Originally delivered for the Institute of Psychological Sciences (IPS) – Special thanks to IPS for allowing RCSpirituality.org to re-present this course to a wider audience. This course is being offered through RCSpirituality's Online Classroom as an On-Demand Self-Paced course to go at your own pace, for learning available when you are. However, as it has been adapted from the course offered at IPS, there are references in the course lectures to additional reading and a written paper. Please note these are not required for this On-Demand Self-Paced version of the course.
This course seeks to give students an opportunity to understand and apply to their own lives a complete and coherent vision of the different elements involved in growing to spiritual maturity. It offers a practical and substantial synthesis of insights from traditional Catholic spirituality. It does not pretend to be an exhaustive or definitive presentation of these themes. Rather, it provides an approach that helps active Catholics deepen their theological insight while discovering useful tips about how to apply those insights to their busy lives.
Fr. Bartunek takes us through over 12 hours of lectures, formatted into Four Lessons. Each Lesson contains 6-10 recorded PowerPoint presentations of around 15-30 minutes each. Discussion questions are provided only for self-reflection in order to help students assimilate the material from each Lesson. Here is a list of the topics covered:
LESSON 1: Introduction and Laying the Foundation
LESSON 2: Morality, Sin, the Saints and Spiritual Growth
LESSON 3: Prayer, the Cross, and Purification
LESSON 4: Stages of Growth and the Devil’s Opposition
RECOMMENDED READING LIST
Students are encouraged to read relevant passages from the following works of Catholic spirituality.
a. The Three Ages of the Interior Life, by Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange (also available online at http://www.christianperfection.info/)
b. Christian Perfection and Contemplation, by Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange
c. The Spiritual Life, by Adophus Tanquerey (also available online at http://www.ewtn.com/library/SPIRIT/SLIFEIN.TXT)
d. Spiritual Theology, by Jordan Aumann (also available online at http://www.domcentral.org/study/aumann/default.htm)
e. The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas á Kempis (also available online at http://www.ccel.org/ccel/kempis/imitation.all.html)
f. The Summa Theologiae, by St Thomas Aquinas (also available online at http://www.newadvent.org/summa/)
g. The Fulfillment of All Desire, by Ralph Martin
h. The Virtue Driven Life, and Stumbling Blocks or Stepping Stones? by Benedict Groeschel
i. Spiritual Progress, by Thomas Williams
j. An Exorcist Tells His Story, by Gabriel Amorth
j. The Better Part: A Christ-Centered Resource for Personal Prayer, by John Bartunek
t. The Holy Bible
u. The Catechism of the Catholic Church
Students are encouraged to read one or two (or, eventually, all) of the following works, which exemplify in real lives the principles covered in the course:
Fr. John Bartunek, LC, S.Th.D, received his BA in History from Stanford University in 1990. He comes from an evangelical Christian background and became a member of the Catholic Church in 1991. After college he worked as a high school history teacher, drama director, and baseball coach. He then spent a year as a professional actor in Chicago before entering the religious Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ in 1993. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 2003 and earned his doctorate in moral theology in 2010. He has taught moral theology at various ecclesiastical institutions at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.
He provided spiritual support on the set of Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ while researching the 2005 Catholic best seller, Inside the Passion, the only authorized, behind-the-scene explanation of the film. Fr. John has contributed news commentary regarding religious issues on NBC, CNN, Fox, and the BBC. He also served as the English-language press liaison for the Vatican¹s 2005 Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist.
His most widely known book is called The Better Part: A Christ-Centered Resource for Personal Prayer . It is the first of three meditation books that make us his “Complete Christian Collection”. The other two are: Seeking First the Kingdom: 30 Meditations on How to Love God with All Your Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength, and Go! 30 Meditations on How Best to Love Your Neighbor as Yourself. In 2016 he published a series of meditation books delving into the spiritual values behind the natural world: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter Meditations. A compilation of his many online answers to questions about the spiritual life was published in book form as: Answers: Catholic Advice for Your Spiritual Questions. He continues answering fresh questions online at SpiritualDirection.com.
His ongoing series of Do-It-Yourself online Catholic Retreat Guides are available in multiple formats at RCSpirituality.org. Fr. John currently resides in Michigan, where he continues his writing apostolate and serves as a confessor and spiritual director.
Congratulations for completing the course 'A Catholic Vision of Spiritual Maturity'. We hope you enjoyed it. You can continue growing along your faith journey discovering more courses at http://rcspirituality.teachable.com/ or go to www.rcspirituality.org for more great resources to PRAY, LEARN, GROW, and GO! as a missionary disciple.