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SpiritualDirection.com / Catholic Spiritual Direction

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

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

Humility and Confidence

Humility and Confidence   Presence of God – Out of the depths of my misery I have cried to Thee, O Lord; Lord, hear my voice…. I trust in Thee. MEDITATION Christian humility does not lower, it elevates; it does not cast down, but gives courage, for the more it reveals to the soul its nothingness and abjection, the more it moves it toward God with confidence and abandonment. The very fact... Read More

The Lord Will Not Delay

The Lord Will Not Delay Second Sunday of Advent Presence of God – I place myself in the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, to receive His two-fold invitation to confidence and repentance, contained in today’s liturgy. MEDITATION After we have considered the sublime program of sanctification which we should follow, it is very consoling to consider the magnificent texts of today’s liturgy.... Read More

The Holy Spirit and the Apostolate

The Holy Spirit and the Apostolate   Presence of God – O Holy Spirit, take possession of my soul and transform it into a chosen instrument for the glory of God and the salvation of souls. MEDITATION The heart of the apostolate is love. St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus understood this well; after having passed in review all possible vocations, and recognizing that they would not suffice to appease... Read More

Perseverance and Confidence

Perseverance and Confidence   Presence of God – O Lord, increase my confidence in Your help and grant that in this confidence, I may always find courage to begin again. MEDITATION What most distresses souls of good will who are seriously trying to live a spiritual life, is to find themselves falling so many times, despite their continual and sincere resolutions. When they begin a program of... Read More

Courage

Courage   Presence of God – O Lord, make me strong and courageous in Your service. MEDITATION The more a soul loves God, the more courageous it will be in undertaking any work, no matter how laborious, for love of Him. Fear of fatigue, of suffering, and of danger, is the greatest enemy of fortitude; it paralyzes the soul and makes it recoil before duty. Courage, on the contrary, is invigorating;... Read More

The Extent of Fraternal Charity

The Extent of Fraternal Charity   Presence of God  – O Lord, make me understand that true charity allows of no exceptions, but embraces with sincere love our neighbor, whoever he may be. MEDITATION If charity were based on our neighbor’s qualities, on his merits or his worth, if it were based on the consolation and benefits we receive from him, it would be impossible to extend it to all... Read More

Jesus Sleeps in Souls

Jesus Sleeps in Souls

Jesus Sleeps in Souls   Jesus lives mystically in souls, reproducing in them all the mysteries of His mortal life. With the keen in­tuition of her love, St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus understood the mystery of this mystical sleep, expressing it with her inimitable language, full of ingenuous and truest poetry: “Jesus slept in my boat, as was His wont. But how rarely will souls allow Him... Read More

Aridity and Progress

Aridity and Progress Presence of God – O Lord, help me to seek for You and to unite myself to You, even through the aridity and powerlessness of my spirit. MEDITATION Even without the presence of the physical or moral causes which we have mentioned before, it is possible to pass from a state of sensible fervor to one of absolute aridity. This happens by the direct work of God which makes it impossible... Read More

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