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  • Loki: Moving from Self-Love to Self-Gift   August 4, 2021
    Marvel Studios continues their episodic, character-centric series on Disney+ by delving into one of their most complex and well-loved comic book creations, the anti-hero Loki, charismatically portrayed both in films and in this offering by the actor Tom Hiddleston. Loki began his cinematic arc as a villainous god-of-mischief who eventually redeems his relationship with his […]
  • Our Judgment on Simone Biles August 3, 2021
    “I got this.” Recently, a medical student was seeing a patient on my schedule who was presenting with anxiety. The student reviewed her chart, knocked on the door, and entered the room with a warm smile. Fifteen minutes later, he was out and presenting her story to me. After glancing down at the chicken scratch […]
  • Take a Walk and Prayers to the Graveyard August 2, 2021
    Having grown up in a “mixed” family, if the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs are playing head-to-head, I will cheer for the Cardinals (my dad’s team), but other than that, it’s “Go Cubs Go,” thanks to my mother and my grandmother. I tried to hold it together when the Cubs won the World […]
  • “The Chosen” Just Gets Better and Better! July 30, 2021
    Even as the positive reviews poured in and word-of-mouth continued to spread like wildfire, I’m sure that many Christians were—and still are—skeptical of The Chosen. Admittedly, I was once one of them. The skepticism is understandable. For one thing, the independent, crowd-funded, multi-season series about the life of Christ is the first of its kind—a […]
  • Friendship: It’s Essential to the Heavenly Life July 29, 2021
    We possess each friend not less but more as the number of those with whom we share him increases. In this, Friendship exhibits a glorious ‘nearness by resemblance’ to Heaven itself where the very multitude of the blessed (which no man can number) increases the fruition which each has of God. For every soul, seeing […]
  • The Evangelization of Snacks and Common Witness July 28, 2021
    Growing up Protestant, the path of life in church was a bit ambiguous. There was Sunday school (classes for all ages), youth group, singles group, and then a bunch of other evangelization ministries for your way to becoming married. When I became Catholic, that same rule of generality applied, and sometimes the line even blurred […]
  • Kids Still Say the Darndest Things: One-Act Plays July 27, 2021
    This collection of plays in one act first appeared in the Summer 2021 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. Years ago, radio personality Art Linkletter hosted a show known as House Party. Thriving at first […]
  • Making Visible the Faith: From Poland to America July 26, 2021
    Dr. David Fagerberg of Notre Dame has taken a personal vow to quote G.K. Chesterton to someone once a week. I would not be surprised if some here at Word on Fire believe that I have made an equivalent vow about discussing Poland because I inevitably bring up that lovely land nearly every day. It […]
  • “Ted Lasso” Returns: A Funny, Kind Balm for Humanity July 23, 2021
    In many places, the institutions that are supposed to form good men have failed. And they have failed because many of the men who run them have been failures. Scouting has been plagued by rampant abuse of boys that is still coming to light. The Church will be dealing for generations with what Bishop Barron […]
  • Will the Real St. Mary Magdalene Please Stand Up? July 22, 2021
    Mary, Mary quite contrary, how does your story go? During a recent content meeting, the subject of St. Mary Magdalene's feast day was raised. "The prostitute, right?" the masses queried. "Actually, no," responded Father Steve Grunow. And thus, a blog post was born. Today he explains how history and a very common name often make […]
  • Just Do It: Go to Mass On Sundays July 21, 2021
    A friend of mine went to a small Catholic college in New England on a baseball scholarship. His coach was the kind of friendly, no-nonsense journeyman they don’t seem to make anymore. At the first practice of the year, he told all the players to take a knee. Then in a thick Massachusetts accent, he […]
  • The Claim of Christianity: Did Jesus Really Exist? July 20, 2021
    Christians believe that God acts—and has acted—in the world. In the present tense, we acknowledge that God here and now is the metaphysical first cause and sustainer of all things; in him “all things hold together” (Col. 1:17). In the past tense, we refer to Christianity’s unique claim that two thousand years ago, this same […]
  • Practice, Patience, Prayer: Lessons in Evangelization from the Parables July 19, 2021
    In Matthew’s Gospel, we hear that “Jesus told the crowds all these things in parables; without a parable he told them nothing” (Matt. 13:34). St. Mark tells us that Jesus “began to teach them many things in parables” (Mark 4:2) and that Jesus told the disciples, “To you has been given the secret of the […]
  • The Mysterious Benedict Society: A Subversive Tale for the Times July 16, 2021
    The Mysterious Benedict Society, now airing on Disney+, is a refreshingly subversive adventure story. Based on the book series by the Arkansas novelist Trenton Lee Stewart, The Mysterious Benedict Society places children at a level of importance rivaling Jesus’ words in Matthew’s Gospel: “Unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the […]
  • ‘I AM’ Is Here, and Is Concerned—Yes, About You July 15, 2021
    Originally published July 18, 2019 on WordonFire.org Moses, hearing the voice of the LORD from the burning bush, said to him, “When I go to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ if they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what am I to […]
  • Lifting Our Injured Souls Out of Darkness with “This Beautiful Truth” July 14, 2021
    One of the greatest obstacles to faith for many people is the problem of suffering. Why would a good God allow pain and grief? The power of this paradox is undeniable. Theodicy—a defense of the goodness of God in the face of evil—is perhaps most difficult when confronting the suffering of innocent children. When children […]
  • What You Need Prayin’ For? July 13, 2021
    What are you typically doing at 4:00am each day? Dr. Tom Neal recounts an extraordinary meeting he had with an elderly woman, outside of Mass, who uses her mornings to pray for others.
  • Dumbed-Down Faith in the Classroom July 12, 2021
    Bishop Barron repeatedly asks catechists and theology teachers not to dumb down the teaching of the faith in the classroom. In such talks, he typically shares an anecdote of when he went to his brother’s house and saw the class textbooks his niece was going to use as a high school senior at one of […]
  • How My Dog Auggie Made Me a Better Man—and Neighbor July 9, 2021
    I wonder what kind of man I would be these days without my puppy Auggie. My wife, two children, mother-in-law, two cats, and I moved just as the global virus crisis began in March 2020. The very day we rumbled out of Tennessee and made our way on I-40 across the Mississippi River (hello giant […]
  • Beckoned By Beauty: Our Imperfect Efforts to Respond July 8, 2021
    One sultry summer night in college, my husband and I, newly married, were invited to visit friends at their duplex, which was in a collection of Victorian houses facing a courtyard—one of the many quirky housing options for students in our corner of Texas. Heading across the courtyard, we passed a balcony where a shadowy […]

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