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About Fr. John Bartunek, LC

Fr. John Bartunek, LC, S.Th.D, received his BA in History from Stanford University in 1990. He comes from an evangelical Christian background and became a member of the Catholic Church in 1991. After college, he worked as a high school history teacher, drama director, and baseball coach. He then spent a year as a professional actor in Chicago before entering the religious Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ in 1993. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 2003 and earned his doctorate in moral theology in 2010. He provided spiritual support on the set of Mel Gibson’s "The Passion of the Christ" while researching the 2005 Catholic best seller, "Inside the Passion"--the only authorized, behind-the-scene explanation of the film. Fr. John has contributed news commentary regarding religious issues on NBC, CNN, Fox, and the BBC. He also served as the English-language press liaison for the Vatican’s 2005 Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist. His most widely known book is called: "The Better Part: A Christ-Centered Resource for Personal Prayer". His most recent books are "Spring Meditations", "Seeking First the Kingdom: 30 Meditations on How to Love God with All Your Heart, Soul, Mind and Strength", and "Answers: Catholic Advice for Your Spiritual Questions". Fr. John currently splits his time between Michigan (where he continues his writing apostolate and serves as a confessor and spiritual director at the Queen of the Family Retreat Center) and Rome, where he teaches theology at Regina Apostolorum. His online, do-it-yourself retreats are available at RCSpirituality.org, and he answers questions about the spiritual life at SpiritualDirection.com.

Why are Saints Sometimes Pictured with Skulls?

May 29, 2017 by  
Filed under Death and Dying, Fr. Bartunek, Last Things

Why are saints sometimes pictured with skulls?   Does that mean they are preoccupied with death? There sure seems to be an awful lot of that in old art. God bless you and your ministry. Yes, indeed, skulls make frequent appearances in Christian art, even today. I can understand your question about this practice; because, putting skulls everywhere can seem kind of morbid – especially... Read More

290. Casting Out the Devil Forever – John 17:1-11

May 24, 2017 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Meditations, The Better Part, Unity

“It is clear to me that if we wish to please God and to receive graces in abundance from him, it is God’s will that these graces should come to us through the hands of Christ in his most holy humanity.” – St. Teresa of Avila John 17:1-11: “Father, the hour has come: glorify your Son so that your son may glorify you; and, through the power over all mankind that you have... Read More

92. Go! Matthew 28:11-20

May 24, 2017 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Meditations, The Better Part

“…God alone satisfies and infinitely surpasses man’s desire, which for that reason is never at rest save in God.” – St. Thomas Aquinas Matthew 28:11-20: Now while they [the women to whom Christ had appeared] were on their way, some of the guards went off into the city to tell the chief priests all that had happened. These held a meeting with the elders and, after some discussion, handed... Read More

283. The Supreme Gift (John 14:13-21)

May 17, 2017 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Meditations, The Better Part

“The spiritual building up of the body of Christ is brought about by love…” – St. Fulgentius of Ruspe John 14:13-21: ‘Whatever you ask for in my name I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask for anything in my name, I will do it. If you love me you will keep my commandments. I shall ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you forever,... Read More

282. Untroubled Hearts (John 14:1-12)

May 10, 2017 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Meditations, The Better Part

“Contradictions, sickness, scruples, spiritual aridity, and all the inner and outward torments are the chisel with which God carves his statues for paradise.” – St. Alphonsus Ligouri John 14:1-12: ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God still, and trust in me. There are many rooms in my Father’s house; if there were not, I should have told you. I am going now to prepare a place... Read More

270. Life to the Full (John 10:1-10)

May 3, 2017 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Meditations, The Better Part

“Christ my God, you humbled yourself in order to lift me, a straying sheep, on to your shoulders.” – St. John Damascene John 10:1-10: ‘I tell you most solemnly, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold through the gate, but gets in some other way is a thief and a brigand. The one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the flock; the gatekeeper lets him in, the sheep hear his voice,... Read More

236. The Lord Draws Near (Luke 24:13-35)

April 26, 2017 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Meditations, The Better Part

“This glorious son of the carpenter, who set up his cross above the all-consuming world of the dead, led the human race into the abode of life.” – St. Ephraem Luke 24:13-35: That very same day, two of them were on their way to a village called Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking together about all that had happened. Now as they talked this over, Jesus himself came up... Read More

Why are Peacocks Considered Symbols of the Resurrection?

April 24, 2017 by  
Filed under Easter, Eternity, Fr. Bartunek, Resurrection

Why are Peacocks Considered Symbols of the Resurrection? Dear Father John, I was looking around the SpiritualDirection.com site and found a post from back in 2014 (Why are Holy Water Fonts at Church Doors? Why Bless Ourselves with Holy Water) in which you said that peacocks are considered signs of the Resurrection. I never knew that. Why are peacocks thought of in that way? Is it the same for peahens?... Read More

What Does it Mean to be In Choir?

March 27, 2017 by  
Filed under Church, Fr. Bartunek, Liturgy

What Does it Mean to be In Choir?   Choir and Rood Screen in Albi Cathedral in France From time to time, in various spiritual writings and elsewhere, I’ve come across the term “choir” and it seems like it has nothing to do with music, which is what I associate it with. I think it might have something to do with Mass, perhaps where it is said?, but I’m not exactly sure what. Is it used... Read More

Demon Attacks

March 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Demonology, Fr. Bartunek, Spiritual Warfare, Temptation

Demon Attacks Spiritual Warfare and Demonology I was wondering if a demon that is attacking a family you have never met can attack said person mentally and physically? I have been having dreams of this horrible monster coming after me and my family for years. And yesterday I was watching this story about some family being hurt by this demon. From what they describe of it, it sounds like it could be... Read More

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