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  • St. John of the Cross, Teacher of Prayer December 13, 2019
    Tomorrow’s feast of St John of the Cross (1542-1591) turns our attention to one of the greatest masters and teachers of prayer in the history of the Church. His writings about the topic have depth and beauty but also a simplicity that ensures that his insights are accessible to us who try to pray and […]
  • St. John of the Cross, Teacher of Prayer December 13, 2019
    Tomorrow’s feast of St John of the Cross (1542-1591) turns our attention to one of the greatest masters and teachers of prayer in the history of the Church. His writings about the topic have depth and beauty but also a simplicity that ensures that his insights are accessible to us who try to pray and […]
  • George Bailey, Meet Thomas Merton December 12, 2019
    George Bailey, the hero of It’s a Wonderful Life, is not a simple, good-natured cornpone from upstate New York; he is a man carrying a real bitterness within, that shows itself in little ways. A man who has had to cast aside every dream in order to do “the right thing,” the thrill-seeking Bailey is […]
  • Revelation in Ivory December 11, 2019
    As grateful as I am that museums preserve Catholic art, I cannot spend time in religious exhibitions without feeling a certain melancholy. Stripped of their original context (church or chapel) and of their original viewers (praying Catholics), these works often fail to evoke in me admiration, let alone devotion. And yet, as I wandered through […]
  • Boomer Wisdom: A Review of Bruce Springsteen’s “Western Stars” December 10, 2019
    Over dinner the other night a millennial priest asked me about some characteristics that define Generation X. I started by telling him that my generation was born between 1964 and 1981 and that we GenXers are significantly smaller in number than the generation that came before us (baby boomers, 1945-1963) and the generation that followed […]
  • Hitler, War, and Why Art Matters December 9, 2019
    Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere. —G.K. Chesterton Over the recent Thanksgiving weekend, our family stumbled upon George Clooney’s 2014 World War II film The Monuments Men, a cinematic adaptation of Robert Edsel’s book The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History. Given that my family […]
  • The All-New Issue of the Evangelization & Culture Journal! December 6, 2019
          Evangelization & Culture, the Journal of the Word on Fire Institute, is something truly unique. We wanted to establish a smart, beautiful, and practical journal that was reflective of the Word on Fire ethos. But its overall purpose would not be primarily academic, artistic, or pastoral; instead, the purpose of our journal […]
  • To Jesus Through Mary? Why Yes, and T’was Ever Thus! December 5, 2019
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  • Richard Dawkins’ Philosophical Offenses: A Review of “Outgrowing God” December 4, 2019
    Paleontologist Neil Shuber writes of Richard Dawkins’s recent book Outgrowing God: With wit, logic, and his characteristic flair for expressing complex ideas with uncanny clarity, Richard Dawkins separates myth from reality in Outgrowing God. His book is more than a beginners’ guide to atheism: it is a primer that liberates us to see and explore […]
  • Bishop Barron’s USCCB Talk and the “Dark Knight” Trilogy December 3, 2019
    In light of Bishop Barron’s recent address on the unaffiliated at the USCCB’s Fall General Assembly, I thought it would be helpful to think of creative ways of implementing his five ways in the classroom. Below, I elaborate why showing The Dark Knight trilogy in a Catholic Social Teaching class was such a success with […]
  • As I Am, Before God: Mr. Rogers’ Living Philosophy December 2, 2019
    When we are truly ourselves, we lose most of the futile self-consciousness that keeps us constantly comparing ourselves with others in order to see how big we are. —Thomas Merton Many years ago, I went to Confession and revealed a particular habitual sin I had grown weary of confessing over time. We all have them, […]
  • Happy Thanksgiving from Word on Fire! November 28, 2019
    From the team here at Word on Fire, we would like to wish you and yours a very blessed Thanksgiving holiday! Read today's post for a short reflection on the biblical representation of the "sacred banquet," as well as what thanksgiving really means in the life of the Church.
  • Prayers and Thoughts November 27, 2019
    Recently, I’ve heard a number of people—from college friends and acquaintances to television commentators—express condolences to others with the words, “I’ll keep you in my thoughts.” It’s a well-intended sentiment, to be sure, but it also pitifully cries out for more. Since we don’t live in the telekinetic world of Stranger Things, human thoughts by […]
  • Scorsese, Marvel, and “Lawrence of Arabia” November 26, 2019
    Acclaimed American filmmaker Martin Scorsese has some thoughts about the dominance of the Marvel Universe in popular cinema over the past decade. He praises the “talent and artistry” of people who make films like the Avengers series, but he laments the transition away from what he has always believed filmmaking to be about—namely, “revelation—aesthetic, emotional and […]
  • On Duty November 25, 2019
    It was a very dark time. In late May of 1940, nearly eighty years ago, the pride of the British and French nations found themselves stranded. The screaming might of Nazi armies blitzkrieging through Belgium and France had crushed the British, French, and Belgian armies (several hundred thousand men) into the Channel port of Dunkirk. […]
  • Bishop Barron’s Top 10 Homilies on Christ the King November 22, 2019
    This weekend the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, more popularly known as the Feast of Christ the King. To help you prepare, we’re sharing ten of Bishop Barron’s best homilies on Christ the King. Enjoy! #10: True Kingship At the end of the liturgical year, we celebrate […]
  • A Time to Keep Silence, and a Time to Speak November 21, 2019
    Catholics “of a certain age” may remember being taught that, once having settled into a pew, our time before Mass was meant to be directed toward mentally and spiritually preparing ourselves for the great liturgies of Word and Eucharist—participation at which culminates in our physical Communion with the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, the […]
  • “Bishop Barron Presents” with Dr. Arthur Brooks Tomorrow! November 20, 2019
    The next “Bishop Barron Presents” event, featuring social scientist, musician, and Harvard professor Dr. Arthur Brooks, will take place LIVE tomorrow, November 21, at 10:00 p.m. (EST)! The evening is titled Love Your Enemies: Civility in a Culture of Contempt and will be livestreamed from Southern California. In the first part of the livestream, available […]
  • “Catching Feelings”: Love, Relationships, and the iGen’s Openness to God November 19, 2019
    As a high school theology teacher, one of the first things I sought out to teach my young students was how much God loves us and how much he longs for us to love him back. This should have been a relatively easy undertaking. I mean, this is “Sunday School 101” kind of stuff, right? […]
  • Good Grief November 18, 2019
    [On hearing of the death of his son,] the king was deeply moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept; and as he went, he said, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!” It was told […]

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