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Catholic Spiritual Direction

Skills for the Contemplative Disciple: Our Imperfections? (Part III of III)

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Skills for Contemplative Disciples: Our Imperfections? Part 3 of 3 Does this sound like anyone you know? A man shared his story with me. He was a scientist, and became very angry with God for the apparent inconsistencies in Catholic doctrine. When he studied Church documents, which he did with an admirable zeal, he only dug in his heels deeper in confusion and became angrier with God. When I suggested relaxing and finding God by... Read More

Sins of Ignorance and Sins of the Flesh

November 25, 2014 by  
Filed under Featured, Fr. Mullady, Mortal, Sin

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Sins of Ignorance and Sins of the Flesh Editor’s note:  It is our great pleasure to welcome Father Brian Mullady OP to our writing team.  He is a professor, preacher and retreat master, who has authored three books, and is the Theological Consultant to the Institute on Religious Life.  Please welcome him warmly and make him feel at home! It is a moral truth that “if we don’t know something is wrong, it may remain a... Read More

Are Sexual Sins the Worst Ones?

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Are Sexual Sins the Worst Ones? In 24 years I’ve seen a lot of clients, mostly Catholic and Christian. And because I am a specifically Catholic therapist (i.e. I integrate the faith into the process and follow the teachings of the Church), many of the clients I see will discuss their troubles not only from a psychological point of view but from a spiritual perspective as well. Many seek therapy because they are troubled by past... Read More

Is it a Sin to Put Yourself Down?

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Is it a Sin to Put Yourself Down? “Oh, I’m so inept!  I can’t do anything right!”  There are endless variations of the self-deprecating rants. They are dressed up like humility but smack of pride. The person announcing his failings probably does not boast and is instead seeking a humble path, but he unwittingly travels by way of pride.  Whether boasting or bemoaning one’s own characteristics, both put the focus on... Read More

Have I Committed the Unforgivable Sin?

August 26, 2014 by  
Filed under Capital Sins, Dan Burke, Divine Mercy, Featured, Forgiveness

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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 sins that are not forgivable?... Read More

Judge Not

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Presence of God – O Lord, keep me from judging and criticizing my neighbor; give me kind, loving thoughts about everyone. MEDITATION “Judge not, that you may not be judged” (Mt 7:1). Charity to our neighbor begins with our thoughts, as many of our failings in charity are basically caused by our judgments. We do not think highly enough of others, we do not sufficiently consider their manifest good qualities, we are not benevolent... 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

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 commit this small sin once and... Read More

What is the Process that Leads to Eternal Death?

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

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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 by itself nor does it appear... Read More

Not Excusing Oneself

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✞ Presence of God – O Jesus, who willed to be silent before him who condemned You to death, teach me the art of not excusing myself. MEDITATION In any failure, fault, or personal error, our ego instinctively tries to excuse itself. It is the tactic of pride—which is not willing to admit its mistakes and schemes—to hide them under more or less false pretexts, always finding some way to blame them on other people or on circumstances.... Read More

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