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  • “Urgency, Power, Drama”: Jessica Hooten Wilson on Literature and Redemption August 4, 2020
    Jessica Hooten Wilson is the author of three books: Giving the Devil His Due: Flannery O’Connor and The Brothers Karamazov (which received a 2018 Christianity Today Book of the Year award), Walker Percy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and the Search for Influence; and Reading Walker Percy’s Novels. Currently, she is preparing Flannery O’Connor’s unfinished novel, Why Do […]
  • A Chapter That Changed My Life: “Brideshead Revisted” August 3, 2020
    In the spring of 2008 I was a senior in college sitting in the backyard of a little white rental house near campus and I was weeping because an old man in a book had made the sign of the cross.  I was reading Brideshead Revisited for my twentieth-century novel class. I had been delighted […]
  • Social Unrest and Doubt: Catalysts of Communication, Conversion July 31, 2020
    Bishop Robert Barron has lately mentioned that we in the United States appear to be experiencing a “Jacobin moment.” Legitimate grievances about justice in the civil arenas have given way to unruly, sometimes violent mobs running hot in our cities, and contentious debate within the Church. But this is not the only “Jacobin moment” in […]
  • Behaving Virtuously in the Online Wild West July 30, 2020
    The Daughters of Saint Paul—or “media nuns” as we’re informally called—have been tasked by our founder Blessed James Alberione to use the “the fastest, most modern, most efficacious means” to preach the Gospel. In keeping with our mission in the Church, many of us have been ministering online for years. As a result of this […]
  • “Jurassic Park”: An Unexpected Parable for the Modern Age July 29, 2020
    I saw Jurassic Park when it first stomped into theaters in the summer of 1993, and it rocked my world. I was only five years old at the time, but I can say with confidence that the experience changed my life, cementing my lifelong obsessions with dinosaurs, film, and the art of storytelling. While the […]
  • If You Want Faithful Children, Let Them See Your Own Faith—Every Day July 28, 2020
    In Familiaris Consortio, Pope John Paul II wrote, “Future evangelization will depend largely on the domestic church” (65).  This couldn’t be more accurate to our times. As pandemic-stricken institutions like the parish and Catholic school exert less influence in faith formation, the family has taken on a primary role in introducing the faith, making it […]
  • Never Destroying, Forever Mending: The Wisdom of a Wall July 27, 2020
    People do not know what they are doing because they do not know what they are undoing. —G.K. Chesterton “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall.” So muses Robert Frost’s farmer as he meets his neighbor at the sun-splashed boulder fence separating their properties. Already, it is New England springtime with soft mud and […]
  • Honesty and Courage: Cornel West and Robert George Speak Out July 24, 2020
    When we see friendships between people who seem to have little in common. those of us of a certain age will quickly think of Neil Simon’s classic play (and subsequent movie, and television series) The Odd Couple. For the uninitiated, the story presents the misadventures of two divorced men who, for economic reasons, share a […]
  • The Catechetical Directory and the Ways of Beauty July 23, 2020
    The Vatican has released a new directory for catechesis, and while most people can be forgiven in thinking that this might be an updated phone book for catechists, it is actually a guidebook for all involved in religious instruction on how to teach the faith effectively in the new world of the digital age. The […]
  • Mary Magdalene: A Living Blueprint for Effective Evangelization July 22, 2020
    The Feast of St. Mary Magdalene has graced the Roman Calendar for only four short years, but it immediately became popular with many Catholics who have long-understood her broad and valuable spiritual example. Pope Francis elevated her celebration to a feast on June 3, 2016, which was also the feast of the Sacred Heart of […]
  • Catholic Rural Life: An Invitation to Imagine and Trust July 21, 2020
    Ashley Canter is a Catholic convert, a farmer’s wife, and the mother of five children. Having earned a BA in European history from Ohio University and married soon after, she and her husband settled on an organic dairy farm in rural Wisconsin. Here, she speaks with Word on Fire’s Robert Mixa about her family’s unexpectedly […]
  • How the News and Politics Is Destroying Your Soul (And What You Can Do About It) July 20, 2020
    We live in a strange age. It’s an age marked by contention, strife, and factionalism. This is true in the Church and in the realm of politics (both in the US and in many other countries). To take just one example, here’s some objective evidence on the terrifying and widening political chasm in America: The […]
  • Thrown by Love July 17, 2020
    A man must not choose his neighbor: he must take the neighbor that God sends him. The neighbor is just the man who is next to you at the moment, the man with whom any business has brought you into contact. —George MacDonald When I was studying philosophy in  the late 1980s, I was enamored […]
  • The Carmelite Martyrs of Compiegne July 17, 2020
    I think that it is worthwhile today to remember the Sixteen Martyrs of the Carmel of Compiegne in France. These eleven nuns, three lay sisters and two externs were killed by the order of the Committee for Public Safety, an agency of the National Convention of Revolutionary France. They were murdered in a public execution […]
  • 5 Things to Know About Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and the Brown Scapular July 16, 2020
    Today we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, which is commemorated by many through the symbol of the Brown Scapular. What is this sacramental and why is it important? Ellyn von Huben explains.
  • Digging Deeper and Building Higher: Further Advice for Christian Writers July 15, 2020
    In my last post, I offered five practical pieces of advice for Christian writers. Here I have some more advice to further equip those who feel called to serve the kingdom through creative writing—and to suggest ways for writers (and readers) to grow in their relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. Why do we need […]
  • St. Kateri Tekakwitha and the Crucible of Sanctity July 14, 2020
    An important question for all Christians to consider is whether or not we treat the grace that Christ has given us as something cheap. We might have habituated ourselves to set patterns of religious activity. We might have our charitable causes, vaguely construed as “faith based” so as not to offend, that we choose to […]
  • Of Good Cheer: Fulton Sheen and Playfulness in the Life of Faith July 13, 2020
    St. Philip Neri once remarked to a Dominican friar, “All that I have of good I owe to your fathers of San Marco.” Could the same be said of Fulton Sheen? In his autobiography, Sheen speaks movingly (and amusingly) about his friendship with a certain Fr. Smith: For many years our dean in the School of Philosophy was […]
  • Engaging Online Toxicity: 5 Tips from St. Benedict July 10, 2020
    Original sin has rendered our world an ever-contentious place, but for many who remember the late 1960s, the Year of Our Lord 2020 seems (largely thanks to the internet, social media, twenty-four-hour news channels) like a banner year—a David Banner year, furious and destructive—like 1968 on steroids. It’s brought us to a place were dialogue […]
  • Here’s How Christian Action Is Distinct from Mere Activism July 9, 2020
    I recently posted an article here at Word on Fire titled “How Does a Christian Respond in Time of Social Crisis?” I was encouraged by the reactions and replies, but a number of readers asked if I could more clearly define and articulate the distinction between activism and Christian action, a topic that is multifaceted […]

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