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Catholic Spiritual Direction

Frustrated with my prayer life – I am stuck!

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Dear Catholic Spiritual Direction Family, Many people feel a profound frustration with their inability to pray, to grow spiritually, to know and experience the Love of God in their lives. If you feel this way, or even if you just experience a kind of flat existence instead of a dynamic and joyful relationship with God, there are answers. Jesus said, in the Gospel of John, “The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I came... 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”? How do I let go of... Read More

Distractions during Prayer

September 23, 2013 by  
Filed under Carmelite Spirituality, Difficulties, Prayer, Sr. Laudis

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Distractions during Prayer I have a hard time dealing with the silence that prayer requires. My mind never stops racing every time I sit down to pray. I heard somewhere that St. Teresa of Avila had the same problem. Do you know how she overcame it? Is it possible to overcome this problem? I am very frustrated but still committed. Christ has given everything for me and I won’t give up. Even so, I am struggling. Someone once said... Read More

Video – Struggling with distractions in prayer…

March 4, 2013 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Difficulties, Featured, Prayer, Videos

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Struggling with Distractions in Prayer Since this has been our most popular video I thought I should send it again. Please forward along to email and Facebook friends who might be blessed by insight on how to overcome this universal challenge. In this video, Fr. John and Dan Burke talk about how we can better understand and overcome distractions in prayer. About Dan BurkeDan is the founder of Catholic Spiritual Direction, the... Read More

Blessings that are Difficult to Receive

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When our prayer takes us to the Mount of Olives, we discover the mystery of the Cross in all kinds of trials.   Before that impending evil life throws at us, we often find our desires on a collision course with God’s desires.  Some of these trials come from “without” in the form of difficult circumstances.  This could be in the form of a grave injustice or natural catastrophe.  The Lord does not always shield... Read More

I struggle with the Rosary, can you help me?

January 14, 2013 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Difficulties, Fr. Bartunek, Prayer, Rosary, Videos

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Prayer:  Struggle with the Rosary — How to Overcome It? The Rosary:  Fr. John Bartunek and Dan Burke talk about why some struggle with the rosary and how to overcome these struggles.   About Dan BurkeDan is the founder of Catholic Spiritual Direction, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, and author of the award winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God. Beyond... Read More

Video – I can’t find time to pray

November 8, 2012 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Difficulties, Fr. Bartunek, Videos

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Time to Pray:  I can’t find it! Fr. John Bartunek and Dan Burke talk about how to find time to pray.   About Dan BurkeDan is the founder of Catholic Spiritual Direction, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, and author of the award winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God. Beyond his “contagious” love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband and... Read More

Are you really praying or just fast-talking to yourself?

August 12, 2012 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Difficulties, Prayer

Are you really praying or just fast-talking to yourself?

Praying or just fast-talking to yourself? Coming out of a chapel after praying the rosary with a few other Catholics, a friend of mine was surprised when several of those who were with him revealed that they were moved by his prayers. They were all praying the rosary together and he had simply led a decade as requested. He was a bit surprised by their response. He was not conscious of himself during prayer but was very present... Read More

Saying your prayers versus praying your prayers

August 12, 2012 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Difficulties, Mental Prayer, Prayer, Vocal

In the spiritual life, the language we use intimately reflects our hearts. As an example, let’s look at prayer. Do we “say our prayers?” Or do we pray in an intimate relationship with God? The former is like saying, “I said words to my wife.” The latter is closer to saying, “My wife and I had a wonderful dinner together.” Prayer, when spoken of in impersonal terms, can depict and encourage impersonal aspirations,... Read More

A mother’s plea… Why does God delay in answering my prayers? – Part II of II

August 6, 2012 by  
Filed under Difficulties, Fr. Bartunek, Prayer, Suffering

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Dear Father John, two of my college educated sons have been out of work for several years, fortunately both wives work. What happens typically is that our hopes get raised when they get called in for an interview, are asked to come back, and then another invitation follows for additional meetings. Then the news comes saying they chose someone else. The emotional roller-coaster is brutal. My prayer to God has been that I will... Read More

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