SpiritualDirection.com / Catholic Spiritual Direction

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

The Resurrection of Our Bodies

The Resurrection of our Bodies   Last summer I had the privilege of speaking at all of the family fests at The Apostolate for Family Consecration (AFC) in Bloomingdale, Ohio. For me and my family, it was experiencing a renaissance of an apostolate whose message to the world now has greater relevance than ever. As a speaker traveling much that summer both in the United States and even to the Philippines, I was keenly aware... Read More

Whom Seek You?

Whom Seek You? Presence of God – O Lord, may I always seek You alone, and seeking You, may I have the grace to find You. MEDITATION In the Masses of Easter week, the Gospels recount the various apparitions of the risen Jesus; the first, and one of the most moving, is that to Mary Magdalen (John 20:11-18). In this episode Mary appears with her characteristic trait, that of a soul completely possessed by the love of God. When... 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

Reflecting on Blind Obedience

Join Dan Burke and Melissa Elson as they reflect on the meditations of Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen on blind obedience. Topics/Questions Covered in the Show: What does Fr. Gabriel mean by obedience and why should we be obedient to our superiors? How is obedience the free sacrifice of liberty? Do we have to be obedient in the case of a sinful act? How should someone in religious life handle situations of obedience when the... Read More

The Litany of Humility: How Can I be Freed From the Desire to be Loved?

March 15, 2018 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Humility, Prayer, Spiritual Direction

Dear Father John, I am trying to pray the Litany of Humility [by Servant of God Cardinal Merry del Val] with special reverence and attentiveness during this Lent, and in doing so the following question keeps recurring to me: In the Litany of Humility, the second request is: “From the desire of being loved, Lord Jesus, free me!” How am I to understand this request? I had thought that to want to love and to be loved is... Read More

Difficulties in Obedience

Difficulties in Obedience   Presence of God – O Jesus, teach me the secret of humble obedience which submits to every superior and every command. MEDITATION Although obedience is precious because it places our whole life in God’s will, nevertheless, in practice it has its difficulties and these arise chiefly because the command itself does not come directly from God but through His representatives. Thus it often happens... Read More

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