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  • Solidarity Lessons for a Challenging Era January 21, 2021
    The beginning of a new presidency in any country ought to be a time of renewed commitment to unity among all her citizens. In the light of recent events in America and ongoing instability around the world, this call to social unity is more pressing than ever for the times in which we live. That […]
  • This Angry, Unkind World Needs “The Year of Saint Joseph” January 20, 2021
    Not long ago, I experienced something of a “Saint Joseph synergy,” finding a copy of Fr. Donald Calloway’s Consecration to St. Joseph in my mailbox, and on the very same day that we read at Mass: This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but […]
  • On Sex and Marriage, “Bridgerton” Stumbles Into Catholic Truth January 19, 2021
    What is the point of the marriage bed? Can sexual pleasure be intentionally separated from creating new life and still nurture authentic intimacy between spouses? What does making a complete gift of self to one’s spouse mean? These are questions explored in Catholic theology—and in Netflix’s new, popular costume drama Bridgerton. When I sat down […]
  • Ordinary Time: It’s Not Easy Being Green, But We Need It January 18, 2021
    The Catholic Church is filled with more treasures than one can discover in a lifetime, and perhaps one of the least appreciated is the liturgical calendar, especially when the days are filled with the all-too-familiar green that represents what we call “Ordinary Time.”  Its distinction confused me when I first entered the Church. Ordinary Time […]
  • Kanye’s Gift: Black Gospel and Catholic Polyphony Together at Last! January 15, 2021
    Over the past fifteen years, Kanye West’s influence in the popular culture has had no parallel. He has led the reshaping of hip-hop. His shoe brands have been top sellers. He has been successful in dozens of business and philanthropic ventures. Critics love him. Fans love him. He has angered people and inspired them. Like […]
  • Chesterton and the Vocation of Our Senses January 14, 2021
     Here dies another day During which I have had eyes, ears, hands And the great world round me; And with tomorrow begins another. Why am I allowed two? —G.K. Chesterton, “Evening”   Known for his mental acuity and piercing insight, G.K. Chesterton was perhaps at his finest in his most incisive observations. Though Chesterton had […]
  • Word on Fire Institute: Here’s What’s Coming in 2021 January 13, 2021
    2020 was a strange year in many ways. Sadly, the beginning of 2021 has not slowed the fear, isolation, and anger of the last many months. In the midst of such confusion, the work of evangelization becomes ever more necessary, and a refocusing on the grace and peace of our Savior ever more urgent. Bishop […]
  • Learning by Heart with Miss Duffy January 12, 2021
    Miss Duffy was a giant. Physically, she was diminutive; she dazzled with a shock of grey hair, meticulously placed bright red lipstick, and a limp from childhood polio. In the eyes of a fourth-grade boy, her presence was towering. Miss Duffy talked and laughed with a gravelly voice. She told incredible stories and crafted assignments […]
  • A National Examination of Conscience in a Divisive Time January 11, 2021
    After the frightening and sobering events occurring at the US Capitol recently, Bishop Robert Barron recommended that, as a nation, we engage together in an examination of conscience. Thinking about what such an examination might look like, I came up with the following questions: Do I make an effort to inform myself in a way […]
  • “The Social Dilemma” and the Gift of Our Baptism January 8, 2021
    In a recent episode of The Word on Fire Show (episode 263), Brandon Vogt and Bishop Barron had a conversation about a new Netflix documentary called The Social Dilemma. The film is about the darker side of social media, as explained by Silicon Valley innovators behind the new technology and former employees of ‘Big Tech’ […]
  • Balthazar’s Gift Is a Sophisticated, Complex Proclamation January 7, 2021
    In this week after the Epiphany, it occurs to me that a depiction of the Adoration of the Kings, done by the Dutch painter Pieter Bruegel (Breugel the Elder), deserves further scrutiny, most especially of Balthazar’s complex gift. What are we to make of the green nautilus conch, bearing myrrh and presented within a small […]
  • Illiterate and Graced, St. André Bessette: “I Am Sending You a Saint” January 6, 2021
    Does God only give grace to smart people? Is holiness directly proportional to intelligence or ability? Obviously the answer is no, but it sure seems like the great saints are all also holy geniuses. St. Paul, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Bonaventure, St. Augustine, St. Catherine of Siena; the older saints seem to be academic all-stars. […]
  • “Love in the Ruins”: Walker Percy’s End of the World as We Know It January 5, 2021
    It is funny how one can look back at a most mundane moment and realize just how outrageously pivotal it actually was. For example, during my freshman year in college, I had a work-study job in my school’s library. With my affection for books, it seemed as though I had hit the jackpot with the […]
  • The New Age: On the Fear of Religion January 4, 2021
    The renowned physicist Stephen Hawking once claimed that the idea of an afterlife is “a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.” In response, Oxford mathematician John Lennox suggested that perhaps the inverse is true, that atheism is just “a fairy story for those afraid of the Light.” Naturally, Dr. Lennox’s witty quip has […]
  • A Blessed New Year from Word on Fire January 1, 2021
    The great question [is] . . . What did Jesus actually bring, if not world peace, universal prosperity, and a better world? What has he brought? The answer is very simple: God. . . . He has brought God, and now we know his face, now we can call upon him. Now we know the […]
  • Should We Cancel Homer? Ask Bob Dylan December 31, 2020
    I return once again to Homer, who says, “Sing in me, oh Muse, and through me tell the story.” —Bob Dylan Homer is new this morning, and perhaps nothing is as old as today’s newspaper. —Charles Péguy It was nary four short years ago that the incomparable songwriter Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize […]
  • 2021 Resolutions Will Need to Look Back, and Move Forward, with Christ December 30, 2020
    I will work out more. I will read Scripture every day. I will stop at two glasses of wine. I will yell less. I will lose ten or seventy pounds. I will be nicer to the people I love. I will stay off social media. Look familiar?  The year is coming to a close, and […]
  • A Lewis Scholar and a Character: Remembering Walter Hooper (1931-2020) December 29, 2020
    All of us who know and love the writings of C.S. Lewis owe a great debt to another figure, highly regarded in the field of Lewis scholarship but less well known to the wider world of readers: Walter Hooper. Over the course of six decades, Hooper served as literary advisor to Lewis’ estate, dedicating his […]
  • Cinema 2020: A Few Fine Films vs. TV’s Abundance of Riches December 28, 2020
    As you might expect, 2020 has been a weird year for cinema. In fact, it’s been an almost nonexistent year, with only one major theatrical release to date during the worst of our virus crisis—Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, which bombed. Stuck at home, I have streamed some TV shows and limited series I liked very much, […]
  • Christ is Born! Merry Christmas from Word on Fire! December 25, 2020
    Christ is Born! May we share in a splendid prayer of St. Augustine on this holy day: + Let the just rejoice, for their Justifier is born. Let the sick and infirm rejoice, for their Savior is born. Let the captives rejoice, for their Redeemer is born. Let slaves rejoice, for their Master is born. […]

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