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Has Catholic Spiritual Direction helped you?

July 29, 2011 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, General, Reader Feedback

Dear Friends, About once a year I send out a note to check in on you. Are we serving you well? Have we helped you or someone you love come to know Christ in any way? Have other readers helped you as you dialogue about the posts? If this is the case, in large or small ways, we would be grateful to hear back from you. In your response at the bottom of this post, please tell us your state in life (teen, college student, mom, dad,... Read More

An interview with a Carmelite nun

July 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Carmelite Spirituality, Dan Burke

Dear Friends,   We are very excited to introduce you to a new team member joining the effort to serve you in your desire to deepen your relationship with Christ. Her name is Sister Carmen Laudis, O.C.D. and she is part of a Carmelite religious community based in Alhambra, California in the U.S. To introduce her to you I asked her a few questions about her perspective on her life and service to the Church in the Carmelite tradition.   Q:... Read More

From hatred to hope – one man’s journey into the Catholic Church…

July 26, 2011 by  
Filed under Conversion, Dan Burke

From Hatred to Hope: One Man's Journey into the Catholic Church From Hatred to Hope: One Man's Journey into the Catholic Church:  Between beating my mother into the emergency room and firing a handgun in our home, my stepfather attempted to convince me that Catholicism was the one true faith. As you might imagine, his approach wasn't very effective. Recently I was able to share a short version of my conversion story (on an... Read More

How can I increase strength of my will to resist temptation? I of II

July 25, 2011 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Mortification, Spiritual Development

Dear Father John, I would like to ask you for a piece of advice. Since my will is not so strong as it should be; what are the exercises to practice that important element of spiritual formation? I am so encouraged to see that you recognize a need to develop your willpower! The first job the Holy Spirit has is to show us our need for God’s grace, so you are obviously in tune with the Holy Spirit! And that’s the first point:... Read More

Does God give the gift of faith to some and not to others?

July 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Family Prayer

Dear Dan, I just read your entry about Our Lady of Mount Carmel's influence in your conversion. I noted your deep hunger for the Eucharist to the extent of asking for and receiving earlier reception into the Church than first anticipated. What a wonderful thing! The question that burns in my heart is why the Lord doesn't call my husband to this reality of His presence in the Eucharist. Years ago he went through RCIA, was confirmed... Read More

How do I Get My Focus Back?

July 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Spiritual Life

Dear Father John, As I have grown spiritually I have noticed that I don't have the same interest and level of ambition for things in my life like I used too. For example, I used to work fairly hard at keeping the house clean, the yard well-kept, the car shiny, etc. This caused a lot of stress and yelling on my part, as I tried frantically to “do it all”. Then I began thinking that I was doing things for the wrong reasons.... Read More

Our Lady of Mount Carmel and My Conversion to Catholicism

July 15, 2011 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Seasonal Meditations

In July of 2005, I was enrolled as a candidate in the RCIA program. As I was sitting in church for Mass one Sunday I became frustrated and walked out. I couldn’t bear to sit there, watching everything, and not participate again. I desperately wanted to partake in the Body and Blood of Christ. The next day I got on the phone and called Shirley, a secular Discalced Carmelite who ran the Faith Formation program at Our Lady of Loreto... Read More

I hate myself: How to find comfort in God when feeling unworthy

July 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Divine Mercy, Fr. Bartunek, Guilt, Self-Knowledge

Dear Father John, I thought I once heard you mention that quite often a hatred of oneself runs parallel with a hatred of God. My problem is similar, but while I hate myself quite a bit I do not in any way hate God. God is, in fact, my longest and most faithful friend, always at the back of my mind. And I know it probably hurts Him to see me revile myself the way I do, but I feel unable to improve the situation. I compare it sometimes... Read More

Is God calling me to leave my spiritual community?

July 11, 2011 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Discernment

Dear Dan, our women's Regnum Christi team no longer meets and some have left the movement entirely. After having been in Regnum Christi for 10 years, the faith, fellowship and friendship really meant a lot. However my husband and I came across a local lay-Carmelite movement this year through a priest who invited his entire congregation one Sunday to a lay-Carmelite meeting! This is unusual, in comparison to the Regnum Christi... Read More

Pope’s Encouragement to Mercy and Spiritual Direction

The Pope's Latest Encouragement to Mercy and Spiritual Direction The Pope's Latest Encouragement to Mercy and Spiritual Direction A recurring theme is emerging in Pope Benedict's pontificate: the importance of mercy and spiritual direction. His latest encouragement of this practice is his most significant. In Sussidio per Confessori (The Priest, Minister of Divine Mercy: An Aid for Confessors and Spiritual Directors) is a beautiful... Read More

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