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Catholic Spiritual Direction

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

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

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

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)

February 15, 2014 by  
Filed under Capital Sins, Envy, Patti Maguire Armstrong, Sin

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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

Am I experiencing intellectual gluttony? – Part III of III

November 5, 2012 by  
Filed under Capital Sins, Fr. Bartunek, Sin

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Dear Father John, there is just too much to read! I feel like I should be reading more about my faith and the spiritual life, because I want to grow more. But I am so frustrated, because even if I would spend all day reading, I feel like I would barely be scratching the surface. So I get tense, confused, and then I don’t do anything. What’s going on with me, and what I should I do about this? In our first and second... Read More

Am I experiencing intellectual gluttony? – Part II of III

October 29, 2012 by  
Filed under Capital Sins, Faith, Fr. Bartunek, Gluttony, Sin, Spiritual Life

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Dear Father John, there is just too much to read! I feel like I should be reading more about my faith and the spiritual life, because I want to grow more. But I am so frustrated, because even if I would spend all day reading, I feel like I would barely be scratching the surface. So I get tense, confused, and then I don’t do anything. What’s going on with me, and what I should I do about this? In our first post,... Read More

Am I experiencing intellectual gluttony? – Part I of III

October 22, 2012 by  
Filed under Capital Sins, Faith, Fr. Bartunek, Sin, Spiritual Life

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Dear Father John, there is just too much to read! I feel like I should be reading more about my faith and the spiritual life, because I want to grow more. But I am so frustrated, because even if I would spend all day reading, I feel like I would barely be scratching the surface. So I get tense, confused, and then I don’t do anything. What’s going on with me, and what I should I do about this? The good thing is that... Read More

How do you help someone who suffers with severe anger?

October 22, 2012 by  
Filed under Anger, Capital Sins, Fr. Bartunek

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Dear Father John, I am a priest providing spiritual direction to a young man suffering with anger problems. He has recently returned to the sacraments. He is frustrated with God that he has asked him to take away this hurtful anger but God has not answered his prayer. Can you offer advice about how to overcome severe habitual challenges with anger? Anger is the most complex of the human passions. Understanding its underlying dynamism... Read More

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