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  • The Encouraging Anger of the Atheist June 16, 2021
    Here is a little something that I have always wondered. When it comes to atheists engaging the question of God (that is, his existence, his providential love, his judgment, and his narrative for our lives from their beginnings to eternity), I have wondered why there is often so much anger? If there is no God, […]
  • Beauty Will Save the World—But How? Part V: Liturgical Iconography June 15, 2021
    Continuing our look at how we identify and understand beauty in all its forms, we feature Denis McNamara, the Director of Benedictine College’s Center for Beauty and Culture. In Part IV, McNamara discussed the importance of liturgical music as a reflection of Christ’s own song to the Father. His conversation with Robert Mixa, the Word […]
  • The Problem of Divine Hiddenness with Dr. Travis Dumsday June 14, 2021
    In this interview, apologist and Word on Fire Institute Fellow Matt Nelson sits down with Dr. Travis Dumsday, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Concordia University of Edmonton, Canada. They discuss the problem of divine hiddenness as presented by atheists for proof of God’s nonexistence and how Christians might respond with clarity and logic to such […]
  • The Sacred Heart: Catholics Have a Personal Savior Too June 11, 2021
    The Sacred Heart of Jesus is one Catholic devotion I find both strange and inspiring. That combination is to be expected, I suppose, for one who is just embarking on the Catholic journey after half a century in evangelical Protestantism. But of course, the Christian journey itself is a mixture of things both strange and […]
  • Resisting the Great Christian Adventure June 10, 2021
    Not too long ago, I found that I’d plunged myself into a murky sort of swamp—trapped between the jaws of the black dog and the jeers of a noonday demon of acedia, to which I’d opened myself up through sheer laziness. Beyond a daily intercession session where I asked God to give his blessing, grace, […]
  • The Wise Mentors and Why You and I Need Them June 9, 2021
    When I started my teaching career, I had many ideas about how I would make theological topics relevant and memorable in the lives of my students. Unfortunately, some of those ideas, if implemented, would have probably been remembered by my students as the silliest experiences of their lives, either making me a legend or spelling […]
  • Beauty Will Save the World—But How? Part IV: Liturgical Music June 8, 2021
    Continuing our look at how we identify and understand beauty in all its forms, we feature Denis McNamara, the Director of Benedictine College’s Center for Beauty and Culture. In Part III, McNamara discussed the inherent ontological reality of the liturgy. His conversation with Robert Mixa, the Word on Fire Institute’s St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Fellow […]
  • “Till We Have Faces”: Confession and the Veil of Self-Deceit June 7, 2021
    Although I was raised on The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis’s Till We Have Faces, a retelling of the Greek legend of Cupid and Psyche, will always be my favorite of his fiction writings. As I have re-read this book year after year, I’m struck by the theme of redemptive confession mirroring the sacrament of […]
  • “Lead, Kindly Light”: Let Us Hear More of Hope! June 4, 2021
    About ten years ago, I felt overwhelmed with all sorts of things in my life, and I confided some of my troubles to a wise mentor. I later found out that he was going through something truly awful at the time; my concerns were ultimately very trivial by any standard, but must have seemed especially […]
  • When Parish Mergers Bring Life: An Interview with Fr. Jonathan Meyer June 3, 2021
    Recently, our Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger Fellow of Parish Life, Bobby Angel, interviewed Fr. Jonathan Meyer, a priest of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, on the topic of parish mergers and how these painful situations can be opportunities for creativity and growth.   Ordained a priest in 2003, Fr. Meyer has been involved in the formation of youth […]
  • Tweet, Text, Post: Welcome to the Exterior Life June 2, 2021
    The silent forces are the strong forces. —Fr. Romano Guardini Interiority breeds interiority. —Gary Shteyngart Tweet, text, post. Likes, follows, FOMO. Optimize, expedite, multitask. This is the life we now lead. Welcome to the Exterior Life. In an age of marvelous technology affording instant access to endless pleasures and efficiencies, one would think that we […]
  • Beauty Will Save the World, But How? Part III: Liturgy June 1, 2021
    We continue our to look at how we identify and understand beauty in all its forms,  featuring Denis McNamara, the director of Benedictine College’s Center for Beauty and Culture. In Part II, McNamara noted that historically, what we perceive as beautiful can be proved as beautiful when we can can identify within it the truth […]
  • How Can Anyone Say They “Know” That Catholicism Is True? May 31, 2021
    The question is, as they say, “one for the ages”: How can someone know that Catholicism is true and not Buddhism, instead, or some other system of belief? This is a question I asked myself as I journeyed metaphysically from atheism to Catholicism, and it is a question to which I would now like to […]
  • “An American Pickle”: A Silly Film for the Seriously Religious May 28, 2021
    While traveling last week, I was able to use idle hours on airplanes and in hotel rooms to catch up on some recent films I had missed. Of everything I watched, the one I imagined I was least likely to write about before I pressed play was An American Pickle, with a screenplay by Simon […]
  • “The Tree of Life”: A Cinematic Masterpiece 10 Years Later May 27, 2021
    When Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life hit movie theaters ten years ago today, the responses were either viscerally positive or viscerally negative. Some hailed it as an instant classic; others dismissed it as pretentious or indecipherable, with many people reportedly walking out of the theater mid-movie. The critical response was mostly positive, but though it […]
  • Why We Need Fantasy Literature May 26, 2021
    Which books are most powerful, most evocative, most engaging for the work of evangelizing through literature? If we survey the landscape of modern literature with that question in mind, certain works of fiction form their own mountain range: Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings; Lewis’s Narnia Chronicles and Ransom Trilogy; George MacDonald’s Phantastes. To be […]
  • Beauty Will Save the World—But How? Part II: History May 25, 2021
    We pick up from last week’s discussion on how we understand beauty, featuring Denis McNamara, the director of Benedictine College’s Center for Beauty and Culture. In Part I, McNamara noted that what is beautiful must contain the essential elements of wholeness, proportionality, and the capacity to reveal itself. His conversation with Robert Mixa, the Word […]
  • The Beauty of the Brick: John Kraemer and the LEGO Church Project May 24, 2021
    If you’ve been around the Catholic social media space for any length of time, you’ve likely come across the work of John Kraemer and his LEGO Church Project. For over two decades, John has constructed beautiful works of art using humble LEGO bricks. Incredibly detailed inside and out, each of his plastic churches has a […]
  • Thoughts for the Worrier May 21, 2021
    Sometimes I worry. And I imagine you do too. Oh, I’m not wringing my hands about anything in particular—I just get that sense of unease and disquiet that hangs in the background of human existence. I would reason that this type of anxiety is a cousin to Winston Churchill’s ephemeral “black dog” of depression. Many […]
  • Suffering Together: Recognizing Our Common Woundedness May 20, 2021
    In my life as a priest, I meet with and minister to many people who are carrying ever-present wounds. These encounters occur in obvious places like hospitals, nursing homes, prisons, and, of course, in the confessional. But they also happen in surprising places and times, when people unexpectedly reveal the scars they bear. When I […]

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