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What Is The Difference Between Magic And Religion?

April 3, 2014 by  
Filed under Featured, Fr. Fortea, Occult, Spiritual Warfare

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Q.  Father Fortea, what is the difference between magic and religion? A.  When we speak here of magic we are not referring to the popular art of the “magician” who pulls a rabbit out of a hat or makes things (apparently) disappear. Such “magicians” are just entertainers – illusionists – who use various techniques to trick our eyes. In this discussion, the word magic refers to occult practices... Read More

Dryness in Prayer – What is going on? (Part I of III)

March 31, 2014 by  
Filed under Aridity or Dryness, Fr. Bartunek, Prayer

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Q: Dear Father John, I have been praying (mental prayer) for a long time.  But lately I seem to be experiencing dryness in my prayer – I just don’t seem to get as much out of it as I used to.  Is it the “dark night of the soul”?  If not, what’s going on, and what should I do? A: The Catechism (#2731) mentions dryness as one of the most common obstacles to prayer. ... Read More

Jesus, Savior of the World, Save Them! (Lenten Series Part II of V)

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Editor’s Note:  In the first part of this series, we introduced the concept of the Chain of Love, from Venerable Concepción Cabrera’s Spirituality of the Cross.  Today, we will explore a bit of how we are to live our baptismal priesthood and look briefly at the concept of the fourteen rules of the Chain of Love. At times, it is very valuable to review the ups and downs of your life... Read More

What are the Types of Evil?

March 13, 2014 by  
Filed under Featured, Fr. Fortea, Spiritual Warfare

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Q.  Father Fortea, what are the types of evil? A.  While the variety of particular evils is infinite, theologians typically distinguish between physical and moral evils. Remember our earlier definition of evil: the lack (or privation) of a good that should exist in a thing. Here’s a good example of a physical evil: the painting the Mona Lisa is good, but a knife mark left by a vandal would be an... Read More

The Cross and the Chain of Love (Part I of V)

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“Beloved, do not be surprised that a trial by fire is occurring among you, as if something strange were happening to you. But, rejoice to the extent that you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that when his glory is revealed, you may also rejoice exultantly… blessed are you, the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.” (1 Peter 4:12-14) I was reflecting on this text after finishing a spiritual... Read More

What is Evil?

February 20, 2014 by  
Filed under Demonology, Evil, Featured, Fr. Fortea

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Q.  Father Fortea, what is evil? A.  Evil is the lack (or privation) of a good that should be present in a thing. For example, blindness is a physical evil because it is the absence of the ability to see, which is proper to a human being. In moral terms, sin is the absence of a particular virtue in a person. As such, evil is not something that exists in itself; it is merely the absence of the good... Read More

What is Eternal Death?

February 6, 2014 by  
Filed under Death and Dying, Fr. Fortea

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Q.  Father Fortea, what is eternal death? A.  The human soul, as a spiritual reality, is immortal (see Catechism paragraph 366). Like any spirit, it is not subject to decay or illness; it cannot grow old or wear out. No matter what sins people commit, their souls cannot die in a metaphysical sense. They will exist forever.  Where they will exist forever – heaven or hell – is another matter. When... Read More

Excessive Prayer Struggle – How do I Find Proper Balance?

January 27, 2014 by  
Filed under Excessive Prayer, Fr. Bartunek

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Q: Dear Father John, I have been actually struggling with the examples mentioned [on another post] concerning “excessive prayer” that results in neglect of responsibilities. I’ve had such difficulty in this area as justifying doing so is easy to do. What would you recommend as a proper balance? I am very protective and almost selfish about having my personal time in solitude with... Read More

Anatomy of Temptation: Retreat Guide on David and Goliath

January 4, 2014 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Retreat Guide

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Dear Friend in Christ, In our endeavor to start the new year with clarity and determination we realize the Christian life is a “dour struggle,” according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “… Finding himself in the midst of the battlefield man has to struggle to do what is right…” (CCC #409). Who are we struggling against?  What are the frequent tactics of our spiritual... Read More

Feast of The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

December 29, 2013 by  
Filed under Feast Days, Featured, Praying Through Art, Seasonal

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“The family has an essential role in the divine plan of salvation.  Not only was it ‘willed by God in the very act of creation’ (Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio-The Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World, John Paul II, 1981), Jesus himself was part of the Holy Family, ‘where he grew and became strong [and was] filled with wisdom’ (Luke 2:40a), and... Read More

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