Christian formation requires above all formation in the truth. We are formed in truth when our judgments conform to the way things actually are and we act in harmony with what we know. No one can arrive at such judgments or actions by himself. To judge rightly, one must be formed. Only when one is… Continue reading Spiritual Fatherhood and Spiritual Motherhood
What is the Difference between Confession and Spiritual Direction?
*Editor’s note: This post first appeared on Spiritualdirection.com on March 10, 2014. Dear Father John, what is the difference between confession and spiritual direction? Confession and spiritual direction are like partially overlapping circles: they share some common characteristics, but their centers, their essences, are distinct. The Distinction of Confession The essence of confession is the… Continue reading What is the Difference between Confession and Spiritual Direction?
His Wrath is Not Turned Back, His Hand is Still Outstretched! Pondering the Wrath of God as a Work of Revelation
When reading Scripture that mentions the wrath of God, most think of His wrath in human terms. But we must be clear that God does not get angry the way we do. Further, our God is not moody: pleasant and patient one moment and then angry and punishing the next. No, God does not suffer… Continue reading His Wrath is Not Turned Back, His Hand is Still Outstretched! Pondering the Wrath of God as a Work of Revelation
Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Presence of God – O Mary, my Mother, teach me to live hidden with you in the shadow of God. MEDITATION The liturgy enthusiastically celebrates Mary’s Nativity and makes it one of the most appealing feasts of Marian devotion. We sing in today’s Office: “Thy Nativity, O Virgin Mother of God, brings joy to the… Continue reading Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Beheading Hydra by Fr. Dwight Longenecker
Obedience and Community versusIndividualism and Tribalism In my Sunday-school days, we sang a simple chorus I cannot forget. It went like this: “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, than to trust and obey.” My dad used to sing it as we were getting ready for church, and I… Continue reading Beheading Hydra by Fr. Dwight Longenecker
How to Strengthen Will to Resist Temptation & Grow Holier? I/II
*Editor’s note: This article was originally published on 7/25/2011. Dear Father John, I would like to ask you for a piece of advice. Since my will is not so strong as it should be; what are the exercises to practice that important element of spiritual formation? I am so encouraged to see that you recognize… Continue reading How to Strengthen Will to Resist Temptation & Grow Holier? I/II
Changing Spiritual Directors – How to do it!
Editor’s note: this post was originally published on 10/10/2016. Changing Spiritual Directors Dear Fr. Bartunek, Thank you for your post. This is the first time I have ever commented, but your topic is just too much of a coincidence to ignore. I have had the same spiritual director since 2013. He is the pastor… Continue reading Changing Spiritual Directors – How to do it!
Eucharistic Contemplation – SpiritualDirection.com
Anthony Lilles Anthony Lilles, a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, completed his graduate and post-graduate studies in Rome at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas. He and his lovely wife, Agnes, are blessed with three children and live in California, where he is the Academic Dean, and Associate Professor of Theology, St. John’s Seminary,… Continue reading Eucharistic Contemplation – SpiritualDirection.com
Exorcist Diary: Paralyzed by Demons
The truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. In our exorcism sessions, we typically have two priests, some strong laymen, a woman (especially if the afflicted person is female), and, often, a gifted person. These gifted people have spiritual sensitivities that help us discern what is troubling the person and how best to proceed. But we… Continue reading Exorcist Diary: Paralyzed by Demons
The Liturgical Year Sorts Out All Your Worries
I always say to beware of those “The One Thing You Need To Know” about most things, but particularly when it comes to Christianity. A religion of paradoxes (three Persons in one God, the last shall be first, lose your life to find it, and so on) can hardly be amenable to tidy meme-ification. And… Continue reading The Liturgical Year Sorts Out All Your Worries