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Catholic Spiritual Direction

About Fr. John Bartunek, LC

Fr. John Bartunek, LC, S.Th.D, received his BA in History from Stanford University in 1990. He comes from an evangelical Christian background and became a member of the Catholic Church in 1991. After college he worked as a high school history teacher, drama director, and baseball coach. He then spent a year as a professional actor in Chicago before entering the religious Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ in 1993. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 2003 and earned his doctorate in moral theology in 2010. He provided spiritual support on the set of Mel Gibson’s "The Passion of the Christ" while researching the 2005 Catholic best seller "Inside the Passion"--the only authorized, behind-the-scene explanation of the film. Fr. John has contributed news commentary regarding religious issues on NBC, CNN, Fox, and the BBC. He also served as the English-language press liaison for the Vatican’s 2005 Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist. His most widely known book is called: "The Better Part: A Christ-Centered Resource for Personal Prayer". He has also published four other titles: "Seeking First the Kingdom", "Answers: Catholic Advice for Your Spiritual Questions", "Meditations for Mothers", and "A Guide to Christian Meditation". Fr. John currently splits his time between Rome and Rhode Island, where he teaches theology as an adjunct professor at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum and at Mater Ecclesia College. He is also continuing his writing apostolate with online retreats at www.RCSpirituality.org and questions and answers on the spiritual life at www.RCSpiritualDirection.com. FATHER JOHN'S BOOKS include: "The Better Part: A Christ-Centered Resource for Personal Prayer", "Inside the Passion"--The Only Authorized Insiders View of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, "Meditations for Mothers", and "A Guide to Christian Meditation".

70. The Answer (Matthew 22:34-46)

October 22, 2014 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Meditations, The Better Part

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“If we desire to live in the dwelling-place of his kingdom there is no means of reaching it except by the way of good deeds.” -St. Benedict Matthew 22:34-46: But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees they got together and, to disconcert him, one of them put a question, ‘Master, which is the greatest commandment of the Law?’ Jesus said, ‘You must love the Lord your God... Read More

Loving with Everything We’ve Got

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Dear Father John,  you’ve written about seeking first the kingdom of God.  What does that really mean? It Means Loving with Everything We’ve Got! Seeking something involves knowing about it, wanting it, and going out to take possession of it. These three activities correspond to the three basic powers of the human soul: the mind, which knows and understands; the emotions, which feel... Read More

68. Foiled Again (Matthew 22:15-21)

October 15, 2014 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Meditations, The Better Part

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“Alas for the soul which has not Christ for its Lord dwelling in it, for when it is deserted and filled with the stench of passions it becomes a den of vice.” – St. Macarius Matthew 22:15-21: Then the Pharisees went away to work out between them how to trap him in what he said. And they sent their disciples to him, together with the Herodians, to say, ‘Master, we know that you are an honest... Read More

Can one be Padre Pio’s Spiritual Child if Consecrated to Jesus through Mary?

October 13, 2014 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Spiritual Life

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Dear Father John, if an individual has been Totally consecrated to Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary through the St. Louis de Montfort method, done privately, 33 day retreat, confession, Mass and Day of Consecration pledge/vow/prayer, can this individual through the Association of Padre Pio still become a spiritual child of Padre Pio? I am not familiar with the Association of Padre Pio but... Read More

67. A Thankless Banquet (Matthew 22:1-14)

October 8, 2014 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Meditations, The Better Part

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“Alas for the soul which is without Christ to cultivate it so that it will bring forth the fruits of the Spirit. When it is deserted it becomes full of thorns and thistles…”  – St. Macarius Matthew 22:1-14: Jesus began to speak to them in parables once again, ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a feast for his son’s wedding. He sent his servants to call those... Read More

Does Jesus Contradict Himself? I’m Confused! What is Up to Me?

October 6, 2014 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Spiritual Growth, Spiritual Life

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Does Jesus Contradict Himself?  I’m Confused! What is Up to Me? I get all confused sometimes when I hear the Gospels.  Jesus tells us that we can’t do anything without him.  At the same time, he also tells us to strive to enter by the narrow door.  Which one is it?  Are we supposed to let Him do everything, or do we do everything, or is it a little of both?  Please help me understand. JESUS... Read More

When I am Weak, Then I am Strong: Retreat Guide on the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick

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WHEN I AM WEAK, THEN I AM STRONG–A RETREAT GUIDE ON THE SACRAMENT OF THE ANOINTING OF THE SICK The newest Retreat Guide from RC Spirituality, “When I Am Weak, Then I Am Strong: A Retreat Guide on the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick” is now available at www.RCSpirituality.org. Sickness and death were not part of God’s original plan for the human family; they were consequences of... Read More

66. A Valuable Vineyard (Matthew 21:33-46)

October 1, 2014 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Meditations, The Better Part

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“My daughter, all your miseries have been consumed in the flame of My love, like a little twig thrown into a roaring fire.” – Words of Jesus to St. Faustina Kowalska Matthew 21:33-46: ‘Listen to another parable. There was a man, a landowner, who planted a vineyard; he fenced it round, dug a wine press in it and built a tower; then he leased it to tenants and went abroad. When vintage time... Read More

My 20-year-old Does Not Receive Communion: What Should I Do?

September 29, 2014 by  
Filed under Eucharist, Faith, Family Life, Fr. Bartunek

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My 20-year-old Does Not Receive Communion: What Should I Do? Dear Father John, should it bother me when my 20 year old son goes to Mass but does not receive communion? And what should I do about it? It should concern you, but it should also fill you with healthy pride. It should bother you, because a choice not to receive Holy Communion means one of two things. First, it could mean that your son is... Read More

65. Two Types of Sinners (Matthew 21:28-32)

September 24, 2014 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Meditations, The Better Part

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“I already have a spouse, and I will not offend him by pretending that another might please me. I will give myself only to him who first chose me. So, executioners, what are you waiting for?” - St. Agnes, martyr Matthew 21:28-32: ‘What is your opinion? A man had two sons. He went and said to the first, My boy, you go and work in the vineyard today. He answered, I will not go, but afterwards thought... Read More