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.

136. History Unveiled (Mark 13:14-27)

November 14, 2018 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Meditations, The Better Part

“The final age of the world has already come upon us. The renovation of the world has already been irrevocably decreed and in this age is already anticipated in some real way.” – Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, 48 Mark 13:14-27: ‘When you see the disastrous abomination set up where it ought not to be (let the reader understand), then those in Judaea must escape to the mountains;... Read More

137. Staying Ready (Mark 13:28-37)

November 14, 2018 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Meditations, The Better Part

“Not all of us are called to undergo martyrdom, but we are all called to a life of Christian virtue. Now virtue demands courage… It demands from us daily, assiduous, unremitting effort to our very last breath, and so it can be called a slow and continuous martyrdom.” – Venerable Pope Pius XII Mark 13:28-37: ‘Take the fig tree as a parable: as soon as its twigs grow supple and its leaves... Read More

134. A Mighty Heart (Mark 12:38-44)

November 7, 2018 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Meditations, The Better Part

“… You have been created for the glory of God and for you own eternal salvation; this is your end, this is the object of your soul and the treasure of your heart.” – St. Robert Bellarmine Mark 12:38-44: In his teaching he said, ‘Beware of the scribes who like to walk about in long robes, to be greeted obsequiously in the market squares, to take the front seats in the synagogues and the... Read More

133. Lifestyle by Christ (Mark 12:28-37)

October 31, 2018 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Meditations, The Better Part

“For our sakes he suffered all the agonies of body and mind, and did not shrink from any torment. He gave us a perfect example of patience and love.” – St. Francis of Paola Mark 12:28-37: One of the scribes who had listened to them debating and had observed how well Jesus had answered them, now came up and put a question to him, ‘Which is the first of all the commandments?’ Jesus replied,... Read More

128. Blind Eyes, Seeing Heart (Mark 10:46-52)

October 24, 2018 by  
Filed under Faith, Fr. Bartunek, Meditations, Prayer, The Better Part

“All my hope is naught save in your great mercy.” – St. Augustine Mark 10:46-52: They reached Jericho; and as he left Jericho with his disciples and a large crowd, Bartimaeus (that is, the son of Timaeus), a blind beggar, was sitting at the side of the road. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout and to say, ‘Son of David, Jesus, have pity on me’. And many of them... Read More

127. The Hard Road to Jerusalem (Mark 10:32-45)

October 17, 2018 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Meditations, The Better Part

“Poverty is true riches. So precious is poverty that God’s only-begotten Son came on earth in search of it. In heaven he had superabundance of all goods. Nothing was lacking there but poverty.” – St. Anthony of Padua Mark 10:32-45: They were on the road, going up to Jerusalem; Jesus was walking on ahead of them; they were in a daze, and those who followed were apprehensive. Once more taking... Read More

126. Money, Money, Money (Mark 10:17-31)

October 10, 2018 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Meditations, The Better Part

“If you wish to talk to Christ and to accept all the truth of his testimony, you must on the one hand ‘love the world’ – for God ‘so loved the world that he gave his only Son’ (Jn 3:16) – and at the same time you must acquire interior detachment with regard to all this rich and fascinating reality that makes up ‘the world.’”  – Saint John Paul II Mark 10:17-31: He... Read More

125. Married Love: Meant to Last (Mark 10:1-16)

October 3, 2018 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Meditations, The Better Part

“Indeed the garden of the Lord contains not only the roses of martyrdom but also the lilies of virginity, the ivy of marriage, and the violets of widowhood. So no one, my dear brethren, need despair of his vocation. Christ suffered for all.”  – St. Augustine Mark 10:1-16: Leaving there, he came to the district of Judaea and the far side of the Jordan. And again crowds gathered round him,... Read More

What is a General Confession?

September 27, 2018 by  
Filed under Drafts, Fr. Bartunek, Penance/Confession

General Confession and Scrupulosity   Dear Father John: What is a general confession?  And, under what circumstances should one make a general confession?  Should a scrupulous person make a general confession? Thank you for your question.  I hope I can shed a little bit of light on the nature of general confession. What “General Confession” Refers to Usually, the term “general confession”... Read More

124. Sin Matters (Mark 9:38-50)

September 26, 2018 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Meditations, Sin, The Better Part

“There is a crown for those who in times of persecution fight the good fight; there is a crown too for those who in times of peace keep true to their conscience.” – St. Cyprian Mark 9:38-50: John said to him, ‘Master, we saw a man who is not one of us casting out devils in your name; and because he was not one of us we tried to stop him.’ But Jesus said, ‘You must not stop him: no one... Read More