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Catholic Spiritual Direction

The rule of three in the battle against sin

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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. After years of observing intelligent, capable, and committed people work to solve recurring challenges... Read More

Navigating the New Year

December 26, 2012 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Program of Life, Root Sin

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Lay people often overlook a source of deep spirituality and safety. One of the spiritual secrets of those in the religious life is a kind of spiritual guardrail system that helps them to know the path of peace on a moment to moment basis. This wisdom-born approach has aided thousands of ordinary people to become saints and to experience the heights of union with the Lord in this life. One part of this system is called a “rule... Read More

I discovered my root sin is vanity and I am struggling with this…

Q: Dear Father Edward, I just came to realize through spiritual direction, prayer and many graces that my root sin in Vanity!!! And I am having a very hard time knowing this fact. I feel like God is now leaving me alone (not feeling His presence) to test me and I am struggling with this fact. How do I continue to keep my faith strong and deal with the everyday insecurities in myself that I face? People have said to me that this... Read More

How can I overcome the root sin of vanity?

January 6, 2011 by  
Filed under Anonymous, Root Sin, Sin, Virtue

Q: Dear Father Edward, would you be willing to post the virtues to overcome the root sin of vanity and pride also? A: “Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth, vanity of vanities! All things are vanity!” That line from the Book of Ecclesiastes rings as true today as on the day it was written. Vanity is one of the three root sins that plague humanity. Much of our economy is built on vanity, on helping people to maintain the... Read More

What if I disagree with my spiritual director about my root sin?

What do you do when you are pretty sure your root sin is pride (based on self-reflection, common sins in confession, etc…) but your spiritual director doesn’t think it is true. Mine keeps telling me I am not proud — but we end up in this weird argument where I assert that I am and he says that my reply is what a humble person would say. And how much does it matter if he agrees with me on that major fault or not?... Read More

How can I overcome the root sin of pride?

December 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Anonymous, Root Sin, Sin, Virtue

Dear Father Edward, would you be willing to post the virtues to overcome the root sins of vanity and pride also? Whole libraries could be written on how to overcome pride. Pride is the mother of all root sins. Take any sin and you can ultimately trace its roots back to pride. This vice arises because of a deep-seated desire to do things our way. Whereas vanity puts too much emphasis on the esteem of others, and sensuality stresses... Read More

A new diagnosis of my root sin…

A New Diagnosis of my Root Sin… I was back in my home state and surprised to get the call. I couldn’t imagine what it would be about. I was in the Texas emergency room one week earlier after air travel triggered debilitating imbalance so severe that I couldn’t even walk on my own. The doctor discovered something in the x-ray of my brain when I was in the emergency room. “You need a more in-depth review of... Read More

Can a root sin change?

August 2, 2010 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Root Sin, Self Knowledge, Sin

Q: Dear Father John, Can a root sin change over your life? It seems to me that increasingly sensuality is being replaced as a root sin by pride. have you seen this, as one sin goes, another becomes more prominent? A: The general opinion on this question is, as far as I can tell, that root sins don’t change. Remember, because of our fallen nature, we all carry within us tendencies towards vanity, pride, and sensuality. When we... Read More

Root sin classifications… Which one is right?

May 10, 2010 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Root Sin, Sin

Dear Father John, This is really interesting guidance. In the catechism, we learn that root sins are seven and they are, 1) pride, 2) covetousness, 3) lust, 4) anger, 5) gluttony, 6) envy and 7) slothfulness. In your classification there are three. Can you please make it more clear? This question illustrates how rich our Catholic faith really is; it transcends our ability to comprehend it; there is always more for us to discover. ... Read More

What virtues can I practice to overcome the root sin of sensuality?

May 3, 2010 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Program of Life, Root Sin, Sin, Virtue

Dear Father John, Thank you for the post on root sin. It has definitely helped me. My question is, charity and humility seem to be the virtues to practice if the root sin is pride or vanity. But what would be the virtue to practice to overcome sensuality? It seems that it is more of an emotional response, hence the sensuality. Thanks to your article have identified this as my root sin, I am not entirely sure what to put in place/practice... Read More

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