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SpiritualDirection.com / Catholic Spiritual Direction

Contemplation and Meditation… What is the difference?

Dear Father John, How is contemplation different than meditation? Contemplative prayer consists of a more passive (and more sublime) experience of God. If Christian meditation is the soul's inspired quest to discover God (our work of seeking God), contemplation is God's lifting of the soul into himself (God's work of embrace), so that it effortlessly basks in the divine light. The key distinction here is that contemplation, in... Read More

I am always worrying that God is not happy with me…

May 26, 2011 by  
Filed under Scrupulosity, Trent Beattie

Dear Trent, I’m always wondering if God is really pleased with me. I try to do my best in everything, but no matter what I do, there’s always a doubt that God might see something wrong with me. A good way to overcome this doubt is to stop looking for validation, because the very search for it tends to make one feel even worse. As long as you have surrendered yourself to God and are doing all the Church requires of you, there... Read More

Pope Benedict on Spiritual Direction

May 24, 2011 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Perspective, Spiritual Direction

What does Pope Benedict XVI think about spiritual direction? The Church has always recommended spiritual direction Spiritual direction is for every Catholic who desires to live out their baptism Those who are called into a substantive relationship with Christ need a spiritual director A spiritual director can help the directee avoid self-deception and the limits of their own wisdom/experience A spiritual director who intimately... Read More

Should I relax Rule of Life during holidays? (II/II)

AugustMullerTagebucheintragJournalNotebookDiaryThoughtsMeditation

Dear Father John, Is it right to relax one’s Rule during a holiday period (or a day off)? If so, what should we hang on to and what should we ‘shelve'? What about a priest with a fairly demanding Rule of Life? As you will have guessed, I am a priest and am unsure about my own practice. I also find that this question comes up among other clergy and among committed and faithful lay folk (especially those married to partners... Read More

Pope Benedict Recommends Spiritual Direction to Everyone

May 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Spiritual Direction

VATICAN CITY, MAY 19, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Anyone who wants to live their baptism responsibly should have a spiritual director, says Benedict XVI. The Pope affirmed this today when he addressed members of the Pontifical Theological Faculty Teresianum. The faculty was founded in 1935; the audience with the Holy Father was part of the institute's celebrations of its 75th anniversary. Benedict XVI reflected on the Carmelite institute's... Read More

Is there anything good about Centering Prayer?

May 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Centering Prayer, Dan Burke, Prayer, PseudoSpirituality

PrayMeditationPresenceiStock

Dear Dan, I know that you are not a fan of Centering Prayer. I did read the document you posted from the Vatican and I think I see the problems, at least from the standpoint of what I was taught. Still, isn't there some good in centering prayer? For instance, isn't it good to sit still, breathe slowly so you can relax etc.? I have experienced a great deal of good from this practice and little bad that I can see… You might... Read More

Spiritual Guides, Directors & Mentors: What’s the difference?

May 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Finding a Director, Spiritual Direction

What's the difference between spiritual guides, spiritual directors and spiritual mentors? Good question. Depending upon the source of training of the spiritual director, there are different types or titles of those who offer spiritual direction. For instance, a number of movements in the Church offer training for lay people so that they can provide spiritual direction. These organizations often make a distinction between ordained... Read More

Should I relax my “Rule of Life” during holidays? Part I of II

AugustMullerTagebucheintragJournalNotebookDiaryThoughtsMeditation

 Dear Father John, Is it right to relax one’s Rule during a holiday period (or a day off)? If so, what should we hang on to and what should we ‘shelve'? What about a priest with a fairly demanding Rule of Life? As you will have guessed, I am a priest and am unsure about my own practice. I also find that this question comes up among other clergy and among committed and faithful lay folk (especially those married to partners... Read More

Help me to stay with you…

May 14, 2011 by  
Filed under Theophilus

Help me to Stay with You … Stay with You … “Stay with me Lord.” Should that be my fervent cry? It's not, but I am not ashamed. I don't yearn for your presence, because I am already painfully aware that you are here. My cry is, “I beg you Lord, help me to stay with you!” You are present and I am distracted. You are everything to me, yet I treat you as if you are only present when I turn my... Read More

I am struggling with scrupulosity, can I overcome this on my own?

May 13, 2011 by  
Filed under Scrupulosity, Trent Beattie

Dear Trent, I tend to worry about trivial details, even to the point of being kept from participating in the sacraments. However, I want to work out the matter on my own because I’m afraid the priest I ask for help will be unable to do so because he won’t understand me. What do you think I should do? Thanks for your question on this central aspect of overcoming scrupulosity. It can be tempting to try to solve problems without... Read More

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