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A Suitable Sign…Getting to Know Saint Therese

January 17, 2014 by  
Filed under Carmelite Sisters, Discernment, Featured, Vocations

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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 you very much. As it turned out,... 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? What jumped started my deep... 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 of faith, hope, and love,... 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 when he began to realize that... 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 and laity about this.  I... 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 this.  I need your advice and... Read More

Questionable Visions: Demonic or Psychiatric Origins?

August 8, 2013 by  
Filed under Demonology, Discernment, Fr. Fortea, Spiritual Warfare

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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 his spiritual director or... Read More

How do I know if thoughts are from the devil or just from my own mind?

March 13, 2012 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Discernment

Q: Dear Dan, my thought life is sometimes out of control. When I get angry or disturbed it seems like these feelings press a “replay” button on the scenes of my struggle to the point where I want to scream to make it stop. Sometimes I lose lots of sleep. The tapes in my head replay what I should have said or could have said -  what will I do in response etc. I guess my main question is how do I know the source of these thoughts... Read More

Could watching certain TV shows be against our Catholic faith? – Part I of III

February 13, 2012 by  
Filed under Discernment, Fr. Bartunek

Q: Dear Father John, Is watching a show like the “Medium” against our Catholic faith? The show is from what I have heard is calling on spirits who have passed on from this life and supposedly can be reached through a medium. A: We have to answer this question on two levels, general and specific. The general question is: How should we make decisions about the kind of entertainment we consume – what criteria should we use... Read More

How should I discern if God is calling me to leave my spiritual community?

July 11, 2011 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Discernment

Q: Dear Dan, Our women’s Regnum Christi team no longer meets and some have left the movement entirely. After having been in Regnum Christi for 10 years, the faith, fellowship and friendship really meant a lot. However my husband and I came across a local lay-Carmelite movement this year through a priest who invited his entire congregation one Sunday to a lay-Carmelite meeting! This is unusual, in comparison to the Regnum... Read More

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