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SpiritualDirection.com / Catholic Spiritual Direction

Prayer and the Struggle to Forgive

Prayer and the Struggle to Forgive     One obstacle to beginning to pray and living within is the struggle to forgive. Whenever someone hurts us in a serious way, there is a spiritual wound that remains. As we begin to pray, we commonly find ourselves going back over these wounds again and again. What is most frustrating is that many times we thought we had already forgiven the person who... Read More

Demon Attacks

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

Surrendering to God’s Will: Essential to Authentic Spiritual Life?

Surrendering to God’s Will: Essential to Authentic Spiritual Life?   I have a question that might seem obvious to many but not so to me. The question is this. Is the surrender to the will of God the fundamental perquisite and non-negotiable attitude, to have an authentic spiritual life? This is a great question. Basically, it’s one way to ask about the relationship between prayer and action,... Read More

Guidance for Assessing the Arts: The “Silence” Movie

January 2, 2017 by  
Filed under Discernment, Entertainment, Fr. Bartunek

Guidance for Assessing the Arts: The “Silence” Movie   There is a movie coming out of Martin Scorsese called, Silence. It was screened by The Vatican, I think. It is about how the Jesuits were evangelizing Japan, and all the socio-economic and cultural challenges, related to trade etc. occurring at that time. Since it is about Faith, do you have a resource that analyzes where the... Read More

Dangerous Habits – Serious or Mortal Sin?

Dangerous Habits   Dear Father John, What if someone has a habit which is a grave sin (say, porn, masturbation, gambling, alcohol, fornication, etc.) so there is probably not full consent. Can they receive communion, or do they have to go to confession before communion in each instance? Or is that something the priest should address on an individual basis in Confession? Your instinct here seems... Read More

Need for Liturgical Conscience: Where to Get One (2/3)

December 5, 2016 by  
Filed under Christopher Carstens, Church, Liturgy

The Need for a Liturgical Conscience and Where to Get One Part II of III Editor’s Note: In Part I, Mr. Carstens introduced the concept of a liturgical conscience. In part II today, he will begin explicating the first five of the ten commandments of liturgical life. 10 Commandments of the Liturgical Life Here are 10 principles to form the liturgical conscience. Perhaps there are more; maybe there... Read More

Is it a Sin to ask for Death?

December 5, 2016 by  
Filed under Challenges, Darkness, Death and Dying, Fr. Bartunek, Sin

Is it a Sin to Ask for Death?   Dear Father John, When I am in great despair the temptation is to ask for death. Is that not a sin if despair drives me? I think you may have an incomplete or inaccurate idea about the nature of despair. When understood as a sin and not simply an emotional experience, despair consists of giving up on God, of freely concluding that “I am such a horrible sinner... Read More

Need for Liturgical Conscience: Where to Get One (1/3)

November 28, 2016 by  
Filed under Christopher Carstens, Church, Liturgy

The Need for a Liturgical Conscience—and Where to Get One (Part I of III)   Guitar choir or Gregorian Chant? Communion on the tongue or in the hand? Liturgical language that is elevated, formal, and Latinate—as in the present Roman Missal—or language more common, casual, and conversational—as in the former Sacramentary? Opinions on liturgical matters such as these differ, as with myriad... Read More

As if Already in Eternity: Saint Elisabeth of the Trinity’s Wisdom

As if Already in Eternity: Saint Elisabeth of the Trinity’s Wisdom Saint Elisabeth of the Trinity [canonized last month] is a witness to the primacy of contemplation in the life of the Church, and the mystical wisdom contemplation releases into human history.  This is the wisdom that understands how God is present in both the public square as well as in the intimacy of our hearts. Today,... Read More

Why Communion on the Tongue? Part II of II

Why Communion on the Tongue? Part II of II The Passive Action of Communion Editor’s Note:  In Part I, Christopher Carstens introduced the topic of the reception of Holy Communion on the tongue. Today, in Part II of the series, he offers three considerations for receiving the Holy Eucharist in this way. Part II: The Passive Action of Communion An ancient maxim of the Church teaches that “the... Read More

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