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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.

113. Hungry Hearts (Mark 6:30-44)

July 18, 2018 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Meditations, The Better Part

“For we do not receive this food as ordinary bread and as ordinary drink; but just as Jesus Christ our Savior became flesh through the word of God, and assumed flesh and blood for our salvation, so too we are taught that the food over which the prayer of thanksgiving, the word received from Christ, has been said, the food which nourishes our flesh and blood by assimilation, is the flesh and blood... Read More

What to Tell a Priest in a Devotional Confession

How do you speak with a priest in Confession when you do a devotional confession and he says that you don't need to mention past sins as they are already forgiven? I assume that you mean by “devotional confession” going to confession even if you have no mortal sins on your conscience. Many spiritual writers will refer to that as “frequent confession,” since it is still a sacramental encounter,... Read More

111. A Mission from God (Mark 6:7-13)

July 11, 2018 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Meditations, The Better Part

“Bury yourselves therefore in the heart of Jesus crucified, desiring nothing else but to lead all men to follow his will in all things.” – St. Paul of the Cross Mark 6:7-13: Then he summoned the Twelve and began to send them out in pairs giving them authority over the unclean spirits. And he instructed them to take nothing for the journey except a staff – no bread, no haversack, no... Read More

110. Family Troubles (Mark 6:1-6)

July 4, 2018 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Meditations, The Better Part

“Christ humbled himself; the Christian has his example to imitate.” – St. Augustine Mark 6:1-6: Going from that district, he went to his home town and his disciples accompanied him. With the coming of the sabbath he began teaching in the synagogue and most of them were astonished when they heard him. They said, ‘Where did the man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been granted... Read More

Is the Occasion of Sin a Sin?

June 28, 2018 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Sin, Spiritual Direction

I was watching a video on YouTube not too long ago. On it, I was disturbed to hear a priest say, or intimate, that the occasion of sin was itself a sin. That’s never occurred to me. It sounds so strange and it seems like, in a scrupulous person, it could fuel scrupulosity. What’s the bottom line? Is the occasion of sin itself actually a sin? Could it be a sin sometimes? And, sometimes not? Does... Read More

109. Fear or Faith? (Mark 5:21-43)

June 27, 2018 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Meditations, The Better Part

“When the woman suffering from a flow of blood believed and touched the hem of the Lord’s clothing, her flow of blood dried up. In the same way, every soul wounded by sin and punished by a flood of evil thoughts will be saved it if draws near to the Lord in faith.” – St. Ammon Mark 5:21-43: When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered round him and... Read More

Disobedience of the Fallen Angels

June 21, 2018 by  
Filed under Demonology, Fr. Bartunek, Spiritual Warfare

Thanks for good answer, but still I find room for expansion. For example, if the Devils knew very clearly that their disobedience would have made them miserable, did they possess a complete picture of their future situation when they rebelled? Or are they so masochistic that they like to be miserable? Also, why our Good Lord would give them a kind of role in the following creation of humans, as e.g.... Read More

My Appetite for Information is Endless: Is Curiosity Bad?

Dear Father John, Many spiritual writers and saints have cautioned against excessive curiosity. Why is this? Curiosity leads to knowledge and knowledge is a virtue. So how can curiosity be bad? I am very curious and love to learn about anything and everything. God's great universe is endlessly fascinating and the more I learn and experience, the more reverence I have for God the Creator. So…... Read More

Is Group Spiritual Direction a Good Thing?

June 7, 2018 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Spiritual Direction

What do you think about group spiritual direction which is in vogue in some circles today? Is that a good way to get spiritual direction? Thank you for your time in answering my question. The essence of spiritual direction is the relationship between the spiritual director and the directee. The interaction and dialogue that happens in that relationship is deeply personal and personalized. Discerning... Read More

Lenten Melancholy Versus Easter Joy

May 7, 2018 by  
Filed under Easter, Fr. Bartunek, Lent, Spiritual Direction

I have a question: Why is it that during Lent I am so melancholy – and I don't seem to be getting [out] of it [like I were under attack] until Easter morning. It happens every year as long as I can remember – I am now 80. It would be boasting to say that I partake in my Lord's suffering … so what is it? You are not alone. This is not so uncommon a phenomenon as you may think. Not... Read More