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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 two other titles: "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.

46. Self-Forgetting Love (Matthew 14:13-21)

July 30, 2014 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Meditations, The Better Part

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“I love because I love; I love by loving.” -St. Bernard of Clairvaux Matthew 14:13-21: When Jesus received this news he withdrew by boat to a lonely place where they could be by themselves. But the people heard of this and, leaving the towns, went after him on foot. So as he stepped ashore he saw a large crowd; and he took pity on them and healed their sick. When evening came, the disciples went... Read More

Spiritual Director or Shrink? How Does One Discern? (Part II of II)

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Dear Fathers, Brothers, and Sisters,

 I have long been dealing with a deep sadness and lack of joy in life.  The vortex of emotional suffering seems to revolve around my unanswered prayers for a spouse and romantic love, but when I look at myself honestly I see that I am not selfless enough to have been a good wife.

 I pray that the Lord changes my heart, and makes me a better person, and... Read More

44. Investing Wisely (Matthew 13:44-52)

July 23, 2014 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Meditations, The Better Part

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“Let me seek you in desiring you; let me desire you in seeking you; let me find you in loving you; let me love you in finding you.” -St. Anselm Matthew 13:44-52: ‘’The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field which someone has found; he hides it again, goes off happy, sells everything he owns and buys the field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls;... Read More

Spiritual Director or Shrink? How Does One Discern? (Part I of II)

Holy_Sepulchre_cross

Dear Fathers, Brothers, and Sisters,

 I have long been dealing with a deep sadness and lack of joy in life.  The vortex of emotional suffering seems to revolve around my unanswered prayers for a spouse and romantic love, but when I look at myself honestly I see that I am not selfless enough to have been a good wife.

 I pray that the Lord changes my heart, and makes me a better person, and... Read More

43. Qualities of the Kingdom (Matthew 13:24-43)

July 16, 2014 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Meditations, The Better Part

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“In prayer I always find light and strength of spirit although there are moments so trying and hurtful, that it is sometimes difficult to imagine that these things can happen in a convent. Strangely, God sometimes allows them, but always in order to manifest or develop virtue in a soul. That is the reason for trials.” -St. Faustina Kowalska Matthew 13:24-43: He put another parable before them,... Read More

What does it mean to have a “personal relationship with Christ?”

July 14, 2014 by  
Filed under Faith, Featured, Fr. Bartunek, Spiritual Direction

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Dear Father John, what does it mean to have a “personal relationship with Christ?”  I pray regularly (rosary, Liturgy of the Hours, etc) and go to mass regularly, however, I don’t know that “personal relationship” would describe my understanding and experience of God. Am I missing something? Maybe, but maybe not.  Let’s start answering your question with a question:... Read More

42. Seeking a Fertile Heart (Matthew 13:1-23)

July 9, 2014 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Meditations, The Better Part

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“While the Lord was calling me, all the world’s pleasures stood nearby. As though holding deliberations with a friend, my mind pondered what course to take, which to abandon. Thanks be to you, good Jesus, who, moved by the holy entreaties of your servant, broke my bonds and cast upon me the bonds of your love.” -St. Hilary of Arles  Matthew 13:1-23: That same day, Jesus left the house and sat... Read More

How do I get Rid of my “inner ugliness?”

July 7, 2014 by  
Filed under Difficulties, Featured, Fr. Bartunek, Pride

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Dear Father John, I have been struggling with some interior trials with forgiveness, resentment and jealousy. I call this “inner ugliness.” I have been praying fervently, going to confession, and receiving excellent spiritual direction. I have been willing myself to be charitable even when I am not feeling it. So here is my question. What am I missing, why do I still feel “inner ugly”?... Read More

True Freedom of the Mature Christian

July 3, 2014 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Freedom, Retreat Guides

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True Freedom of the Mature Christian … Dear Fellow Digital Missionary, Here in the United States, Catholics are fully engaged in the “Fortnight for Freedom”. This initiative started a couple years ago, when the USA Bishops tried to galvanize the faithful in defense of religious freedom, both through prayer and action. I love the initiative, and I love the name of the initiative. Much of the... Read More

Fallen away family member – What can I do?

June 30, 2014 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Prayer

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Dear Father John, how can I convince family members who have fallen away from the faith to come back to God and the Church? You can’t. Only God can do that. But you can help. Here are some thoughts about how. There is more going on in this question than meets the eye. Almost every believer faces a question like this at some point in their journey. It can take different forms. Some of my priest... Read More