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

July 7, 2014 by  
Filed under Difficulties, Featured, 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

Can One Be Condemned For Little Sins?

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

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Father Fortea, can one be condemned for “little” sins? A.  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 commit this small sin once... Read More

What is the Process that Leads to Eternal Death?

May 23, 2014 by  
Filed under Death and Dying, Featured, Fr. Fortea, Sin, Spiritual Warfare

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Father Fortea, what is the process that leads to eternal death? A.  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 by itself nor does... Read More

What is the Greatest Evil?

March 27, 2014 by  
Filed under Fr. Fortea, Sin, Spiritual Warfare

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Q.  Father Fortea, what is the greatest evil? A.  According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the greatest evil is sin (CCC 1488). Since God is love and sin leads to the rejection of His love, sin inevitably leads to hatred – of God, of humanity, of those around us, and of ourselves. Those who allow themselves to walk the path of hatred can reach the point where they hate all four objects with their entire strength.... Read More

Venial Sin

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✞ Presence of God – O Lord, inflame me with Your holy zeal, so that I will no longer be able to tolerate in myself the slightest thing which is displeasing to You. MEDITATION Venial sin, like mortal sin, goes counter to God’s will, although with less serious deviation. While it does not destroy charity, it is opposed to it and therefore diminishes its fervor and vigor, hindering its development. This is the disastrous effect... Read More

The rule of three in the battle against sin

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Q: Dear Dan, I am struggling with a recurring problem with anger that I can’t seem to overcome. I have read books, tried to understand how it surfaces in me, prayed fervently (I am living in a state of grace outside of this problem). But I seem to be making no progress. I am very very very very very very very very frustrated. A: After years of observing intelligent, capable, and committed people work to solve recurring challenges... Read More

Envy: The No Win Sin (Part II of II)

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In our previous post on envy, we looked at what envy is and how it manifests in our lives.  Today, we will examine the difference between envy and jealousy and talk about getting some prayer and perspective on this issue. Jealousy and Envy There is a difference between jealousy and envy. They are often used in the same way, but are two different things.  Jealousy is the feeling that someone has something that rightfully belongs... Read More

Envy: The No Win Sin (Part I of II)

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Let’s play the “What if…” game. What if you just lost your job while your co-worker received a promotion and a big raise?  Would you be happy for him? What if a parent that was often critical of your children, found out that her child was just caught for cheating?  Would you feel the slightest bit of satisfaction? What if your child dropped out of school while a friend’s child was just awarded a 4-year scholarship... Read More

How Does the Need to Control Hamper Our Spiritual Lives?

November 27, 2013 by  
Filed under Mary Kaufmann, Need to Control

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The writings and mystical experiences of Blessed Dina Belanger (1897-1929), a Religious of Jesus and Mary, from Quebec, help us realize the tremendous importance of confronting subtle patterns of hidden sin in our lives. One very prevalent, hidden imperfection is the need to control, ourselves and our destiny.  By abandoning ourselves to God, however, he can act through us to bestow the treasures of his heart to others.  Think... Read More

The Lost Sense of Sin-Filling in Catechetical Gaps with the Wisdom of the Saints (II/II)

November 12, 2013 by  
Filed under Overcoming/Fighting, Ralph Martin, Sin

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In Part I, we looked at how gaps in catechetical instruction have led to deficiencies in the way we understand our faith, how we can learn from the Doctors of the Church, specifically what St. Teresa of Avila teaches regarding carelessness about sin.  In Part II, we will see what St. Teresa of Avila says about the failure to avoid the near occasions of sin, and the danger of self-reliance.   Not Avoiding the Near Occasions... Read More

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