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Catholic Spiritual Direction

Are Sexual Sins the Worst Ones?

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Are Sexual Sins the Worst Ones? In 24 years I’ve seen a lot of clients, mostly Catholic and Christian. And because I am a specifically Catholic therapist (i.e. I integrate the faith into the process and follow the teachings of the Church), many of the clients I see will discuss their troubles not only from a psychological point of view but from a spiritual perspective as well. Many seek therapy because... Read More

The Night of the Spirit

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The Night of the Spirit Presence of God  – Pour forth, O Lord, into my soul greater love and greater courage, that I may willingly accept Your purifying action. MEDITATION The difficult and bitter purification called the night of the spirit is necessary to extirpate the roots of imperfect habits. The purification of the soul begins with the night of sense, which, by putting the soul into obscurity... Read More

Is it a Sin to Put Yourself Down?

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Is it a Sin to Put Yourself Down? “Oh, I’m so inept!  I can’t do anything right!”  There are endless variations of the self-deprecating rants. They are dressed up like humility but smack of pride. The person announcing his failings probably does not boast and is instead seeking a humble path, but he unwittingly travels by way of pride.  Whether boasting or bemoaning one’s own characteristics,... Read More

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

July 7, 2014 by  
Filed under Difficulties, 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

The Plague of Pride

April 1, 2014 by  
Filed under Book Club, Vicki Burbach

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Interior Freedom (Week 5 of 5) Here it is worth reflecting on the problem of pride.  We are all born with a deep wound, experienced as a lack of being.  We seek to compensate by constructing a self different from our real self.  This artificial self requires large amounts of energy to maintain it; being fragile, it needs protecting.  Woe to anyone who contradicts it, threatens it, questions it,... Read More

Not Excusing Oneself

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✞ Presence of God – O Jesus, who willed to be silent before him who condemned You to death, teach me the art of not excusing myself. MEDITATION In any failure, fault, or personal error, our ego instinctively tries to excuse itself. It is the tactic of pride—which is not willing to admit its mistakes and schemes—to hide them under more or less false pretexts, always finding some way to blame... Read More

Humility

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✞ Presence of God – O Jesus, You who were so humiliated for us, teach me how to practice true humility. MEDITATION Charity is the essence of Christian perfection, for charity alone has the power to unite man to God, his last end. But for us poor, miserable creatures, whom God wishes to raise to union with Himself, is charity the ultimate basis of the spiritual life? No. There is something deeper... Read More

Do Demons Have a Plan when Tempting Us?

January 16, 2014 by  
Filed under Demonology, Fr. Fortea, Spiritual Warfare

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Father Fortea, do demons have a plan when tempting us? Remember: a demon is a spiritual being that possesses a greater intelligence than ours. Therefore, in temptation, a demon tries to enter into a conversation with the person he is tempting. If the person being tempted resists and never considers the temptation for even a moment, then it is a one-sided conversation – the demon speaks but gets no... Read More

Pride of Orthodoxy (Pride of the Church-Part II of II)

October 1, 2013 by  
Filed under Book Club, Vicki Burbach

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The Secret Diary of Elisabeth Leseur (Week 9 of 12) Last week, I addressed a weakening of our faith identity as Catholics. Unfortunately, while this issue is critical, those of us who have attempted to re-establish a Catholic Identity after nearly two generations of ecumenism have begun to suffer from another illness: The Pride of Orthodoxy. Orthodoxy is a word I often heard tossed around when I was... Read More

St John of Avila: Tune Out the Noise to Tune In God (Part II of II)

August 7, 2013 by  
Filed under Anthony Lilles, John of Avila

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In our last post, we introduced Saint John of Avila’s teaching in his lifetime project Audi, Filia.  To help us understand how important it is for us to order our lives to the silence of prayer, Saint John of Avila tells us about the dark languages of this world that can lead us astray.   He starts with an especially deceptive language which enchants today every bit as much as it did in 16th... Read More

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