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Catholic Spiritual Direction

Dryness in Prayer – God’s Part in the Struggle (Part III of III)

April 14, 2014 by  
Filed under Aridity or Dryness, Fr. Bartunek, Prayer

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Dryness in Prayer – God’s Part in the Struggle (Part III of III) Editor’s Note:  In Part I, we talked about what is going on with dryness in prayer.  In the second installment of this series, we addressed our part in the struggle.  Today, we will look at God’s part in the struggle. A reader asks: Dear Father John, I have been praying (mental prayer) for a long time.  But... Read More

Dryness in Prayer – Our Part in the Struggle (Part II of III)

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Editor’s Note:  In Part I, we talked about what is going on with dryness or aridity in prayer.  Today, we will look at our part in the struggle. A reader asks: Dear Father John, I have been praying (mental prayer) for a long time.  But lately I seem to be experiencing dryness in my prayer – I just don’t seem to get as much out of it as I used to.  Is this the “dark night... Read More

How can I better prepare for prayer and meditation?

February 24, 2014 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Meditation, Mental Prayer, Prayer

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Dear Father John, in the first part of your book, The Better Part, you mention something about preparing for tomorrow’s meditation the night before. I also heard that mentioned by a priest giving us a talk during a retreat. Can you explain this a little bit more? What do you mean, exactly, and is that something just for religious and priests, or should I be doing it too? It seems to me that your... Read More

Sometimes prayer is so frustrating I just give up… what can I do?

Dear Sister Carmen, in the Second Mansion of the Interior Castle, St. Teresa strongly emphasizes the need for perseverance. Can you help me understand how this works in a practical way? I really struggle to keep a consistent prayer time and to stay focused when I pray. Sometimes [prayer] is so frustrating that I just give up. I know this doesn’t help but what can I do? Many doors have a sign... Read More

What if I just don’t like to pray at all?

March 11, 2010 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Prayer

Dear Father Joseph, maybe this isn’t the place (or blog) to post such a question, but what would you say to someone who doesn’t really *like* praying? I’m not saying it should be enjoyable or entertaining, etc., but I never feel any desire to pray, and when I do pray it’s just plain awkward, unpleasant, and motivated only out of some sense of obligation. I guess it would be... Read More

The Better Part – A Christ-Centered Resource for Personal Prayer

January 24, 2010 by  
Filed under Books, Dan Burke, Fr. Bartunek

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The Better Part: A Christ-Centered Resource for Personal Prayer by Father John Bartunek, LC, ThD No one who is learning or desires to learn to pray more deeply and meditate more effectively on the person and work of Christ should go without this book. It offers a basic but at the same time sufficiently comprehensive overview of how to meditate in the Christian tradition (no New Age or Hindu/Buddhist... Read More

Problems with my mind… Any ideas?

November 12, 2009 by  
Filed under Anonymous, Practicing Presence, Prayer

To love God is everything to me – to serve him – more than everything. He is worthy of all that I have, all that I am. However, I have a problem. I have a very active mind. From the moment I rise to the moment I sleep my mind is racing. When I sleep, or I should say on the rare occasion that I do sleep, my mind is still racing. So, who cares? Well, I thought it may be of interest to those... Read More

I Want to Pray but Struggle with My Schedule – What do I do?

September 14, 2009 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Prayer

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Dear Father John, I am a busy executive and struggle to make time for prayer. What should I do? I do want to improve my prayer life but I just struggle with time. The desire to improve your prayer life is a sign of God’s presence and action in your soul. Be grateful for it and rest assured that God, “who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion…” (Phil 1:6). In other words, as... Read More

Prayer of St. Augustine on Aridity

“Lord, my God, You who are holy, look and see my affliction! Have pity on the child whom You have engendered in sorrow and do not consider my sins, lest you forget Your power over them. What father will not liberate his son? And what son has not been chastised by his father’s compassionate rod? O Father and Lord, although I am a sinner, I am nonetheless Your child, because You have created... Read More