Just over a month ago, the switchboard of Heaven lit ablaze. Word had reached the world that Cardinal Raymond Burke was fighting for his life, on a ventilator in the COVID ICU, and the faithful went into action. The effect in Heaven must have been akin to the opening scene of Frank Capra’s It’s a… Continue reading Can Our Confidence Have Any Limits?
Authentic hospitality is one of the greatest human experiences. There is the literal hospitality of receiving and hosting a guest with a sense of delight and dignity and belonging. More importantly, there is the day-to-day openness to the experience of receiving and being received, the surprising delight that can arise in encounters that cause us… Continue reading Always Ready for a Party: On Authentic Hospitality
When we speak about Heaven there is a tendency to dismiss our speculation as “just imagining things.” But Our Dear Lord, knowing that we need examples that are a little more concrete, gives us ever-so-tiny hints of Heaven — lights and ideas and experiences that are going to be very similar, only greatly enhanced in… Continue reading Music Can Teach Us About Heavenly Beauty
*Editor’s note: This post was first published here on June 20, 2011. Dear Father John, How can I know what the will of God is in my life? I have been suffering physically for almost a year. I have been praying for healing and others have been praying for me. How do I know if… Continue reading How can I Know the Will of God in my Life (Part I of II)
Last year I read a compilation of stories about Padre Pio. The book – and Pio as a mystic- had been dogging me for a while, almost begging me to stop holding onto my fear of Christian mysticism in the wake of years as a New Ager. But finally, I acquiesced and made my way… Continue reading How Padre Pio Helped Me Overcome My Fear of Christian Mysticism
*Editor’s note: This post was first published August 2, 2011. 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? In our first post we talked about some of the foundational… Continue reading Strengthen my Will to Resist Temptation, Grow Holier? (II/II)
The Ends of Mental Prayer In order to practice well mental prayer, or meditation, and to make it truly profitable to the soul, we must well ascertain the ends for which we attempt it. To Unite Ourselves to God We must meditate in order to unite ourselves more completely to God. It is not so… Continue reading Prayer by St. Alphonsus Liguori
St. John Damascene, from the 8th century, prays these words of consecration to Our Lady—words which we can make our own: “O Lady, we bind our hope to you, as to a most secure and firm anchor. Today we offer ourselves to you. To you we consecrate our mind, soul, body, in a word, ourselves,… Continue reading Marian Consecration at the Foot of the Cross
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
*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?