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A Suitable Sign…Getting to Know Saint Therese

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When I was first introduced to Saint Thérèse as a young adult, I did not like her. She seemed to be enshrined in such a cloud of saccharine sweetness, scattering roses of every shade with each step, that I was positive that she and I would never be friends. I didn’t mind if others wanted to pray her novenas and I rejoiced with friends who received a rose from her but none of that for me, thank... Read More

Have a Blessed Life like St. Joseph this Christmas!

December 13, 2013 by  
Filed under Discernment, God's Will, Mary Kaufmann

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Over coffee one day, my eighty-five year old friend, Lorreene, a beautiful, white haired, genteel woman, leaned forward and said with a gleam in her eye, “Mary, I really have had a blessed life.” In the next breath, she continued, “You know, it has not always been easy. Remember the story about my son, John, who had severe migraine headaches, which not even treatment at the Mayo Clinic helped?... Read More

Consolation – Navigating the Interior Life Spiritual Dictionary

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CONSOLATION: An interior movement aroused in the soul, by which it is inflamed with love of its Creator and Lord. It is likewise consolation when one sheds tears that move to the love of God, whether it be because of sorrow for sins, or because of the sufferings of Christ our Lord, or for any other reason that is immediately directed to the praise and service of God. Consolation can also be every increase... Read More

Is it God’s Will or Our Un/Worthiness? (Part I of II)

October 21, 2013 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, God's Will

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Q: Dear Father John, I recently had two experiences that I can’t make sense out of. First, after a profound spiritual retreat, I became so convinced of my unworthiness, my sinfulness, that I cancelled a commitment I had made to do a special ceremony of blessing for some friends (non-Catholic). I just felt that I couldn’t stand in God’s place for that ceremony after what I discovered about myself... Read More

Discernment of Spirits and Pope Francis

September 22, 2013 by  
Filed under Discernment, Featured, Ignatian Spirituality

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In Pope Francis’ recent interview with America magazine he frequently references “discernment.” Though many are aware of what he means by this, those who have never been exposed to Ignatian spirituality might need a little more information. Here are a few of the ways he illustrated or used the idea of “discernment” in this interview: “He also speaks about the moment during the conclave... Read More

Discerning Private Revelations (Part II of II)

September 2, 2013 by  
Filed under Discernment, Fr. Bartunek, Private Revelation

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…a reader asks: Q. My question is about claims of locutions and messages on various websites.  It seems to me they’re threatening readers that, unless Pope Francis proclaims “the 5th Marian Dogma” very soon, the world faces social destruction and nuclear war.  I feel fearfully pressured to spend all my time in prayer as the time draws near.  I’ve spoken to other priests... Read More

Discerning Private Revelations (Part I of II)

August 26, 2013 by  
Filed under Discernment, Fr. Bartunek, Private Revelation

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Q. My question is about claims of locutions and messages on various websites.  It seems to me they’re threatening readers that, unless Pope Francis proclaims “the 5th Marian Dogma” very soon, the world faces social destruction and nuclear war.  I feel fearfully pressured to spend all my time in prayer as the time draws near.  I’ve spoken to other priests and laity about... Read More

Questionable Visions: Demonic or Psychiatric Origins?

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Q: Fr. Fortea, how can one tell if a vision is demonic in origin or is a psychiatric problem? A:  The best way to discern if something is demonic in origin or merely a psychiatric problem is through the passage of time. If something that seems extraordinary (e.g., a vision or a locution) is a mental illness, it will get progressively worse and obvious psychosis will develop. When a person meets with... Read More

Pope Benedict and the Voice of God

February 16, 2013 by  
Filed under Fr. Najim, Pope

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Over the last few days, I’ve been pondering what the prayer of Pope Benedict’s heart must have been during these past weeks. What was it like for him? What was happening in his interior life, in his heart to heart conversations with Jesus? What was he saying to Jesus? And what was Jesus saying to him? The Holy Father most likely will never reveal to us what was happening in the intimacy... Read More

How were Jesus and Mary able to remain perfect even during great anguish and sadness?

Q: Dear Father John, In responding to questions on this forum, you’ve often said something like, “the interior turbulence that the situation is causing you is most likely not from the Holy Spirit”. I think St. Ignatius says something similar when discussing the discernment of the spirits. Since Jesus and Mary were perfect, how would you explain the great anguish and sadness that Jesus felt in... Read More

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