Remote Preparation for Mental Prayer: Forgiveness Received and Extended

Cain Slaying Abel, Maxim Sheshukov, Unknown

Originally Published at TAN Direction

A young associate pastor once told me that when he would go to adoration or attempt mental prayer he would often see the angry face of his pastor in his mind. I suggested he forgive his pastor for whatever offenses he had committed and, obstacle removed, his prayer would be freed up to make progress.

Why […]

By |April 3rd, 2022|Categories: Spiritual Combat, Spiritual Growth, TAN Direction|

The Vigilant Heart: Remote Preparation for Mental Prayer

Reading on a Quiet Afternoon, Carl Holsøe, (Danish, 1863-1935)


Originally Published at TAN Direction

We have all had the experience of being in conversation with someone who is not attentive, looks over our shoulder, glances at his watch, scrolls up and down on his phone, etc. while we speak. Every one of us also knows what it means to speak with someone who is truly listening and […]

By |March 2nd, 2022|Categories: Spiritual Combat, TAN Direction|

Spiritual Retreats Need Piety and Modesty

Originally Published at TAN Direction

A charitable young man, a former parishioner of mine, heard that I was stuck in quarantine. He texted me, indicating that he had just finished a weekend retreat, was in the neighborhood, and could drop off some victuals for his reclusive ex-pastor.

Not only was I moved by his kindness, I wanted to know more about his retreat. He was respectfully silent […]

By |January 28th, 2022|Categories: Spiritual Growth, TAN Direction|

Advent – Time for “Holiday Parties” or Little Lent?

Origionally Published at TAN Direction


But except you do penance, you shall all likewise perish.

—Luke 13:5

My childhood hero was Bishop Ignatius Kung.

We were told of his heroic suffering as a prisoner. The Chinese Communists (the same ones who recently gifted us with a man-made virus), permitted him to leave his solitary confinement of thirty years if he would only renounce his allegiance to Rome.

As a little boy, and later as a college student, I felt […]

By |December 7th, 2021|Categories: Spiritual Combat, Spiritual Growth, TAN Direction|

How to Advance in Holiness: Lectio Divina

Originally Published for TAN Direction

How do we advance in holiness? This not an impractical question. The Church teaches us that we have three necessary means of salvation and, those same, according to degree, attain holiness: sacramental grace, prayer, and virtue. All three pistons have to be running in unison for the motor of the spiritual organism to advance.

By grace we:

  • are elevated by God to participate in His nature (cfr. II Pet 1:4);
  • made pleasing to […]
By |November 26th, 2021|Categories: Spiritual Growth, TAN Direction|

Battle Ready: No Mental Prayer, No Holiness

Originally Published at TAN Direction

“Nonne militia est vita hominis super terram, et sicut dies mercennarii dies eius?”

—Job 7:1, Vulgate

The book of Job asks, “Is not the life of man on earth warfare, and are not his days like that of a hireling?”  He seems to think that the answer is obvious, since the question is less a question than an affirmation of an undeniable fact; hence the enclitic particle -ne on the word non.  Such a construction says, […]

By |November 26th, 2021|Categories: Spiritual Combat, TAN Direction|
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