Monthly Archives: October 2017

Blessed Emperor Karl von Habsburg

October 21 is the memorial of Blessed Karl von Habsburg, the last Emperor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Blessed Karl is not merely an historical figure of minimal importance or a curiosity of a past age. To the contrary, he remains exemplary in his marriage and fatherhood, in his tireless pursuit of peace in the midst of war, and in the socially responsible way that he governed his people. These are three key themes of the magisterium of Pope Francis and so we can look to Blessed Karl for an example of how to live out what the Pope is teaching us today.

I have explored these connections at greater length in the three-part blog post on the Emperor Karl website.

  1. A man of the family
  2. A man of peace
  3. A socially responsible civil leader

One of the keys to Blessed Karl’s holiness was all the prayer and sacrificed he received from those who dedicated themselves in a special way to this purpose through the Emperor Karl League of Prayer. The League of Prayer still exists today, both as an organ for promotion of the Cause of his Canonization of Blessed Karl but also as an organization dedicated to pray and live as he lived. Perhaps our civil authorities today would be more like Blessed Karl if we dedicated more attention to praying and suffering for them.

Blessed Karl von Habsburg, pray for us!

New Book on Spiritual Direction

”The lost (or forgotten) art of spiritual direction goes back to the first centuries of Christianity, to the Fathers of the Desert. We could also say this art goes back to Christ Himself.” (Bishop Gregory Mansour from the Foreword) There are many who are discovering the value of spiritual direction, but there are too few spiritual directors to meet the need. Our hope is that this book can provide foundational guidance and build up in confidence to those who are already sufficiently formed in the spiritual life and could help to serve in some capacity as spiritual directors. It also provides a valuable opportunity for spiritual directors to reflect on their own ministry and grow in the service they are offering.

“The demand for sound spiritual directors far outpaces the supply, leaving so many who could be helped toward sanctity stumbling on the journey…. That’s why Fathers Acklin and Hicks have done the whole Church, present and future directors, and the directees they will guide an enormous service in fusing the Church’s spiritual wisdom and their extensive experience into a superb, systematic primer.” —Fr. Roger J. Landry, National Chaplain, CatholicVoices USA,

“Together with concrete guidelines and numerous examples from personal experience, this book refers extensively to Sacred Scripture as the foundation for spiritual direction. Furthermore, since the practice of spiritual direction goes back to the first centuries of the Church, the authors turn for guidance to the Doctors of the Church, the writings of the saints, and papal magisterium in developing and supporting their insights.” (From the back cover)

“In Spiritual Direction: A Guide for Sharing the Father’s Love, the authors have written a superb guide to giving spiritual direction, and receiving it as well, worthy of the masters. I highly recommend it.” —Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. Archbishop of Philadelphia

“Fr. Thomas Acklin, OSB And Fr. Boniface Hicks, OSB have written a classic. This work will be seen as one of the best references for spiritual direction.” —Bishop Gregory Mansour, Maronite Bishop of the Eparchy of St. Maron (Brooklyn)

For Whom is This Book Intended?

“This book is primarily intended to support individuals who are being drawn into the ministry of spiritual direction. …

“This book can also serve those who are not yet being sought out by would-be directees but could be in the future. For example, various people in the helping professions (nurses, hospital chaplains, hospice volunteers, teachers, coaches, etc.) are in a position to listen to and support individuals whom they are serving and with whom they develop one-on-one relationships. For a spiritually-minded person, this listening and support can start to take on the shape of spiritual direction.

“This book can also be helpful for individuals who are striving to grow in their own spiritual lives. In it we consider how various aspects of the spiritual life emerge from and are fostered by a one-on-one relationship with a spiritual director. By reading about and reflecting on these aspects of the spiritual life, we believe it will help the recipients of spiritual direction and anyone who is seeking to grow closer to the Lord to better understand spiritual development and growth in the Holy Spirit.” (pp. xxvi-xxvii)

Overview: Chapter Headings

Part I – Foundations of Spiritual Direction

Chapter 1 – One on one

Chapter 2 – Interiority

Chapter 3 – Vulnerability

Chapter 4 – Listening

Chapter 5 – Communicating

Part II – Particular Aspects of Spiritual Direction

Chapter 6 – Guidance for Prayer

Chapter 7 – Passages in Prayer and the Spiritual Life

Chapter 8 – Psychological Models and Healing

Chapter 9 – The Spiritual Director

Appendix – Saints for Spiritual Directors

Order online

The text can be ordered directly from Emmaus Road Publishing: Purchase Book Online