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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

An Examination of Conscience for Venial Sins

An Examination of Conscience for Venial Sins   OK. So, you receive regular spiritual direction, you frequent the sacraments, you fast and pray and spend time in adoration. You attend daily Mass, or at least more often than just Sunday Mass (and Holy Days of Obligation). You're not committing mortal sin. You confess your venial sins during regular confession. At times, you feel like what's the use? I'm not really a great sinner... Read More

Is the Occasion of Sin a Sin?

June 28, 2018 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Sin, Spiritual Direction

I was watching a video on YouTube not too long ago. On it, I was disturbed to hear a priest say, or intimate, that the occasion of sin was itself a sin. That’s never occurred to me. It sounds so strange and it seems like, in a scrupulous person, it could fuel scrupulosity. What’s the bottom line? Is the occasion of sin itself actually a sin? Could it be a sin sometimes? And, sometimes not? Does it depend on how proximate the... Read More

Is Group Spiritual Direction a Good Thing?

June 7, 2018 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Spiritual Direction

What do you think about group spiritual direction which is in vogue in some circles today? Is that a good way to get spiritual direction? Thank you for your time in answering my question. The essence of spiritual direction is the relationship between the spiritual director and the directee. The interaction and dialogue that happens in that relationship is deeply personal and personalized. Discerning God’s action and invitations... Read More

Aspirations Rising Up Like Incense to God

Aspirations Rising Up LIke Incense to God St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church, recommended that we “make spiritual aspirations to God by short, ardent movements of [our] hearts” and taught that “… ejaculatory prayer was strongly recommended by the great St. Augustine to the devout Lady Proba” (Introduction to the Devout Life, II, 13). The Abbott Blessed Louis de Blois (François-Louis Blosius), O.S.B., a 16th... Read More

Lenten Melancholy Versus Easter Joy

May 7, 2018 by  
Filed under Easter, Fr. Bartunek, Lent, Spiritual Direction

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 knowing you personally, I can’t... Read More

Where in the World is Carmel?

Where in the World is Carmel?   An interesting question in more ways than one! And one that requires some thought. Just to clear up any confusion right at the beginning, Carmel doesn’t mean the delicious, sweet, sticky candy. That is caramel, with a different spelling and three syllables! The word Carmel is of Hebrew origin and means a “garden, orchard, or park.” So, would we be in Carmel every time we visit a garden,... Read More

Learning to Float in the Ocean of Mercy

Learning to Float in the Ocean of Mercy […Some time ago, a] young woman was eagerly learning the art of surrender to the Divine Instructor. Jesus revealed to St. Maria Faustina, an obscure Religious Sister in Poland, His deep love and mercy for all humanity and appointed her as His ‘Messenger of Mercy’. His message involved a request for our childlike confidence in His love and a renewed call for mercy toward our neighbor.... Read More

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