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Catholic Spiritual Direction

What Exactly does Jesus Mean by “The Heart”? (Part I of II)

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Dear Father John,  when I hear the readings at Mass, I hear Jesus talk about the heart all the time.  But, what exactly does He mean? THE FIRST ARENA of love that Jesus points out is the “heart.” In all three New Testament versions of this greatest commandment [cf Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30, Luke 10:27], heart is always first on the list. Sacred Scripture uses this term more than a thousand times,... Read More

God Turns Sinners into Saints

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God turns Sinners into Saints Sometimes my mind is too tired or distracted to engage in detailed meditations during prayer time. I look for a simple image to focus on that will bring me into God’s presence and still my scattered thoughts. One of my favorite images is fire. I can easily imagine red flames in the dark. I think of the flames as God’s love, burning away my sins and attachments... Read More

Prayer and Purgatory: Thresholds to Glory

November 24, 2014 by  
Filed under Anthony Lilles, Featured, Last Things, Prayer, Purgatory

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Prayer and Purgatory: Thresholds to Glory Purgatory and prayer are both the thresholds to Glory.   In both cases, the disciple of the Lord receives purification to live life to the full, to be free, to stand before God and, finally, to see his face.   If we are not purified, healed, strengthened and taught how to love, we are not ready for such glory.   Prayer is better than purgatory when... Read More

Preparing Our Hearts for the Coming King – Advent Preparation

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I don’t know about you, but I have allowed far too many an Advent season to pass me by with far too little devotion. For decades St. Joseph knocked at my door, offering the opportunity to allow the Messiah to be born anew in my heart. I am sad to say that prior to this past decade of my life as a Catholic, there was far too little room at the Inn of my heart. I am also grateful to say that since... Read More

The Paradox of Holiness and Communion

October 24, 2014 by  
Filed under Anthony Lilles, Communion, Featured, Holiness, Prayer

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The Paradox of Holiness and Communion To be holy is to be set apart. To be in communion is to be in solidarity with one another.  Prayer both sets us apart and establishes us in a deeper communion. It is a paradox. Although this mystery is not completely solvable, one hint is the relational dimension of prayer. It is ordered to a real friendship with the all holy God. In asserting this, the paradox... Read More

Apostolic Immolation

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Apostolic Immolation Presence of God– O Jesus, immolated for my salvation, make me worthy to immolate myself with You for the salvation of souls. MEDITATION Apostolic prayer must be accompanied by sacrifice, as we learn from the prayer which Jesus made to His Father in the Garden of Olives and on the Cross. Love should urge those who pray to “active sacrifice which does not allow them to rest calmly... Read More

Rosary on the Headboard — Poetry from Donna Sue Berry

October 17, 2014 by  
Filed under Donna Sue Berry, Featured, Poetry, Prayer, Rosary

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Rosary on the Headboard I stumbled through my daily grind Right up until midnight, Then fell in bed without my prayers; I knew it wasn’t right. So tired I was, almost asleep, But thoughts kept waking me, To rise and pray a rosary Upon my bended knees. But my rosary beads were knotted Around my headboard rail, And tired attempts to pull them down Ended to no avail. Our Lady knows how tired I am, Was... Read More

The Little Heaven of My Soul

October 14, 2014 by  
Filed under Book Club, Vicki Burbach

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The Way of Perfection (Week 7 of 10) Those who are able to shut themselves up in this little Heaven of the soul, wherein the Maker of Heaven and earth dwells, and who have formed the habit of looking at nothing and staying in no place that distracts the senses, may be sure that they are walking on an excellent road.  They will not fail to drink of the water of the fountain, for they will travel... Read More

Consecrated to Jesus through Mary: Padre Pio’s Spiritual Child too?

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

The Life of Prayer: The Sure Path to Freedom

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The Life of Prayer: the sure path to freedom Christian prayer is a simple movement of the soul towards God. It is a movement of love, by which we cling to Him with the boldness of faith, trusting in his loving kindness. This movement of love is also a conversation, a heart to heart, in which He listens to all our concerns with the greatest of interest and in which He also shares the concerns of... Read More

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