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Catholic Spiritual Direction

A Hellish Backup Plan

June 30, 2014 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Hell & Purgatory

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A Hellish Backup Plan Do you have a backup plan to avoid hell? Some believe they do. They believe that some day they will get around to the all-important task of developing their spiritual lives, but that if they don’t, they are willing and ready to endure the backup plan – purgatory.  This sounds plausible on its face, but what if we miss the mark?  Aiming for purgatory and missing can be... Read More

Object Permanence – Reflections on Purgatory and the Denial of Spiritual Realities

April 12, 2013 by  
Filed under Apologetics, Paul McCusker, Purgatory

Purgatory Carracci Wikimedia Commons copy

Life, As I Find It I remember reading about a condition, long thought to exist in babies, where an item only existed if it was within sight. The moment it went out of sight, it no longer existed. The phenomenon was called “Object Permanence” and many psychologists have subscribed to the notion, especially for children under six months of age. The idea of “Object Permanence” came to mind recently... Read More

A Reflection on All Souls and Our Souls

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All Souls’ Day makes us mindful not only of the death of our dear ones but also of our own. Death is a punishment, bringing with it, of necessity, a feeling of pain, of fear, of uncertainty. The saints experienced it, and Jesus Himself willed to undergo it. Thus the Church puts before us passages from scripture most suited to encourage us: “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord…... Read More

Broken? ~ Stanza II ~ Part II

June 1, 2012 by  
Filed under Becky Ward, Broken

Pieta Wikimedia Commons copy

Broken? ~ Stanza II ~ Part II   Come Lord Jesus to repair us, with Your gift of healing love. Send Your Spirit to prepare us, for our home in heaven above. The Holy Spirit is our internal guide, the Advocate that Jesus sent to “…guide you to all truth….” (John 16:13), and when we pay attention, we can discover an old friend dwelling deep in our hearts.  The Holy Spirit does guide us,... Read More

Please explain plenary indulgences and purgatory! – Part III of III

Editor’s Note:  This is a continuation of our series on plenary indulgences.  You can find the previous installment in our series here. Based on your feedback and further consideration on the initial question, I thought I should share a few more thoughts on this topic. The Days of Our Indulgences I want to start with two clarifications. First of all, one reader referred to the older practice... Read More

Please explain plenary indulgences and purgatory! – Part II of III

Dear Father John, Please explain Plenary Indulgences. If one confession fulfills the requirement of plenary indulgences 8 days before and 8 days after, it seems to me that if someone went to Communion everyday, prayed for the intentions of the Holy Father everyday and prayed the rosary before the Blessed Sacrament everyday, that she could release 17 souls from purgatory in 17 days. Is that right? Last... Read More

Please explain plenary indulgences and purgatory! – Part I of III

September 27, 2010 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Hell & Purgatory, Indulgences, Salvation, Sin

Dear Father John, please explain plenary indulgences. If one confession fulfills the requirement of plenary indulgences 8 days before and 8 days after, it seems to me that if someone went to Communion everyday, prayed for the intentions of the Holy Father everyday and prayed the rosary before the Blessed Sacrament everyday, that she could release 17 souls from purgatory in 17 days. Is that right? Aside... Read More

Why should we meditate on such horrible things as hell and the last judgment?

January 15, 2010 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Hell & Purgatory, Meditations

Q: Dear Dan, why would the Church recommend that we meditate on such horrible things as hell and the last judgment (aren’t there four things.)? Anyway, if there is a benefit to doing such a thing, what would that look like? A: “The Last Things”, or “Eschatology” is the subject that deals with the ultimate truths of our existence. Often called “The Four Last Things,” the number can vary.... Read More