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SpiritualDirection.com / Catholic Spiritual Direction

The Sign of the Cross

Join Dan Burke and Melissa Elson as they speak with Christopher Carstens to discuss participation in the liturgy and the meaning and significance behind making the sign of the cross. Topics/Questions Covered in the Show: What three events happen during the liturgy? How do we understand the sacramental principle? What is mystagogy? What does it mean to make the sign of the cross? How can the faithful enter into a more full/active... Read More

Ten Practical Steps to a Sanctified Life

Let us turn to some practical aids that can encourage us to establish a strong spiritual life. This is by no means an exhaustive list; rather, it’s simply a starting point for your own exploration. And realize, too, that you won’t achieve these all in one week or even one month — and you’re not supposed to. As St. Philip Neri says, “One should not wish to become a saint in four days but step by step.” And remember... Read More

Salvation, the Scapular, and Spiritual Darkness

Salvation, the Scapular, and Spiritual Darkness   Description: Today, Dan and Melissa answer your questions about the scapular, the difference between Protestant and Catholic views of salvation, and spiritual darkness. Topics/Questions covered in the show: How can one go about supporting Divine Intimacy Radio and the Avila Institute? Why do some people wear the scapular visibly? Shouldn't the scapular be warn under clothing? How... Read More

The Effects of Holy Water

The question naturally presents itself: whence come the effects of holy water? For the effects of holy water we are indebted principally to our divine Savior. He merited for us the graces we obtain through its usage by His bitter Passion and death. Holy Church, however, who is the custodian of these precious and infinite treasures of grace merited by our Lord, has, in view of these merits, attached these effects to holy water.... Read More

Passion Sunday

Passion Sunday   Today we begin the celebration of Holy Week.  We will journey spiritually with Jesus and walk along with Him from His entry into Jerusalem through the mystery of His Passion and Death and, ultimately, to His glorious Resurrection.  If we die with Him we shall also live with Him (cf Romans 6:8). The blessed sacramental palms we receive help focus our attention on this journey. Besides also being referred... Read More

Relics (Part III of III)

July 20, 2015 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Relics, Sacramentals

RELICS (Part III of III) Editor's Note:  In Part I, we took a look at the tomb of St. Francis of Assisi, saw evidence of relics in the Old and New Testaments and explained the three different types of relics. In Part II, we showed how relics reiterate the Incarnation.   Today, we will examine how relics reiterate the Resurrection.  Here is the question we are looking at: Dear Father John, The discussion about cremation and... Read More

Relics (Part II of III)

July 13, 2015 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Relics, Sacramentals

RELICS (Part II of III) Editor's Note:  In Part I, we took a look at the tomb of St. Francis of Assisi, saw evidence of relics in the Old and New Testaments and explained the three different types of relics.  Today we will show how relics reiterate the Incarnation.  Here is the question we are considering: Dear Father John, The discussion about cremation and preserving the head of St. Catherine had me thinking. Why stop at... Read More

Relics (Part I of III)

July 6, 2015 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Relics, Sacramentals

RELICS (Part I of III)   Dear Father John, The discussion about cremation and preserving the head of St. Catherine had me thinking. Why stop at the head? What about all the incorruptible bodies in the Church – St. Pio and St. Bernadette of Lourdes to name two – should they be on public display?? Is that a reverent ‘disposal' of the body? Kindly clarify. With thanks. It’s possible to get too complicated... Read More

Why Have Holy Water Fonts and Bless Ourselves with the Water?

September 15, 2014 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Holy Water, Sacramentals

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Dear Father John, I know we bless ourselves with holy water when we come into Church. Why are there holy water fonts at the doors of the Church and why do we dip our fingers in them and bless ourselves as we enter? Why did we ever start doing this? I love this question! So many of the small gestures that we learn early on in our Catholic lives have various levels of meaning. And too often we can simply stay at the level of, “This... Read More

The Scapular…a Sign of Mary’s Motherhood

January 31, 2014 by  
Filed under Carmelite Sisters, Sacramentals, Scapulars

What is the scapular, and why is it so important to Carmelites? Do you remember what Our Lady was wearing when she appeared to Bernadette? How about her appearance as Our Lady of La Salette? How did Juan Diego describe her or how did she appear on his tilma? It seems Our Lady had a different wardrobe each time! Whenever a visionary describes the appearance of Our Lady when she makes herself visible to the seer, it usually includes... Read More