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SpiritualDirection.com / Catholic Spiritual Direction

Frequent Confession of Sin

Join Dan Burke and Melissa Elson in part 2 of a listener question and answer forum on frequent confession and the importance of confessing venial sins. Topics/Questions Covered in the Show: Why does Venerable Pope Pius XII speak so strongly in favor of making frequent confessions of venial sin in his encyclical Mystici Corporis Christi? What is devotional confession? What is a reasonable request for confession? How often is “frequent”... 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, not just a private act of... Read More

Sin and Confession

Join Dan Burke and Melissa Elson as they answer questions from listeners about the sacrament of reconciliation. Topics/Questions Covered in the Show: What differentiates the purgative, illuminative, and unitive stages of the interior life? Why must one go to confession if he or she is detached from habitual mortal and venial sin? What is the purpose or benefit of confessing venial sins frequently? What argument does Venerable... Read More

Receiving the Eucharist with Humility

How can we receive the Eucharist in the most holy way? Join Dan Burke and Melissa Elson as they speak with liturgy expert Christopher Carstens to discuss the humility necessary to receive the precious Body and Blood of our Lord during Mass. Topics/Questions Covered in the Show: When receiving the Holy Eucharist, what is the best virtue to exhibit in order to become saintly? How does humility bring us into a more full participation... Read More

Let Us Prepare for Union

Let Us Prepare for Union   Presence of God – O Jesus, grant that I may derive great profit from the grace of union with You, which You offer me daily in Holy Communion. MEDITATION The Eucharist unites us to Christ directly; this physical union is the same for all who partake of His Body and Blood. However, it does not produce the same effects in everyone. This is so true that the Sacrament may even become a cause of damnation... Read More

Solemnity of Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi Presence of God – “The eternal tide flows hid in living bread. That with its heavenly life too be fed …” (John of the Cross, Poems). MEDITATION We have gone, step by step, in the course of the liturgical year, from the consideration of the mysteries of the life of Jesus to the contemplation of the Blessed Trinity, whose feast we celebrated last Sunday. Jesus, our Mediator, our Way, has taken us by... Read More

Gentle Evangelization

    “How beautiful you are, my friend, How beautiful you are! Your eyes are doves behind your veil… Like a scarlet strand, your lips, and your mouth—lovely! Like pomegranate halves, your cheeks behind your veil.” Songs 4:1,3       I'm a frequent visitor of art museums. From modern minimalism, to rococo ornamentation, to the still-life portraits of the Dutch, I love it all. As an... Read More

Participating in Holy Mass

Participating in Holy Mass Presence of God – O Jesus, immolated at every moment of the day on our altars, let me share in Your Sacrifice. MEDITATION The Encyclical Mediator Dei exhorts all the faithful to “participate in the Eucharistic Sacrifice, not passively, carelessly, and with distractions, but with such ardor and fervor that we shall be closely associated with the High Priest.” It is not enough to be present at Mass;... Read More

The Sacrament of Union

The Sacrament of Union Presence of God – O Jesus, You who nourish me with Your Body and Blood, grant that I may live by You, live of Your Life. MEDITATION In His discourse on the “Bread of Life,” Jesus Himself spoke of the Eucharist as the Sacrament of our union with Him. “He that eateth My Flesh and drinketh My Blood, abideth in Me and I in him” (John 6:57). It is a true interpenetration: Christ is in us and we are... Read More

Should I Still Go to Confession if I Have Nothing to Confess?

Dear Father John, I recently heard someone mention the term “devotional confession.” I think this is what I need, but I am not sure what it really is. Is this the kind of confession we do when we are no longer living with habitual mortal or venial sins? Is this where we re-confess old sins to gain the benefit of the sacrament? But if it is, isn’t that scrupulosity? Any guidance will be appreciated. Your question, it seems... Read More

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