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Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor’s Virtue

July 22, 2014 by  
Filed under Book Club, Vicki Burbach

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The Sinner’s Guide (Week 16 of 16) If the faithful all practiced the same virtues, how could they be called a body, which necessarily consists of different members? – The Sinner’s Guide, (Chapter 46, Paragraph 9) When my husband and I first met, he put on a good show, in attempt to “woo” me.  But early in our relationship, he said something that should have been my first clue that... Read More



The 4th of July, for the United States, is a day to celebrate independence, liberty and freedom.  But, what really is true freedom?  God created us in His image and likeness and gave us free will.  And, this free will is one of the ways in which we most resemble God.  For that reason, God never violates our free will.  Yet, we are never so free as when we freely choose the ultimate Good, God Himself. ... Read More

Where Suffering Meets Sacrifice

May 27, 2014 by  
Filed under Book Club, Vicki Burbach

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The Sinner’s Guide (Week 8 of 16) The just, knowing that God is their Father and the Physician of their souls, submissively and generously accept as the cure for their infirmities the bitter chalice of suffering.  They look on tribulation as a file in the hands of their Maker to remove the rust of sin from their souls, and to restore them to their original purity and brightness.  - The Sinner’s... Read More

What is the Process that Leads to Eternal Death?


Father Fortea, what is the process that leads to eternal death? A.  As St. James teaches, “Each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin; and sin when it is full-grown brings forth death” (James 1:14-15). With great insight, these two verses describe the process that leads to the death of grace in the soul. Sin is not... Read More

“Offering it Up” – Redemptive Suffering (II/II) Path to Greater Merit

May 12, 2014 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Suffering


In part I, we talked about the mystery of merit and its problem and solution.  Today, we will discuss how the growth in spiritual maturity depends on the interior discipline in living out each for four factors. A reader asks:  Dear Father John, I was just listening to a radio show about redemptive suffering – they were saying that our suffering can have value if we “offer it up.” ... Read More

Christian Prayer


Christian prayer is a true conversation with God. This holy dialogue is based on a real relationship between the Giver of all good gifts and the one who offers sacrifice, between the Protector and the one who seeks His will.  Both the similarity and difference of the human person to God together create the boundaries for this relationship. Above the horizon of creation, the Creator draws His work... Read More

“Offering it Up” – Redemptive Suffering Part I Mystery of Merit

May 5, 2014 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Prayer, Suffering


Redemptive Suffering (Part I of II) :  The Mystery of Merit Dear Father John, I was just listening to a radio show about redemptive suffering – they were saying that our suffering can have value if we “offer it up.”  Is there any more to this (uniting our sufferings to Jesus’) than just saying the words? Before getting to the heart of this question, we have to peek at the... Read More

To Clean Or Not to Clean


Yes, it is the time of year that we are faced with the grim reality of spring cleaning. The boxes that haven’t been touched in years need to be opened, the clothes that are no longer in fashion need to be donated, and the never-ending cleaning list needs to be completed. Unless you go against the grain and find great satisfaction in organization and cleanliness and in the whole process of getting... Read More

What is the difference between confession and spiritual direction?


Q: Dear Father John, what is the difference between confession and spiritual direction? A: Confession and spiritual direction are like partially overlapping circles: they share some common characteristics, but their centers, their essences, are distinct. The Distinction of Confession The essence of confession is the sacramental grace that Christ gives to our soul through the ministry of his priest.... Read More

Envy: The No Win Sin (Part II of II)


In our previous post on envy, we looked at what envy is and how it manifests in our lives.  Today, we will examine the difference between envy and jealousy and talk about getting some prayer and perspective on this issue. Jealousy and Envy There is a difference between jealousy and envy. They are often used in the same way, but are two different things.  Jealousy is the feeling that someone has something... Read More

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