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SpiritualDirection.com / Catholic Spiritual Direction

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.

58. Ocean of Mercy (Matthew 18:21-35)

September 13, 2017 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Meditations, The Better Part

“O Christian, be aware of your nobility – it is God’s own nature that you share; do not then, by an ignoble life, fall back into your former baseness.” – Pope St. Leo the Great Matthew 18:21-35: Then Peter went up to him and said, ‘Lord, how often must I forgive my brother if he wrongs me? As often as seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘Not seven, I tell you, but seventy-seven times. ‘And... Read More

57. United We Stand (Matthew 18:15-20)

September 6, 2017 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Meditations, The Better Part

“He proved that neither unity nor peace could be kept unless the brethren treat one another with mutual forbearance, and preserve the bond of concord through patience.” – St. Cyprian Matthew 18:15-20: “If your brother does something wrong, go and have it out with him alone, is between your two selves. If he listens to you, you have won back your brother. If he does not listen, take... Read More

53. God’s Wild Idea (Matthew 16:21-28)

August 30, 2017 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Meditations, The Better Part

“Offer him your sufferings according to all the intentions for which he continually offers himself on the altars of our churches. Your sacrifice, united to the sacrifice of Jesus, will bring many sinners back to the Father; many without faith will find the true faith; many weak Christians will receive the strength to live fully the teaching and the law of Christ.” – Venerable Pope Pius XII Matthew... Read More

Am I Outside of Sanctifying Grace?

Am I Outside of Sanctifying Grace?   I make spiritual communion because I'm trying to be obedient to the church. My husband is a non-Catholic and refuses to get his first marriage annulled. So where does that leave me? I regularly attend mass. I've been instructed by my priest that I should not receive the Sacraments (confession and communion). Am I left outside of sanctifying grace? Thank you... Read More

A Virgin’s Courage: A Retreat Guide on St Kateri Tekakwitha

July 14, 2017 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Meditation, Resources, Retreat Guides

A Virgin’s Courage: A Retreat Guide on St. Kateri Tekakwitha (for today's Memorial of St. Kateri Tekakwitha) During his last homily at his last World Youth Day, St. John Paul II spoke to almost one million young people gathered in the outskirts of Toronto, Canada about courage, about not being afraid to take a stand for Jesus Christ. In doing so, he invoked the example of the first Native American... Read More

The Mystery of Eternal Love: A Retreat Guide on the Blessed Trinity

June 10, 2017 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Retreat Guides, Trinity

 The Mystery of Eternal Love: A Retreat Guide on the Blessed Trinity According to Pope Benedict XVI, as human beings, we have imprinted upon our spiritual DNA a profound mark of the Trinity, of God as Love, for we are created in the image and likeness of God, and, as the First Letter of John puts it, “God is love.” But who is this God in whose image we’re created? What difference does it make... Read More

Why are Saints Sometimes Pictured with Skulls?

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

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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