see Matthew 6:6). It is ideal to create a space dedicated to prayer and nothing else. You might think this is not feasible, but it only requires a few feet of space."

"The goal is not to mechanically execute the method, but to honor and seek God."

"Similarly, when we consecrate something to God, we are giving something to him that we would not ever dare take back."

"To sum up Discovery Prayer: Reading seeks, reflection finds, responding engages, resting tastes, and the person who experiences an authentic encounter with God resolves."

"The Catechism reveals that prayer is a battle. It is a battle against the world, the flesh, and the devil-all the things that seek to distract us from our pursuit of God."

"If you are ready to get scrappy in your prayer life, there is no better time than now. Be scrappy, my friends, and you will know a joy and peace that you never thought possible."

Some pretty powerful stuff for a few quick quotes. But the whole book is about this method of prayer, and how to start it and how to grow the practice.

The Method:
"Reading: Performing an attentive, slow, leisurely, and repetitious reading of a short passage of the Bible
Reflecting: Making an effort to prayerfully engage with the meaning of the passage and to consider how it may apply to your life circumstances
Responding: Conversing with God about the passage
Resting: Allowing yourself to rest and remain absorbed in the words of God; allowing or inviting the Holy Spirit to draw you more deeply into his presence through what you've read
Resolving: Allowing the encounter with God to permeate your day, causing you to draw near to him through his self-revelation and unique call to you to participate with him in the redemption of the world"

This book is a powerful tool in on spiritual growth workbench. It will teach you this method of prayer, and motivate you to practice it and pursue a deeper relationship with the father, the Holy Spirit and the Son. It can be an excellent resource for a new Christian to begin this walk, or for the lifelong Christian to again go deeper with God.

There are a few really great things about this book. First the style of Dan's writing is easy to access and engaging. Second the number of examples at the end of the book, short interviews with different people of all walks of life who have used this practice to grow their faith. And finally that it is immediately applicable. You can read the book and even start practising as you are reading.

Overall this was an incredible read and I highly recommend it! So read this book and get scrappy in your prayer life.

Books by Daniel Burke:
Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God
Finding God Through Meditation-St. Peter of Alcantara
30 Days with Teresa of Avila
Into the Deep
Living the Mystery of Merciful Love: 30 Days with Thérèse of Lisieux

(Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: A Year of Reading Intention - Catholic Reading!)