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The Value of Suffering

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✞ Presence of God – O Jesus Crucified, teach me the science of the Cross; make me understand the value of suffering. MEDITATION The Passion of Jesus teaches us in a concrete way that in the Christian life we must be able to accept suffering for the love of God. This is a hard, repugnant lesson for our nature, which prefers pleasure and happiness; however, it comes from Jesus, the Teacher of truth and of life, the loving Teacher... Read More

Let Us Learn To Be Tempered To Love Through Suffering! (IV/V)

March 29, 2014 by  
Filed under Featured, Mary Kaufmann, Suffering


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.  Part II examined how we are to live our baptismal priesthood and briefly looked at the concept of the fourteen rules of the Chain of Love. The third post explored the idea of seeing with the eyes of Jesus and went into greater detail on the rules of the... Read More

Sayings of Light and Love #14

February 6, 2014 by  
Filed under Aridity or Dryness, Dan Burke, John of the Cross, Suffering

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God values in you the inclination to dryness and suffering for love of him more than all the consolations, spiritual visions, and meditations you could possibly have. Saint John of the Cross More “Sayings of Light and Love”   ? About Dan BurkeDan is the founder of Roman Catholic Spiritual Direction and author of the award winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God.... Read More

Sayings of Light and Love #4

January 11, 2014 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, John of the Cross, Suffering

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It is better to be burdened and in company with the strong man than to be unburdened with the weak. When you are burdened, you are close to God, your strength, who abides with the afflicted. When you are relieved of the burden you are close to yourself, your own weakness; for virtue and strength of soul grow and are confirmed in the trials of patience. Saint John of the Cross About Dan BurkeDan is the founder of Roman Catholic... Read More

Why do Catholics Emphasize Guilt, Suffering and Living Only for Heaven? (I of II)

July 29, 2013 by  
Filed under Catholic Spirituality, Fr. Bartunek, Suffering


 Q: Dear Father John: I admit I am fairly new to the spiritual life.  But God has been doing amazing things, and I really want to keep growing.  But I keep getting stuck on one thing.  I just don’t get that, as Catholics, we are meant to spend SO much time focused on suffering! Suffering and guilt…Didn’t Jesus bear the cross so we wouldn’t have to? When I am suffering, of course, I seek God, but in my heart,... Read More

Interior Pentecost of the Heart

Venerable Concepcion Cabrera de Armida

Sometimes we struggle to find heroic lay people to emulate. The stories of many Saints and much spiritual literature describe the spiritual lives of consecrated and/or ordained Christians. But, what about the rest of us, the remaining 99.9% of the Church, do we have any hope for holiness? Vatican II answers in the affirmative with the universal call to holiness (Lumen Gentium 39). Venerable Concepcion Cabrera de Armida, (1861-1937),... Read More

Saint Catherine of Siena – the Key of Obedience

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Saint Catherine of Siena spent her life encouraging a deeper obedience to God the Father.  Although the earthly life of this Doctor of the Church ended over six hundred years ago, her spiritual teaching has passed into the universal patrimony of the Church.  In particular, the personal relationship she enjoyed with the eternal Father through her faith in Christ crucified can help us reassess our own attitudes toward the Fatherhood... Read More

No More Passion for Life

April 22, 2013 by  
Filed under Featured, Fr. Bartunek, Suffering

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Q: Dear Father John, Ten years ago my husband left me after 25 years. We had been together since we were 15 and had three boys. But one day he just said he wasn’t happy, met someone else, got remarried and had two children. One of my sons is in a job full of serious risks. I get sick to my stomach with worry about him, along with feeling terrible confusion about my life in general. But then I feel miserable that my trust... Read More

Blessed Angela di Foligno: Resting in Crucified Love

Angela of Foligno Wikimedia Commons copy

“You are I and I am you.”  (Words spoken to Blessed Angela di Foligno as recorded in Memorial, Chapter IX taken from Angela of Foligno: Complete Works, trans. Paul Lachance, O.F.M., in Classics of Western Spirituality, New York: Paulist Press (1993) 205.) These are words that Blessed Angela di Foligno believed the Risen Lord addressed to her. An early 14th century Franciscan Tertiary, her devotion to the humanity of... Read More

Blessings that are Difficult to Receive


When our prayer takes us to the Mount of Olives, we discover the mystery of the Cross in all kinds of trials.   Before that impending evil life throws at us, we often find our desires on a collision course with God’s desires.  Some of these trials come from “without” in the form of difficult circumstances.  This could be in the form of a grave injustice or natural catastrophe.  The Lord does not always shield... Read More

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