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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 penitence, sacrifice or self-sacrifice,... 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 refers to voluntary actions... Read More

Conversion of Saint Paul

January 25, 2018 by  
Filed under Feast Days, Liz Estler, Loving God, Renunciation, Self-Denial

Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul* Editor's Note: St Paul's conversion is the only conversion the Church celebrates as a feast.  Today, we meditate on the impact of that event on Saul of Tarsus and, by extension, on us as well … as presented by St John Chrysostom. For love of Christ, Paul bore every burden Paul, more than anyone else, has shown us what man really is, and in what our nobility consists, and of what... Read More

Guard of the Senses

Guard of the Senses Presence of God– O my God, I recollect my senses and faculties in Your presence, withdrawing them from all exterior occupations, in order to fix my attention wholly on You. MEDITATION To live a serious interior life, one that is wholly concentrated on seeking God, it is necessary to prevent the outside world from entering the soul and filling it with distractions and noise; it is necessary, therefore, to... Read More

Mortification and Self-Denial

Mortification and Self-Denial   Description: Today Dan and Melissa talk about mortification and how we can love God more fully by denying ourselves of earthly things. Topics/Questions covered in the show: What does St. Teresa of Avila mean when she says, “Prayer and a comfortable life do not go together”? What does it mean to take up our cross in the midst of all of the comfort we experience? We are called to... Read More

Raise the Crucifix to Strike Holy Terror in the Antagonist

Raise the Crucifix to Strike Holy Terror in the Antagonist But…Jesus isn’t on the cross anymore! “Jesus isn’t on the cross anymore! The cross is empty!” So what’s the deal with crucifix-wielding Catholics? Don’t they know we worship a risen Savior? St. Paul says that “if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith” (cf 1 Corinthians 15:14). Without the Resurrection, there is... Read More

Corporal Mortification

Corporal Mortification   Presence of God – O Jesus Crucified, grant that my love for You may make me willing to crucify my flesh with You and for You. MEDITATION As a result of original sin, man no longer has complete dominion over his senses and his flesh; therefore he is filled with evil tendencies which try to push him toward what is base. St. Paul humbly admits: “I know that there dwelleth not in me, that is to say,... Read More

Prayer of Quiet: 30 Days w/ Teresa of Avila Day 27 Pt 1

The Prayer of Quiet 30 Days with Teresa of Avila Day 27, Part 1 Reflections Divine Intimacy Radio St. Teresa continues her discussion with her brother, Lorenzo, on physical mortification and addresses his questions about transitioning into contemplative prayer. Dan and Melissa discuss “the prayer of quiet” and confronting temptations as they reflect on letters from St. Teresa in the book 30 Days with Teresa of Avila. Topics/Questions... Read More

Ascetical Practice: 30 Days w/ Teresa of Avila Day 26 Pt 2

Ascetical Practice 30 Days with Teresa of Avila Part 2, Day 26 Reflections Divine Intimacy Radio When St. Teresa's brother expressed a desire to practice physical mortification she gave him some spiritual direction. Dan and Melissa discuss ascetical practice, or acesis, and spiritual progress as they reflect on letters from St. Teresa in the book 30 Days with Teresa of Avila. Topics/Questions covered in the show: What is a hair... Read More

Mortification & Spiritual Progress

Dan and Melissa explore mortification, its meaning, and purpose. Topics: What is mortification? Voluntary actions by which we gradually put to death all of our vices, sinful habits and self-centered tendencies that lurk beneath them.  The purpose of mortification and self-renunciation is about cleaning up “the garden of the soul” as many saints describe it. We must not only uproot sin but fill our souls with virtue to replace... Read More

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