Word On Fire

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  • Bl. Nicholas Steno: The Mendel of the Geosciences October 23, 2020
    In the year 1666, the court of the Grand Duke Ferdinando de’ Medici in Florence saw the arrival of a most unusual object—the partial carcass of a great white shark. Fishermen had caught and killed the beast off the Tuscan coast, hacked off its monstrous head, and sent the specimen at once to Ferdinando, who […]
  • St. John Paul II and the Magna Anima October 22, 2020
    These days, I am slowly and prayerfully making my way through the Word on Fire Bible (it’s the only way to read it—such is the depth and beauty on every page). One idea that keeps coming up in the commentary by Bishop Barron is the contrast between the pusilla anima and the magna anima. Briefly, […]
  • The Way of Knowing: How Your Dog Can Teach Your Skepticism October 21, 2020
    Imagine, after going through the drive-thru of your favorite fast-food restaurant, you are greeted at the door of your home by your loving dog. Your dog recognizes you, is excited to see you, and begins to wag its tail. However, it takes mere seconds for him to smell the food and he begins to bark […]
  • Satan Recognizes Christ’s Body. Do We? October 20, 2020
    Recent studies suggest that many Catholics do not believe that the Eucharist is the Body of Christ. But there is someone who has no doubt about it—Satan. He knows that what looks like bread on Catholic altars and in tabernacles is really the Body of his Crucified and Risen Vanquisher, Jesus Christ. He knows that […]
  • Tianna Williams: Leading with Beauty and Trusting in God October 19, 2020
    Today Matt Nelson sits down with Canadian artist Tianna Williams to discuss her work, as well as the methods and inspiration behind her paintings of the faces of Mary and the Saints. Could you begin by telling us about your upbringing? Were you raised Catholic? My father is a Catholic evangelist and musician. My mother, […]
  • Mr. Manna: In Praise of Demanding Teachers October 16, 2020
    Frank Manna was a master teacher who built a legendary high school band by making his students pass through a crucible. At times as ruthless as Terrence Fletcher—the jazz band instructor in the movie Whiplash—Manna demanded absolute perfection from his students. His teaching style would not work for everyone, yet there is something praiseworthy about […]
  • Accepting the Most Royal of Invitations: To Suffer October 15, 2020
    Let’s begin with something that is painfully obvious: Life is hard, and nobody gets out of it without a measure of suffering. No one. We need only look at the crucifix to understand the truth of it—to see the very embodiment of innocence and goodness brought into a torture and torment most unjust, enduring his suffering […]
  • Stealth Evangelization Through Music and Beauty October 14, 2020
    One of the eight principles of the Word on Fire movement is “leading with beauty.” This principle is on glorious display in the newly produced Word on Fire Bible, where beautiful art illustrates the Word of God in visible form and is an extension to our senses of the written Word placed beside it. This […]
  • 5 Ways Saint John Henry Newman Can Help You Through This Year October 13, 2020
    One year ago today, Pope Francis canonized John Henry Newman. What a year it has been since then. Bishop Robert Barron was present for the canonization Mass last October in St. Peter’s Square, where in Pope Francis’ own homily, the pontiff quoted one of Newman’s: “The Christian has a deep, silent, hidden peace, which the […]
  • On Going through Hell October 12, 2020
    Recently, during the summer of rage, my eighth-grade daughter stood gazing at the television news with furrowed brow and a shaking head. When she realized that I had been looking at her, she blushed and confessed, “With everything going wrong in the world, it’s hard not to get down.” I couldn’t have said it better […]
  • “We Lepers”: The Mimetic Saint October 9, 2020
    Born on January 3, 1840, in Tremeloo, near Louvain, Joseph De Veuster (Damien is his religious name) was the youngest surviving and seventh of the eight children of Frans and Anne-Catherine, Flemish-speaking farmers. Forty-nine years later, he died from leprosy, now known as Hansen’s disease, during Holy Week on Monday, April 15, 1889 in Kalawao […]
  • In a World of Miracles, We Can’t Look Away from Ourselves October 8, 2020
    Maybe “don’t cry, baby, don’t cry” is just another way of saying, “do not be afraid.”
  • On Education: 3 Counsels from My Little Plato October 7, 2020
    On my desk, I have a little bust of Plato. And every now and then I found it staring right at me as if it had something to say. My attempts to get it to finally speak always went unanswered; in fact, the silence was deafening. I almost gave up but recently something changed. Since […]
  • “The Social Dilemma” and the Silent Carthusians October 6, 2020
    The new Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma—a film about the dark side of social media explained by the Silicon Valley innovators behind it—is a kind of public service for the digital age. Most of us talk about how addictive our smartphones are. We are concerned about the role social media is playing in the rise […]
  • How Strong is the “STRONGEST Argument Against Catholicism”? October 5, 2020
    Capturing Christianity, Cameron Bertuzzi’s YouTube platform, recently released a 90-minute video called “The STRONGEST Argument Against Catholicism w/ Dr. Jerry Walls.” In it, Bertuzzi sits down with Dr. Jerry Walls, a philosopher at Houston Baptist University, who presents what he views as the best argument against the Catholic claim. There’s actually a lot to like […]
  • “Pray”: The Story of Father Patrick Peyton October 2, 2020
    Great evangelists are “fools for the sake of Christ” (1 Cor. 4:10). To win souls for the kingdom of God, many heralds of the Gospel demonstrate a total commitment to Christ that may look a bit reckless in the eyes of the world. Fr. Patrick Peyton was just such an evangelist, and the new film […]
  • The Word on Fire Institute: Two Years and Counting! October 1, 2020
    Two years ago, on the Feast of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Bishop Barron and the Word on Fire team launched a new initiative. At the encouragement of Cardinal Francis George, Bishop Barron had a desire to see the ministry of Word on Fire take a bold, new step in forming an army of evangelists. Evangelists […]
  • Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” and the Return to Eden September 30, 2020
    Yes, I get it. Tenet was confusing as heck . . . and I loved it! Christopher Nolan’s latest cinematic exploration involves David Washington, “The Protagonist”, in a sci-fi spy thriller with a highly complex and inverted timeline. While confusing at times, I love that Nolan’s storytelling usually contains a deeper concept the audience is […]
  • The Celestial Intercession of the Holy Archangels September 29, 2020
    The angels in their glorious celestial array are the servants and messengers of God, the “mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word” (Ps 103:20, CCC 329). The spirits surround the throne of God and fill the heavenly courts with their unending song of praise. Sent forth, they carry out […]
  • For Too Many Catholics, “Jesus Was Just a Great Teacher…” September 28, 2020
    The recent “State of Theology” survey alarmingly demonstrates that US Catholics are far from uniform in believing in the divinity of Christ. In fact, many tend not to believe in his divinity. When confronting the statement “Jesus was a great teacher, but he was not God,” a shocking  30% of Catholics “agree,” 27% “somewhat agree,” […]

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