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  • Wonder and Beauty: 5 Christmas Gift Suggestions for 2020 November 26, 2020
    Books and music are (in my very decided opinion) among the very best gifts that one can give. They invite the recipient into an experience that can be enjoyed again and again, and this experience is one that can be shared and talked about—thus deepening bonds of friendship and family connections. And the purchase of […]
  • “The War of the Worlds”: The 1950’s Sci-Fi Classic is Faith-Friendly November 25, 2020
    Science fiction as a genre is not known for being particularly friendly towards religion. Especially in contemporary sci-fi, which is highly secularized, religion is at best ignored or scorned as the relic of an unenlightened past best forgotten. At worst it is treated with naked hostility, reviled as an enemy of freedom and progress. That’s […]
  • Narcissus and 2020: Peering Past the Surfaces November 24, 2020
    We are all familiar (or at least should be) with the myth of Narcissus. Narcissus was a young and dashingly handsome demigod. The son, according to some experts in Greek mythology, of a river god and a nymph, Narcissus wandered about hunting and looking beautiful. Women far and near lustily admired him but despaired at […]
  • The “Clash of Freedoms” Demands the Columban Principle November 23, 2020
    Today is the memorial of a saint who is not well known by most but has something important to teach us about our call to unity in Church and society. St. Columbanus (or St. Columban as he is also called) was an Irish monk, born in 543, who died in Bobbio, in Northwest Italy in […]
  • Advent Reading: These Books Can Help Bring the Light November 20, 2020
    The glorious season of Advent is almost upon us and not a moment too soon. Between the ongoing pandemic, lockdowns, election stressors, civil unrest, ongoing issues within the Church and (given the ongoing restrictions on worship) “without,” it risks nothing at all to say that 2020 has been a problematic pip of a year, from […]
  • WWE’s “Survivor Series”: Virtually Entertaining and Rather Tragic November 19, 2020
    As a lifelong fan of the WWE, Hulk Hogan’s legendary body-slam of Andre the Giant at WrestleMania III in 1987 stands out as one of the most vivid memories of my childhood. The event at the Pontiac Silverdome in Detroit garnered the largest indoor crowd in North American history up to that point, only surpassed […]
  • In Praise of Matthew B. Crawford: Forming Attentive Disciples November 18, 2020
    “The habit of attention is the substance of prayer,” writes French mystic Simone Weil. But that habit is under tremendous threat today. With all the advertising bombarding us throughout the day, paying attention now seems to require superhuman will. And the harder it is to attend, the harder it is to pray. Catholics should be […]
  • Introducing Jackie and Bobby Angel, Fellows of the Word on Fire Institute November 18, 2020
    The Word on Fire Institute, the arm of Bishop Robert Barron’s apostolate focused on providing educational and evangelistic content and courses, is pleased to announce the addition of two new Fellows: Jackie Angel (Fellow of Family Life) and Bobby Angel (Fellow of Parish Life), who will begin their work on January 1, 2020. In their […]
  • Chasing After the Ever-New Blinds Us to the Ordinary and Ancient November 17, 2020
    Recently I was at a cell phone store needing to purchase a new phone. I was accompanied by the other priest of our parish and our parish’s office manager. The back wall of the store was a larger than life, lit from behind advertisement for this particular cell phone brand. The advertisement pictured an attractive […]
  • A Chapter that Changed My Life: Joan of Arc and the “One Thing” November 16, 2020
    Joan of Arc: By Herself and Her Witnesses by Régine Pernoud is one of those books that lingered on my bookshelf for over a year. Because it’s a review of all the historical records about St. Joan of Arc’s life, trial, and death along with commentary, I expected the book would make for rather dry […]
  • Exposing the Root of All Evil November 13, 2020
    [This piece appeared in the Winter 2019 issue of the Word on Fire Institute’s quarterly journal, Evangelization and Culture, the theme of which was Economics. Evangelization and Culture is available to all members of the Institute. – Ed] “The love of money is the root of all evils” (1 Tim. 6:10), writes St. Paul. There are […]
  • Throwing Away Our Holy Things November 12, 2020
    A decade or so ago, an early social media kerfuffle erupted over a woman who was discovered to have posed topless for some publication. Although society had already become increasingly numb to nudity, the moment was deemed noteworthy (and jeer-worthy) because the woman involved had at some point had publicly professed herself a Christian. Her […]
  • Co-Creation in a Time of Pandemic November 11, 2020
    In early 2020 as the world shut down, I experienced a new and undeniable desire to have a house plant. I already have four children that I am trying to keep alive, but I felt like I needed something green to cultivate or I would explode. My husband brought me a cutting from one of […]
  • On Not Being Fit for the Modern World November 10, 2020
    In the drab grey of postwar Europe, Britain’s favorite misanthrope Evelyn Waugh penned a novella named Scott-King’s Modern Europe. Scott-King is an Englishman, a classics professor, and an old boy grandee of Granchester public school. A lover of gentlemanly customs and old virtues, Scott-King finds himself becoming somewhat of an anachronism in a world of […]
  • Hope Travels: The Miraculous Odyssey of Jerzy, Who Witnessed to Me November 9, 2020
    During my early morning commute to the office, I usually listen to audiobooks. Currently, I’m listening to a book on what happened on the eastern front during World War II, the major center of the war that is still unfamiliar to most Americans. But as I listen to the book, I keep thinking about my […]
  • The Fury and Glory of St. Elizabeth of the Trinity November 6, 2020
    Elizabeth of the Trinity battled her own nature in order to disappear into Christ.
  • In Defense of Common Art: Why Fiction Matters in Catholic Culture November 5, 2020
    [This piece appeared in the inaugural issue of the Word on Fire Institute’s quarterly journal, Evangelization and Culture, the theme of which was Creativity and Christian imagination. Evangelization and Culture is available to all members of the Institute. We share it here for the sheer pleasure of this excellent read. – Ed] If I have […]
  • “The Witches”: HBO Adaptation Will Appeal to Christians, Start Conversations November 4, 2020
    Anything by the acclaimed English children’s novelist Roald Dahl gets attention in our house. My eight-year-old daughter is devoted to all of Dahl’s books, and we count the good film adaptations among our favorite movies. Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox and Steven Spielberg’s The BFG stand out among the more recent ones. In all of […]
  • State-by-State: An Election Day Litany to Mary, Patroness of America November 3, 2020
    It is well known that on December 12, 1999, Pope St. John Paul II proclaimed Our Lady of Guadalupe to be Patroness of the Americas. Less well known is the fact that our Lord’s holy mother Mary, under the title of the Immaculate Conception, had been recognized as Patroness of the United States since 1846. […]
  • Rethinking the Enlightenment: An Interview with Dr. Joseph Stuart November 2, 2020
    Joseph T. Stuart, PhD, is Associate Professor of History and Fellow in Catholic Studies at the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota. He is the author of Rethinking the Enlightenment: Faith in the Age of Reason. In this interview, Jared Zimmerer discusses Dr. Stuart’s work and how we might better understand what the Enlightenment […]

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