Word On Fire

RSS Word On Fire

  • The Recovery of St. Matthew September 21, 2021
    This piece on St. Matthew first appeared in the Autumn 2020 Scripture issue of Evangelization & Culture, the quarterly journal of the Word on Fire Institute. Learn more and become a member today to read more pieces like this. As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and he […]
  • The Soul is Healed by Being with Children September 20, 2021
    Several years ago, I found myself commiserating with a friend over his struggles to have children. For years, it seemed, he and his wife were able to conceive, but incapable of sustaining a pregnancy. Notwithstanding extensive examinations, lab work, and imaging studies to identify a treatable source for their difficulties, they suffered one miscarriage after […]
  • 5 Gifts of Being Catholic That I Increasingly Love  September 17, 2021
    When my family and I came into full communion with the Catholic Church in 2019, we were no strangers to the overall contours of the Catholic thing. We had been High Church Anglicans, and our main obstacle was papal authority. By God’s grace, we were finally set free to live in obedience to Christ by […]
  • Gifts of Youth: Better Than All Our Sophistications September 16, 2021
    In Paul’s First Letter to Timothy, we read, “Beloved, let no one have contempt for your youth, but set an example for those who believe, in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity. . . Do not neglect the gift you have” (1 Tim. 4:12, 14). It’s good advice for all of us, no matter what […]
  • Our Lady of Sorrows Moves Us Beyond Anger September 15, 2021
    Some find it strange, even slightly naughty, that I shut off the news after the elections of November 2020. My experience has taught me otherwise. Having no longer handed my mind over to the distant, impersonal forces that seek to occupy it, I have abandoned my anger and discovered the world anew in front of […]
  • The Cross: Love’s Harsh and Dreadful Beauty September 14, 2021
    Imagine if a logo designer was commissioned to come up with a new symbol for Christianity other than the cross. It’s highly likely that in order to make our religion attractive and appealing, the new logo would be smart, unique, and would speak to the benefits of our faith for those who would consider it. […]
  • Mountains Motivate the Ascent of the Spiritual Life September 13, 2021
    In days to come the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised up above the hills. Peoples shall stream to it, and many nations shall come and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the […]
  • Post 9/11: Anticipated by Radiohead and René Girard September 10, 2021
    On August 16, 2001, I stood with my stepbrother and tens of thousands of people in Liberty State Park on Upper New York Bay in Jersey City with a beautiful view of Lower Manhattan. I was twenty-one years old, had recently graduated from college, and would be on my way in a couple of weeks […]
  • St. Peter Claver, Slave to the Africans September 9, 2021
    The boats would pull into the dock like any other day in Cartagena. As the vessels would unload, onlookers would have seen the living cargo present in the deepest levels of the ship. Many of these people were sold into the slave trade, and it’s estimated that often a third of them died in transit. […]
  • From Mary to Philip Neri: Lessons in Detached Cooperation September 8, 2021
    “All of God’s purposes are to the good, although we may not always understand this we can trust in it.” — St. Philip Neri Philip Neri was neither the first nor the last saint to remind us that God’s purposes, though far beyond our comprehension, are “always to the good” and trustworthy, but he said […]
  • Why Matter Matters: The Eucharist as Center of a Culture (Part II) September 7, 2021
    The following is the second half of a discussion with Dr. Timothy O’Malley, the Director of Education at the McGrath Institute for Church Life and Academic Director of the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy, on his latest book Real Presence: What Does It Mean and Why Does It Matter? A helpful guide for catechists and […]
  • Why Matter Matters: The Eucharist as Center of a Culture (Part I) September 6, 2021
    The following is the first half of a very pleasant discussion with Dr. Timothy O’Malley, the Director of Education at the McGrath Institute for Church Life and Academic Director of the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy, on his latest book Real Presence: What Does It Mean and Why Does It Matter? The book is a […]
  • Bob Ross: Teaching Joy, Even Amid the Shadows September 3, 2021
    Joy is a common word in the Bible and in Christian tradition, but—like many biblical and theological words—joy does not always mean what most people might assume. It’s not a synonym for happiness, nor is joy the same thing as optimism. In Matthew 28:8, we are told that Mary Magdalene and the other Mary “left […]
  • Tolkien and Peter Pan: Death and the Desire for Deathlessness September 2, 2021
    This piece is an excerpt adapted from Holly Ordway’s Tolkien’s Modern Reading: Middle-earth Beyond the Middle Ages, Chapter 6. In one of the rare instances when Tolkien said what The Lord of the Rings was “about,” he explained that “it is about Death and the desire for deathlessness.” Tolkien’s approach to this topic provides the fitting […]
  • Social Media and Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places September 1, 2021
    Our time spent on social media is time spent looking for love.
  • The Killers’ Maturing Voice Speaks for the Times with “Pressure Machine” August 31, 2021
    If you’re familiar with the American band The Killers, it could be due to their popular ballad “Mr. Brightside,” which just might be the “Sweet Caroline” of the millennial generation. Their debut album, Hot Fuss, was the anthem of my college days, and Sam’s Town from 2006 was another musical triumph. Their new release, Pressure […]
  • Is Love Possible? The Witness of St. Maximilian Kolbe August 30, 2021
    When I was hired to work at Mundelein Seminary at the University of St. Mary of the Lake, Bishop Barron (then the rector of the seminary) was renovating the St. John Paul II Chapel for the seminarians. He had new stained glass windows of several saints installed in the chapel, one of which was dedicated […]
  • Amid Seeming Chaos, the Wine Abides August 27, 2021
    Let us take a moment here to pause from our usual commentary on films and music and all things pop culture, to sing of the grape—of wine, specifically.  I love wine. I always have, and I expect I always will. And for wine’s obvious therapeutic benefits (when not taken in superabundance), I have been more […]
  • “Patience, Hard Thing!” Gerard Manley Hopkins’ Advice for Today August 26, 2021
    Lately, I have been struck by how hard, and yet how necessary, it is simply to be patient in the day-to-day life of being a Catholic. The media is full of goads to be impatient with oneself, with others, and with the world in general: Why are things not the way they should be, right […]
  • The Love of Teachers for Students: Lewis’ Language in “The Four Loves” August 25, 2021
    St. John tells us that “God is love” (1 John 4:8), and this is also where C.S. Lewis begins his book The Four Loves. Very quickly, he is not satisfied with one word for love and so gives names to different types of loves, similar to Adam naming the animals. While in English, the single […]

Subscribe Now To Our Daily Email

We respect your email privacy