Fr. John Bartunek, LC

Fr. John Bartunek, LC, S.Th.D, received his BA in History from Stanford University in 1990. He comes from an evangelical Christian background and became a member of the Catholic Church in 1991. After college, he worked as a high school history teacher, drama director, and baseball coach. He then spent a year as a professional actor in Chicago before entering the religious Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ in 1993. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 2003 and earned his doctorate in moral theology in 2010. He provided spiritual support on the set of Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” while researching the 2005 Catholic best seller, “Inside the Passion”–the only authorized, behind-the-scene explanation of the film. Fr. John has contributed news commentary regarding religious issues on NBC, CNN, Fox, and the BBC. He also served as the English-language press liaison for the Vatican’s 2005 Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist. His most widely known book is called: “The Better Part: A Christ-Centered Resource for Personal Prayer”. His most recent books are “Spring Meditations”, “Seeking First the Kingdom: 30 Meditations on How to Love God with All Your Heart, Soul, Mind and Strength”, and “Answers: Catholic Advice for Your Spiritual Questions”. Fr. John currently splits his time between Michigan (where he continues his writing apostolate and serves as a confessor and spiritual director at the Queen of the Family Retreat Center) and Rome, where he teaches theology at Regina Apostolorum. His online, do-it-yourself retreats are available at RCSpirituality.org, and he answers questions about the spiritual life at SpiritualDirection.com.

Articles By Fr. John Bartunek, LC

Forming Our Emotions (Part II of II)

Forming Our Emotions (Part II of II) Editor’s Note: In part I, we introduced the concept of educating or forming emotions and looked at the state of our emotions in the purgative way. Today, we will explore the differences in our emotions while we are in the two subsequent ways: the illuminative and unitive ways.

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Forming Our Emotions (Part I of II)

Dear Father John, My reactions to things seem out of control. For example, when I am cut off in traffic by another driver, I often get “road rage.” And, I get very sad when people reject my good intentions. There doesn’t seem to be any basis for it, nothing in my childhood or upbringing or

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Carrying Out Works of Mercy

CARRYING OUT WORKS OF MERCY Dear Fr. John, Sometimes, when I set out to do some work of mercy, such as go to a funeral or help someone out, all of a sudden, I feel ill. I have the good intention but feel physically lousy and not able to carry it out. In other words,

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A Cure for Discouragement: Easter Retreat Guide

A CURE FOR DISCOURAGEMENT: A RETREAT GUIDE FOR EASTER The newest Retreat Guide from RC Spirituality, A Cure for Discouragement, is now available at www.RCSpirituality.org. The appearances of Jesus after his Resurrection, as recorded in the New Testament, are, to be honest, kind of confusing. The people he appears to don’t recognize him right away,

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Emotions in a Fallen World (Part II of II)

Editor’s Note: In Part I, we looked at the variability of emotions, today we’ll get to the heart of the issue at hand: why we have emotions. We’ll also talk about the unruliness of emotions. Here is the question we are examining: Dear Father John, my very emotional nature often gets me in trouble. Why

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Emotions in a Fallen World (Part I of II)

Dear Father John, my very emotional nature often gets me in trouble. Why do we have emotions in the first place? What’s the purpose of them? THE NINE BASIC emotions are just the raw material for this complex, powerful, and intriguing dimension of the human soul, the dimension of our feelings. The varied reality of

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Can Demons Repent?

Dear Father John, I understand that demons hate God, but they also suffer from being separated from Him. Is it possible that a demon could repent, and accept God as we can? The Catechism gives a direct answer to this question, so let’s start there. I will quote the four numbers in full, since they

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Understanding Emotions (Part II of II)

Editor’s Note: In Part I, we examined the gift that the emotions are and the categories of emotions. Today we will look at the nine most basic emotions and an example of emotion in action. Here is the question we are considering: Dear Father John, I’m not usually an emotional person. But sometimes, I can

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Understanding Emotions (Part I of II)

Dear Father John, I’m not usually an emotional person. But sometimes, I can get very angry. And, sometimes I am so moved by something at Mass, it brings me to tears. I know we are not supposed to be attached to things. It seems that the more attached I am to something or someone, the

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What is the Unforgivable Sin?

Dear Father John, I’ve heard that God forgives all sins. But, I’ve also heard something about an “unforgivable sin”. It seems there’s a contradiction there. What is that all about? Is there really a sin that God won’t forgive? And, what happens if I commit that? What do I do then? This probably is a

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How Does One Love God with the Soul? (Part II of II)

How Does One Love God with the Soul? (Part II of II) Editor’s Note: In part I, we looked at the x-ray of a soul and the kinds of souls that plants and animals have. Today, we examine the problems with the philosophical distinction called a soul and how the soul is beloved of God.

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The Widow’s Might: A Retreat Guide for Lent

THE WIDOW’S MIGHT: A RETREAT GUIDE FOR LENT The newest Retreat Guide from RC Spirituality, The Widow’s Might: A Retreat Guide for Lent, is now available at www.RCSpirituality.org . In the Book of Acts, St. Paul provides a quotation from Jesus that never appears in the four Gospels. Here is the passage: “…[K]eep in mind

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How Does One Love God With the Soul? (Part I of II)

How Does One Love God with the Soul? (Part I of II) Dear Father John, Jesus talks about loving God with all one’s soul. How do we do that? THORNS CAN CHOKE the growth of the good seed of God’s grace, but shallow, rocky soil can wither it altogether. Jesus warned us of this, too.

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What Does the Church Say About Shrunken Heads?

Dear Father John, I know a Catholic who has a genuine shrunken head in their home on display. It’s a little creepy to me, to say the least. I have prayed for all involved. Can you shed some light on what the Church has to say about this? Is voodoo involved with shrunken heads? Let’s

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Freeing My Heart

Freeing My Heart Dear Father John, I love God so much and want to be completely open to Him. How do I detach my heart from the things that bind it to this world? IN HIS PARABLE of the sower and the seed, Jesus pointed out that having good soil is not sufficient to assure

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