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SpiritualDirection.com / Catholic Spiritual Direction

Letting Go of Grudges

Letting Go of Grudges A young French schoolboy watched as two Englishmen disembarked from their ship at the port of Calais. Before they knew what hit them, the lad charged at them, push­ing them off the pier into the water. Not too pleased at this inhospitable gesture, the men climbed out and ac­costed the boy. “Just what are you trying to do? Is that any way to greet visitors to your country? A good spank­ing might teach... Read More

The Solution to Your Sorrow

The Solution to Your Sorrow   It’s impossible to be selfish and happy at the same time.  I know this from experience, for if I’m honest with myself, I find the days that I am most miserable are the days that I am too focused on myself: on my problems, my frustrations, my weaknesses.  I’m certain the same is true for you.  Think about the last time you felt sad or weighed down.  Maybe it was yesterday, or maybe it’s... Read More

Dangerous Habits – Serious or Mortal Sin?

December 26, 2016 by  
Filed under Addiction, Challenges, Fr. Bartunek, Spiritual Direction

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 to be on target. Factors that... 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 that not even God can forgive... Read More

Of Adversity and Resisting Temptation

Of Adversity and Resisting Temptation*   OF THE PROFIT OF ADVERSITY 1. It is good that we have sometimes troubles and crosses; for they often make a man enter into himself, and consider that he is here in banishment, and ought not to place his trust in any worldly thing. It is good that we be sometimes contradicted, and this, although we do and intend well. These things help often to the attaining of humility, and defend... Read More

Changing Spiritual Directors

October 10, 2016 by  
Filed under Challenges, Fr. Bartunek, Spiritual Direction

 Changing Spiritual Directors   Dear Fr. Bartunek, Thank you for your post. This is the first time I have ever commented, but your topic is just too much of a coincidence to ignore. I have had the same spiritual director since 2013. He is the pastor of a large parish and school and is very busy. There is another pastor whose spirituality I greatly admire, that I hoped I could ask to be my spiritual director, if the direction... Read More

Having Too Many Spiritual Directors

August 29, 2016 by  
Filed under Challenges, Fr. Bartunek, Perspective, Spiritual Direction

HAVING TOO MANY SPIRITUAL DIRECTORS   Dear Father John, I recently read something about having too many spiritual directors. Is there such a thing? How many is too many? Is it OK to have more than one? It depends on what you mean by “spiritual director.” Strictly speaking, spiritual direction is an ongoing relationship in which the spiritual director serves as a special guide and companion as we continually strive to discover... Read More

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, where we read the familiar story... Read More

But What if I Don’t Feel Like It?

July 18, 2016 by  
Filed under Challenges, Fr. Bartunek, Spiritual Direction

But . . . What If I Don’t Feel Like It?   Dear Father John, How can I overcome my feelings of not wanting to evangelize, especially when there are some people I don't want to even be around? SOMETIMES KINDNESS OVERFLOWS effortlessly from a warm and affectionate heart. At other times that same heart feels cold and antagonistic, and even the possibility of kindness is crowded back into a hidden corner of the soul. What’s... Read More

Climbing the Mountain

Climbing the Mountain “Come, let us climb the mountain of the Lord…” Isaiah 2:3 “Moving on from there Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, went up on the mountain, and sat down there.  Great crowds came to him, having with them the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute, and many others. They placed them at his feet, and he cured them.” Matthew 15:29-30 Was Jesus being insensitive?  I mean, not only... Read More

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