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SpiritualDirection.com / Catholic Spiritual Direction

Lenten Melancholy Versus Easter Joy

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

Teacher and Lord – Lenten Retreat Guide on the Last Supper

March 24, 2018 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Lent, Prayer, Retreat Guides

Teacher and Lord: A Lenten Retreat Guide on the Last Supper Father John Bartunek introduces us to his latest Lenten Retreat Guide on the Last Supper: Teacher and Lord Dear Friends in Christ, During the first centuries of Christianity, the forty days leading up to Holy Week took on a special significance. Those forty days are called Lent, a name taken from the Old English word meaning “spring.”... Read More

What Christ Saw from the Garden

what Christ saw from the Garden

What Christ Saw from the Garden In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus knew perfectly just what it was for which He was to pay the penalty of death. He was to pay the penalty for sin — for all the sins of mankind, from the first to the last. Isaiah the prophet had cried out: “Woe is me, because I have held my peace; because I am a man of unclean lips, and . . . I have seen with my eyes the King,... Read More

The Litany of Humility: How Can I be Freed From the Desire to be Loved?

Dear Father John, I am trying to pray the Litany of Humility [by Servant of God Cardinal Merry del Val] with special reverence and attentiveness during this Lent, and in doing so the following question keeps recurring to me: In the Litany of Humility, the second request is: “From the desire of being loved, Lord Jesus, free me!” How am I to understand this request? I had thought that to... Read More

How do Penance and Mortification Differ?

Dear Father John, OK, now I have a better grasp of what we mean by “mortification,” but that has raised another question. Is there a difference between mortification and penance or penitence. This is a very interesting question. The distinction between mortification (synonymous in most spiritual writers with self-denial, abnegation, self-renunciation, dying to self) and penance (synonymous with... Read More

Confessing Our Sins Opens the Way to Holiness

Sins

Confessing Our Sins Opens the Way to Holiness Lent is the time of year when God obligates us to prepare our hearts and to purify our souls so that we are ready to receive Our Lord in His glorious coming at Easter. There’s no time to delay. The Bible says, “Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2). During this season, every day we should try to make... Read More

Not Excusing Oneself

Not Excusing Oneself   Presence of God – O Jesus, who willed to be silent before him who condemned You to death, teach me the art of not excusing myself. MEDITATION In any failure, fault, or personal error, our ego instinctively tries to excuse itself. It is the tactic of pride–which is not willing to admit its mistakes and schemes–to hide them under more or less false pretexts, always... Read More

What is Mortification?

Dear Father John, What is “mortification” and how does it relate to Lent? What does Saint Paul mean in 1 Corinthians 9 where he says, “I pummel my body and subdue it…”? Is he talking about mortification? The root word for “mortification” comes from the Latin, mors and mortis, and it translates as “death.” In the spiritual life, therefore, mortification... Read More

The Origin of the Wood of the Cross

February 21, 2018 by  
Filed under Books, Charlie McKinney, Lent, The Cross

Wood

When the world rang with the news that the Holy Cross had been discovered, and everyone was asking for details, according to the working of each individual mind, there arose these questions among others: Of what wood was it made? Where did it grow? In which locality budded forth that plant that, when matured, was to become the instrument of torture and the crude deathbed of the Son of God, the Son... Read More

Return to Me

Return to Me* Even now, says the LORD, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning; Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the LORD, your God. For gracious and merciful is he, slow to anger, rich in kindness, and relenting in punishment. Perhaps he will again relent and leave behind him a blessing, Offerings and libations for the LORD, your... Read More

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