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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.

121. Listening Up (Mark 9:1-13)

February 21, 2018 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Meditations, The Better Part

“Realize that in this life we are travelers on a journey: our true home is in heaven.” – St. Cajetan Mark 9:1-13: And he said to them, ‘I tell you solemnly, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power.’ Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John and led them up a high mountain where they could be alone by themselves.... Read More

94. What Pleases God (Mark 1:7-13)

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

“Jesus came to John, and received baptism at his hands. Could anything be more wonderful? The boundless river that gladdens the City of God is washed by a few drops of water. The source without limits that engenders life for all mankind and is beyond all understanding is covered by the poor waters of this world.” – St. Hippolytus Mark 1:7-13: In the course of his [St. John the Baptist’s]... Read More

98. What Christ Wants (Mark 1:40-45)

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

“How merciful the Lord Jesus is towards us, how abundantly kind and good!” – St. Cyprian Mark 1:40-45: A leper came to him and pleaded on his knees: ‘If you want to’ he said ‘you can cure me.’ Feeling sorry for him, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him. ‘Of course I want to!’ he said. ‘Be cured!’ And the leprosy left him at once and he was cured. Jesus immediately... Read More

The Christmas Apostle – Advent Retreat Guide on St John the Evangelist

December 9, 2017 by  
Filed under Advent, Fr. Bartunek, Prayer, Retreat Guides

The Christmas Apostle: A Retreat Guide on St. John the Evangelist Written and presented by Fr. John Bartunek, LC, SThD Father John Bartunek introduces us to his latest Advent Retreat Guide on Saint John the Evangelist! St. John the Evangelist, more than any other of the eleven Apostles, was wonderfully fascinated by the amazing, marvelous event of God becoming man and living among us. His writings... Read More

Some Babies Cry when a Cross Touches Their Forehead at Baptism: Why?

December 4, 2017 by  
Filed under Baptism, Fr. Bartunek, Sacraments

  Dear Father John, I like to ask you something. I am a protestant minister and I realized that sometimes when I have baptized a child they scream when I put a cross on their forehead and then calm down after they have been baptized. I just wonder what makes some babies cry when a cross touches their forehead?” This is an interesting question, especially since you have identified what seems... Read More

Differences in Demon possession, Mental Illness, Depression

November 16, 2017 by  
Filed under Demonology, Fr. Bartunek, Spiritual Warfare

Prevent

Dear Father John, What is the difference between demon possession and mental illness or depression as you discuss in unit 122 of The Better Part? There is no cut-and-dried answer. Here are some basic principles: Not all psychological difficulties can be classified as mental illness. Some are linked to changeable patterns of behavior or basic human maturity issues. These can be remedied by healthy... Read More

Distractions in Prayer and Spiritual Progress

October 23, 2017 by  
Filed under Difficulties, Fr. Bartunek, Prayer, Spiritual Direction

Distractions in Prayer and Spiritual Progress   I've been struggling greatly with distraction in prayer – more so now than I have in years. Does this temptation often come as we progress in the spiritual life (especially with the night of sense)? Distractions can come from different causes.  As we begin to engage in mental prayer (and “beginnings” can last for years), distractions can... Read More

Love One Another: Retreat Guide on St. Therese’s Little Way of Charity

Love One Another: on St. Therese's Little Way of Charity Written by Fr. John Pietropaoli, LC and presented by Fr. John Bartunek, LC, ThD   Christ’s great commandment is that we love one another as he has loved us. Inasmuch as we live that out, we are Christians in name and in fact. But we encounter an obstacle: our own weakness and sinfulness. Luckily, God has given us the saints, friends... Read More

Am I Outside of Sanctifying Grace?

Am I Outside of Sanctifying Grace?   I make spiritual communion because I'm trying to be obedient to the church. My husband is a non-Catholic and refuses to get his first marriage annulled. So where does that leave me? I regularly attend mass. I've been instructed by my priest that I should not receive the Sacraments (confession and communion). Am I left outside of sanctifying grace? Thank you... Read More

A Virgin’s Courage: A Retreat Guide on St Kateri Tekakwitha

July 14, 2017 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Meditation, Resources, Retreat Guides

A Virgin’s Courage: A Retreat Guide on St. Kateri Tekakwitha (for today's Memorial of St. Kateri Tekakwitha) During his last homily at his last World Youth Day, St. John Paul II spoke to almost one million young people gathered in the outskirts of Toronto, Canada about courage, about not being afraid to take a stand for Jesus Christ. In doing so, he invoked the example of the first Native American... Read More

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