Our New Shepherd

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Dear Apostoli Viae Family,

Blessed Feast of St. Frances of Rome to you all. The collect for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (OF) today is:

O God, who have taught us to chasten our bodies for the healing of our souls, enable us, we pray, to abstain from all sins, and strengthen our hearts to carry out your loving commands. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

This collect is, of course, fitting for Apostoli Viae and for this day. As I write this note Stephanie and I are driving away from a very blessed and encouraging meeting with one of the most faithful and courageous Bishops in our country and the world, Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas.

Though we already had an informal agreement that he would be the shepherd of Apostoli Viae, today this was made formal. As well, we rejoice that we have a young man who will enter seminary (God willing) this fall under the sponsorship of Bishop Strickland and he will attend seminary at St. Patrick’s under the direct care of Dr. Anthony Lilles. When he is ordained, he will be a religious priest whose life is dedicated to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the sacraments, and the pastoral care of the Apostoli Viae community.

Of course, this is a joyous moment but also one of sober significance. My heaviness is not one that emerges out of desolation but instead reflects the serious nature of our mission and God’s clear blessings upon us. He continues to entrust many souls to our care. Through our apostolates we serve priests, deacons, religious, and laity in more than 70 countries. Our role in preparing men for the priesthood has expanded to 15 dioceses. I believe God has called Apostoli Viae into this time to be an instrument of healing and renewal for the Church. This calling is not one that should instill pride, but instead a holy awe and humility that the King of Kings would invite us and equip us for this holy self-giving to His Heart, and to His Church.

The contemplative life to which we are called is about drawing near to Jesus. If nearness to Jesus brings all of His grace and healing, then our first task is clear: to sit at His feet. Then, as we rise, we rise in His power to light the Way and then lead the Way for those who desire this same path of Jesus’ healing and redemption.

Bishop Strickland is a light among bishops and thus it is fitting that he is leading those whose calling is to be a light to the world.

Please pray for this courageous Bishop – our shepherd, for our new seminarian, and for the community of Apostoli Viae, as we all seek to draw near to the One who has given all for the redemption of the world

Yours in Christ,

Dan Burke
Unum est Necessarium

 

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Contemplative Life - Spiritual Reading Plan
Have you ever wanted to have a reading plan but worried about what you should actually read, that is in keeping with the magisterium, and is truly helpful with respect to where you are on your spiritual journey? This is why I created this reading plan. As well this plan follows the general path of formation of Apostoli Viae. Just reading books cannot make you a saint. In fact, when consumed without spiritual direction, gluttonous reading can lead to pride and mere external knowledge that results in more harm than good. Even so, when we read books in concert with our spiritual director and in keeping with our current spiritual state, they can serve as stepping stones to heaven.  This plan is meant to be read stepwise beginning with the Catechism, then Into the Deep, then Scripture, then the Better Part, then Thoephilos, etc. There are a few books on prayer and spirituality that I did not include but are important because of destructive modern trends, these are A Catholic Guide to Mindfulness by Susan Brinkman and Is Centering Prayer Catholic? by Conni Rossini. Otherwise, the books on this reading plan are all positive proposals of the teaching of the Church and the wisdom of the saints. A few other notes are in order 1) the books in blue are books I have written and 2) the books with bold titles are for daily meditation.  Important: Be sure to use the links I have provided below. There are translations of important works that deeply distort the intended meaning of the authors. Yes, folks actually do this. As well, there are translations that are well intended but that really miss the mark. To help you find the right versions of these books, I have provided all the links below. Yes, it took a lot of work to do this. If you are appreciative, please donate to Apostoli Viae HERE. Catechism of the Catholic Church Into the Deep - Finding Peace through Prayer -  by Dan Burke Scripture - New Testament Reading - The Ignatius Catholic Study Bible The Better Part - Fr. John Bartunek Theophilus - Michael O'Brien Corpus Christi - Holy Communion and the Renewal of the Church - Bishop Athanasius Schneider (Out of Print) Time for God - Fr. Jacques Philippe Introduction to the Devout Life - St. Francis de Sales A Devotional Journey into the Mass - Christopher Carstens Confession - Its Fruitful Practice Contemplative Rosary - Dan Burke and Connie Rossini Seven Deadly Sins - Kevin Vost Thirsting for Prayer - Fr. Jacques Philippe Navigating the Interior Life - Dan Burke Q&A Guide to Mental Prayer - Connie Rossini Spiritual Warfare & the Discernment of Spirits - Dan Burke Searching for and Maintaining Peace - Fr. Jacques Philippe 30 Days with St. Teresa of Avila - Burke & Lilles Living the Mystery of Merciful Love - Burke & Lilles Her Life - St. Teresa of Avila Fulfillment of all Desire - Ralph Martin Finding God through Meditation - St. Peter of Alcantara Soul of the Apostolate - Dom Chautard The Sacrament of the Present Moment - Fr. Jean Pierre de Caussade Discernment of Spirits - Fr. Timothy Gallagher Divine Intimacy - Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen The Way of Perfection - St. Teresa of Avila Humility of Heart - Fr. Cajetan Mary da Bergamo Spiritual Canticle - St. John of the Cross Fire Within - Fr. Thomas Dubay I Want to see God - Fr. P. Marie-Eugene Interior Castle w/Commentary - Teresa of Avila - Dennis Billy Fire from Above - Anthony Lilles Union with God - Fr. Gabriel fo St. Mary Magdalen Impact of God - Fr. Iain Matthew I Am a Daughter of the Church - Fr. P. Marie Eugene Ascent of Mt. Carmel - St. John of the Cross Spiritual Consolation - Fr. Timothy Gallagher Collected Works - St. John of the Cross Happy are You Poor - Fr. Thomas Dubay