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Exorcising the Specter of Discouragement


Exorcising the Specter of Discouragement   Dear Father John, What are some ways to help me or others overcome discouragement or a feeling of loss when evangelizing efforts don’t bear fruit? DISCOURAGEMENT IS ONE of an apostle’s greatest enemies. It can sneak up on us. We need to understand it in order to be ready to resist it. A good place to do so is in chapter 24 of St. Luke’s Gospel,... Read More

What is My Deepest Desire? (Part II of II)

January 5, 2015 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Loving God, Spiritual Life


In part I of this series, we talked about God being first in our lives and making Him the driving force in our lives so that we are “running as if to win.” Today, we will discuss love’s purifying fire and St. Ignatius of Loyola’s concept of “Tanto Cuanto.” This question is the focus of our discussion: You’ve written about focusing on the heart and the Bible... Read More

Emotional & Spiritual Maturity: The difference? (Part II of II)


What’s the Difference Between Emotional and Spiritual Maturity? Part II of II In part I, we looked at the differences between emotional and spiritual maturity. Today, we will look at a follow-on question. The next question naturally flows from this: Can someone who is immature emotionally attain spiritual maturity and perfection? The answer to that is yes, no and maybe. Since maturity refers to... Read More

Emotional & Spiritual Maturity: The difference? (Part I of II)

October 22, 2014 by  
Filed under Allison Ricciardi, Counseling/Therapy


What’s the Difference Between Emotional and Spiritual Maturity? Part I of II What’s the difference between emotional and spiritual maturity? That’s an interesting question and one that I think warrants definition. As a therapist, I deal with the emotional life of my clients and how those emotions intersect and interact with their thought life. As a specifically Catholic therapist there’s... Read More

Reincarnation and Human Dignity (Part II of III)

January 6, 2014 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, New Age, Reincarnation


…a reader asks: Dear Father John, I know that the Church rejects the doctrine of reincarnation, but sometimes I think that reincarnation seems to be a much more merciful approach than just having one chance to live well and go to heaven or to live badly and go to hell. I mean, so many human beings have had to live in such miserable conditions throughout the thousands and thousands of years of... Read More

Graces Given by God

Miguel Cabrera Saint Ignatius Loyola Google_Art_Project Wikimedia Commons copy 2

Dear Father John, I have started saying a daily Morning Offering Prayer in which I ask God with the help of His Grace that I remain all day in a spirit of praise and thanksgiving and that all of my actions be for the purpose of doing His will. However, I find I cannot remain in this spirit all day with the normal pressures of everyday life to deal with that can take my mind off of God. Does God... Read More

In my spiritual life, how much is up to me?

October 15, 2012 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Holiness, Spiritual Life

2_Guercino_1619 raising of lazarus copy

Dear Father John, I am confused. I keep reading in spiritual books about how, in the spiritual life, everything is up to God. That God is the one who makes us holy, that we just have to let go and let God. But when I read the New Testament, I keep finding spiritual to-do lists. So, which is it? Is it up to God to make me holy, or is it up to me to make me holy? The typical answer to this honest and... Read More

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