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Catholic Spiritual Direction

Have I Committed the Unforgivable Sin?

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Dear Dan, I am Catholic. I committed grave sins when I was a teen that I have lived in guilt and anxiety over for almost two decades. I pray every day about them. I have prayed in church but I have never been to confession. I am afraid to go to confession because I am scared I will not be forgiven or kicked out of the “church”. I want to go to Heaven. I love God and Jesus. Are there any... 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

Freedom

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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

Flannery O’Connor and the Horror of Sin

June 17, 2014 by  
Filed under Book Club, Vicki Burbach

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The Sinner’s Guide (Week 11 of 16) Take a lesson from the carpenter, who, when he wishes to drive a large nail, is not satisfied with giving it a few strokes, but continues hammering until he is sure it is firmly fastened. You must imitate him, if you would firmly implant this resolution in your soul.  Be not satisfied with renewing it from time to time, but daily take advantage of all the... Read More

Spiritual Life, Spiritual Direction: God in You, Part 3 of 5

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In the third episode of five of the show Women of Grace: Spiritual Life, Spiritual Direction: God in You, Dan Burke discusses his conversion from the Jewish faith to Catholicism through Protestantism and finally being received into the Church on the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Dan goes on to discuss the Purgative Way and the stages of spiritual growth and the importance of prayer throughout... Read More

Can One Be Condemned For Little Sins?

May 30, 2014 by  
Filed under Fr. Fortea, Spiritual Warfare, Venial Sin

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Father Fortea, can one be condemned for “little” sins? No. Eternal condemnation is so horrendous, so terrible, that it is reserved for grave sins. Only one who dies in a state of mortal sin is condemned to hell. This being said, every sin, no matter how small, is a step toward greater sin; every sin, no matter how slight, is a step in the direction of condemnation. No one can say: “I will only... Read More

What is the Process that Leads to Eternal Death?

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Father Fortea, what is the process that leads to eternal death? 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 produced... Read More

Can Demons Tempt us to Pray?

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Dear Fr. John, I recently ran across a confusing statement from an ex-satanist, who claims that demons can encourage people to pray as a way of deceiving them. The author of the book I read wrote that demons will sometimes get people to pray all kinds of devotional prayers (rosary, chaplets, etc…) for many very specific intentions (almost treating the prayers like superstitions or magic invocations)... Read More

Sin: The Ultimate Destroyer of Peace

April 22, 2014 by  
Filed under Book Club, Sarah Reinhard

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The Sinner’s Guide (Week 3 of 16) Thus sin renders the soul miserable, weak and torpid, inconstant in good, cowardly in resisting temptation, slothful in the observance of God’s commandments. It deprives her of true liberty and of that sovereignty which she should never resign; it makes her a slave to the world, the flesh, and the devil; it subjects her to a harder and more wretched servitude... Read More

Our Next Book: The Sinner’s Guide by Venerable Louis of Granada

April 8, 2014 by  
Filed under Book Club, Featured, Vicki Burbach

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The Sinner’s Guide (Week 1 of 16) Today, five weeks into Lent, we continue the process of purifying our souls and turning our hearts and minds back to God, that we may better enjoy the springtime of Easter in the coming season.  I’ve no doubt The Sinner’s Guide will prove an essential resource during this time.  Yes, we’ll continue our exploration of The Sinner’s... Read More

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