Sign Up for our Free Daily Email Updates

What is the difference between confession and spiritual direction?

GiuseppeMariaCrespiConfessionWGA05764Crop

Q: Dear Father John, what is the difference between confession and spiritual direction? A: 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 sacramental grace that Christ gives to our soul through the ministry of his priest. When we open our hearts to him... Read More

Must Catholics Marry in Catholic Ceremonies?

February 17, 2014 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Marriage

PietroLonghi007MarriageCrop

Q:  Many of my friends’ children that insist they are Catholic got married in Episcopal, Lutheran (on a beach with uncle presiding) etc. type of ceremony. Are they still free to receive at Mass? Are they considered married in the Catholic Church? This is “no big deal” now a days? Would appreciate the Church’s view on this matter. A: The situations you allude to are more complicated than you might think. ... Read More

Penance – Navigating the Interior Life Spiritual Dictionary

December 7, 2013 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Navigating, Penance/Confession, Spiritual Dictionary

NavigatingtheInteriorLifeCrop

PENANCE: The virtue or disposition of heart by which one repents of one’s own sins and is converted to God. Also the punishment by which one atones for sins committed, either by oneself or by others. And finally the sacrament of penance, where confessed sins committed after baptism are absolved by a priest in the name of God. This Spiritual Dictionary Term is an excerpt from the Glossary of Dan’s book Navigating the Interior... Read More

Confession, Devotional-Navigating the Interior Life Spiritual Dictionary

October 31, 2013 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Penance/Confession, Sacraments, Spiritual Dictionary

NavigatingtheInteriorLifeCrop

CONFESSION – DEVOTIONAL: The practice of regular confession even when one is not aware of mortal or even venial sins. This practice includes setting and keeping a specific schedule of self-examination and confession. This may also include the confession of past mortal or venial sins even if confessed previously in specific or in general. Devotional confession can also make note of imperfections though they are not sufficient... Read More

Saint Angela of Foligno and the Enlightenment of Penance

October 26, 2013 by  
Filed under Anthony Lilles, Featured, Penance/Confession

AngelaofFoligno1Crop

Even though she died in 1309, Saint Angela of Foligno helps us appreciate the enlightenment that can come from a life of penance.  It was a time not unlike our own. Epicureanism was destroying society even as great saints attempted to help their contemporaries see that there is so much more than the short term pleasures of the here and now.  Saint Angela started out more on the Epicurean side of this equation.   But because... Read More

Moments of Grace: Reconciling with God

788px-Pietro_Antonio_Novelli_Sakramente_Beichte

While --> While working as a Chaplain Associate a few years ago, I visited “Joe” in his hospital room.  He stopped drinking about ten days before but was getting very sick.  “Drinking is stupid,” he said, “I never used to drink.  One day I had a little bit, and then a little more and then I was drinking a lot, every day.   Now, they’re doing tests and something might be wrong with my pancreas.  I have... Read More

The Beatitude of Peacemaking in the Body of Christ (Part III of III)

July 15, 2013 by  
Filed under Anthony Lilles, Eucharist, Featured

The Beatitude of Peacemaking in the Body of Christ (Part III of III)

A troubled reader writes… “Although I am a convert to Catholicism, I am sad and offended that the Catholics would forget what Jesus would do with regards to breaking bread with any of his children. I too am a Eucharistic Minister and I would never turn anyone down from breaking bread with their fellow man nor make them feel less of a child of God. I was a Lutheran and to say that our wine and bread does not have the... Read More

The Beatitude of Peacemaking in the Body of Christ (Part II of III)

July 13, 2013 by  
Filed under Anthony Lilles, Eucharist, Featured

The Beatitude of Peacemaking in the Body of Christ (Part II of III)

A troubled reader writes… “Although I am a convert to Catholicism, I am sad and offended that the Catholics would forget what Jesus would do with regards to breaking bread with any of his children. I too am a Eucharistic Minister and I would never turn anyone down from breaking bread with their fellow man nor make them feel less of a child of God. I was a Lutheran and to say that our wine and bread does not have the... Read More

The Beatitude of Peacemaking in the Body of Christ (Part I of III)

July 12, 2013 by  
Filed under Anthony Lilles, Eucharist, Featured

The Beatitude of Peacemaking in the Body of Christ (Part I of III)

A troubled reader writes… “Although I am a convert to Catholicism, I am sad and offended that the Catholics would forget what Jesus would do with regards to breaking bread with any of his children. I too am a Eucharistic Minister and I would never turn anyone down from breaking bread with their fellow man nor make them feel less of a child of God. I was a Lutheran and to say that our wine and bread does not have the... Read More

Saint Hildegard of Bingen on Receiving Holy Communion

Hildegard Wikimedia Commons copy

At the center of the spiritual life is the real presence of Christ Jesus given to us in the Eucharistic worship He instituted for our sake.  Saint Hildegard of Bingen, Doctor of the Church, reminds us of the proper disposition we must maintain throughout our worship.  It is a disposition of quaerere Deum, a reverent and intense seeking of God in love that takes us beyond the limit of what we can grasp by ourselves.  It is not... Read More

Next Page »