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  • Agape Love: The Argument from Johnny Cash November 26, 2021
    There is a kind of supra-rational argument to be made for God through beauty, particularly through music. Matthew Becklo provides one such example using the music of Johnny Cash.
  • Happy Thanksgiving from Word on Fire! November 25, 2021
    From the team here at Word on Fire, we would like to wish you and yours a very blessed Thanksgiving holiday! Read today's post for a short reflection on the biblical representation of the "sacred banquet," as well as what thanksgiving really means in the life of the Church.
  • “Fiddler on the Roof” Fifty Years Later: A Fresh Take on Tradition November 24, 2021
    Half a century since its original film adaptation, Fiddler on the Roof came to our local stage last week. I was seeing it for the first time but was familiar enough with it to anticipate at least the most celebrated of its catchphrases, “Tradition!” What I did not anticipate was how the play’s handling of […]
  • The Steadying Hand of Experience November 23, 2021
    The value of experience is not in seeing much, but in seeing wisely.—William Osler One thorn of experience is worth a whole wilderness of warning.—James Russell Lowell Adventure is worthwhile.—Aesop Years ago, as a newly minted third-year medical student turned loose (from two years of mind-numbing classroom lectures) to roam the medical wards of a […]
  • Jackie Kennedy’s Veil and the Weight of Apocalypse  November 22, 2021
    Fifty-eight years later, the images are still so very vivid. The funeral cortege; the deeply somber and silent crowds lining the streets; the riderless horse, named “Black Jack,” carrying a pair of highly polished, be-spurred boots in his stirrups to represent the fallen leader. The quietly respectful narration of the media, so unimaginable today, as […]
  • What the Catholic Church Is Not, in Four Words November 19, 2021
    In my discernment that ultimately led to coming into full communion with the Catholic Church, one of my biggest challenges was figuring out just what the Church is. For years as a Protestant, every Sunday I rattled off the same formula that Catholics do: “one, holy, catholic, and apostolic.” I ultimately found some clarity in […]
  • “Shang-Chi” Presents the Strength of Peace and Self-Gift November 18, 2021
    “You have nothing to fear. You have the heart of our dragon…take everything we’ve given you and make it your own.”  —Ying Li, mother of Shang-Chi Parenthood is one of the most humiliating and awe-inspiring, painful and joyful, thrilling and debilitating experiences this world has to offer. Children, adopted or biological, bear the marks of […]
  • Harrison Lemke and the Humanity of Art November 17, 2021
    A couple of years ago, singer-songwriter Harrison Lemke was playing a small house show in my living room. My husband and I had rearranged the furniture so that our little house could accommodate two dozen people. Our four kids were sitting on pillows and local friends as well as a few folks we knew through […]
  • From Gundam to God: Tyler McNabb and Reformed Epistemology November 16, 2021
    Tyler McNabb, PhD, is an associate professor of philosophy currently teaching at the University of St. Joseph in Macau on the south coast of China. Previously, he was an assistant professor at Houston Baptist University. He is the author of several well-regarded books, including Religious Epistemology (Elements in the Philosophy of Religion) and the co-author […]
  • The Heroic Face of the Innocents November 15, 2021
    We are the Church of the saints. That's the message of a fine collection of stories titled, "The Heroic Face of Innocence," by George Bernanos, author of "The Diary of a Country Priest." Ellyn von Huben reviews the volume today.
  • Humanity Going Meta to Become All About Itself November 12, 2021
    In David Fincher’s brilliant 2010 film The Social Network, Sean Parker, played by Justin Timberlake, sums up the goal of Mark Zuckerberg’s burgeoning Facebook company, telling him: “We lived on farms, then we lived in cities, and now we’re going to live on the internet.” Parker’s words, written by Aaron Sorkin, have proved to be […]
  • Saint Martin of Tours’ Stunning Encounter November 11, 2021
    Today, on the feast of St. Martin of Tours, Father Steve Grunow offers a reflection on the legendary encounter that converted Martin from a celebrated soldier to a priest, bishop, and saint.
  • The Proper Telling of History November 10, 2021
    The first step in liquidating a people is to erase its memory. Destroy its books, its culture, its history. Then have someone write new books, manufacture a new culture, invent a new history. Before long the nation will begin to forget what it is and what it was. —Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and […]
  • Much More Than an Assembly Hall November 9, 2021
    God has become the temple, the altar, the priest, and the sacrifice.
  • The Patron Saint of the Internet November 8, 2021
    Who is the patron saint of the internet?  For the Word on Fire movement, which has made a commitment to the new media one of its missionary pillars, this is no small question. I first discovered Bishop Barron online while browsing YouTube over a decade ago in my early twenties, and the ministry played a […]
  • Chappelle’s “The Closer”: Observant or Derisive? November 5, 2021
    Bishop Barron begins his Catholicism book and video series reminding us that our salvation is bound up in comedy. He tells us, “It all begins with a jest,” the wildest congruence of opposites—divinity and humanity—in the birth of our eternal King in the lowliest surroundings. Bishop Barron concludes, “God chose to save us by making […]
  • The 5-Word Philosophy That Still Speaks to Me November 4, 2021
    From time to time on Twitter, someone will invite others to define themselves or their faith or their favorite movie through limited words: “Without naming the movie, tell the story in four words,” they’ll write, and an amusing few minutes may be spent reveling in just how creative people can be. My favorite invitation is […]
  • Why Pray for the Dead or Care About Purgatory? November 3, 2021
    The month of November is dedicated to praying for the souls in purgatory. It is a reminder of something we really should be doing throughout the year. But how often do we pray for the souls of the faithful departed? All of us need to face that question. I faced it when I read a […]
  • “Memento Mori” Calls Us to Live in Death November 2, 2021
    To remember one’s death is, in short, a way of life. —Muriel Spark (Memento Mori) It is unusual in our culture to live in the knowledge and expectation of our deaths. I was struck by this in my own life when I attended my first All Souls’ Day Requiem Mass five years ago. I was […]
  • Halloween, All Saints’, All Souls’: The “Autumn Triduum” of Waiting November 1, 2021
    In the last days of Lent leading up to Easter, Christian liturgies place an emphasis on the final days and hours of Jesus of Nazareth. The liturgical season of the Triduum brings us through the Last Supper and Jesus’ Passion and death, carrying us finally into what might be called the “empty time”—that mournful 24-hour […]

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