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What does the Priesthood have to do with You? (Part I)

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I pulled out an old file, where I had saved some articles and found, Distinguishing Priestly, Affective Prayer by Father Ron Rolheiser, OMI. Fr. Rolheiser distinguishes liturgical prayer from private devotional prayer. He calls liturgical prayer, priestly prayer or prayer by the Church for the World and private devotional prayer as prayer that focuses principally on personal union with God. He says, “It is important to know the... Read More

Solemnity of Corpus Christi

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Presence of God – “The eternal tide flows hid in living bread. That with its heavenly life too be fed …” (John of the Cross, Poems). MEDITATION We have gone, step by step, in the course of the liturgical year, from the consideration of the mysteries of the life of Jesus to the contemplation of the Blessed Trinity, whose feast we celebrated last Sunday. Jesus, our Mediator, our Way, has taken us by the hand and led us to... Read More

The Real Presence

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Editor’s Note:  Today we make one of our rare exchanges in the order of the “Divine Intimacy” text.  In the old calendar, Corpus Christi used to be celebrated on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday.  The Church, in her great wisdom, upgraded this celebration from a feast to a solemnity and made it a Sunday celebration.  We will publish the Corpus Christi meditation this coming Sunday. Presence of God – “Hidden... Read More

Strengths of Thousands: New Retreat Guide on the Sacrament of Confirmation

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Dear Fellow Digital Missionary, One of my favorite lines from the Catechism says this about the special grace we received from the sacrament of confirmation: “Confirmation… strengthened us for the combat of this life” (CCC 1523). Life in this fallen world is a battle. And as Christians, we are not only called to engage courageously in the fight, but we are also equipped to do so. We are given supernatural strength and wisdom... Read More

What is the difference between confession and spiritual direction?

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Q: Dear Father John, what is the difference between confession and spiritual direction? A: Confession and spiritual direction are like partially overlapping circles: they share some common characteristics, but their centers, their essences, are distinct. The Distinction of Confession The essence of confession is the sacramental grace that Christ gives to our soul through the ministry of his priest. When we open our hearts to him... Read More

Must Catholics Marry in Catholic Ceremonies?

February 17, 2014 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Marriage

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Q:  Many of my friends’ children that insist they are Catholic got married in Episcopal, Lutheran (on a beach with uncle presiding) etc. type of ceremony. Are they still free to receive at Mass? Are they considered married in the Catholic Church? This is “no big deal” now a days? Would appreciate the Church’s view on this matter. A: The situations you allude to are more complicated than you might think. ... Read More

Penance – Navigating the Interior Life Spiritual Dictionary

December 7, 2013 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Navigating, Penance/Confession, Spiritual Dictionary

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PENANCE: The virtue or disposition of heart by which one repents of one’s own sins and is converted to God. Also the punishment by which one atones for sins committed, either by oneself or by others. And finally the sacrament of penance, where confessed sins committed after baptism are absolved by a priest in the name of God. This Spiritual Dictionary Term is an excerpt from the Glossary of Dan’s book Navigating the Interior... Read More

Confession, Devotional-Navigating the Interior Life Spiritual Dictionary

October 31, 2013 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Penance/Confession, Sacraments, Spiritual Dictionary

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CONFESSION – DEVOTIONAL: The practice of regular confession even when one is not aware of mortal or even venial sins. This practice includes setting and keeping a specific schedule of self-examination and confession. This may also include the confession of past mortal or venial sins even if confessed previously in specific or in general. Devotional confession can also make note of imperfections though they are not sufficient... Read More

Saint Angela of Foligno and the Enlightenment of Penance

October 26, 2013 by  
Filed under Anthony Lilles, Featured, Penance/Confession

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Even though she died in 1309, Saint Angela of Foligno helps us appreciate the enlightenment that can come from a life of penance.  It was a time not unlike our own. Epicureanism was destroying society even as great saints attempted to help their contemporaries see that there is so much more than the short term pleasures of the here and now.  Saint Angela started out more on the Epicurean side of this equation.   But because... Read More

Moments of Grace: Reconciling with God

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While --> While working as a Chaplain Associate a few years ago, I visited “Joe” in his hospital room.  He stopped drinking about ten days before but was getting very sick.  “Drinking is stupid,” he said, “I never used to drink.  One day I had a little bit, and then a little more and then I was drinking a lot, every day.   Now, they’re doing tests and something might be wrong with my pancreas.  I have... Read More

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