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The Word on Fire Show - Catholic Faith and Culture

Join Bishop Robert Barron for a weekly podcast on faith and culture. Find more episodes at http://WordOnFireShow.com and submit your questions at http://AskBishopBarron.com.
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The Word on Fire Show - Catholic Faith and Culture
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Now displaying: 2023
Dec 25, 2023

Friends, the prologue of the Gospel of St. John is one of the richest and most densely textured writings in the scriptures as John expresses the very nature of God and the profundity of the Incarnation that we celebrate every Christmas.

Merry Christmas to you on behalf of my whole Word on Fire team!

NOTE: Do you like this podcast? Become a patron and get some great perks for helping, like free books, bonus content, and more. Word on Fire is a non-profit ministry that depends on the support of our listeners…like you! So be part of this mission, and join us today!

Dec 18, 2023

Friends, is the Christmas story little more than a sweet, saccharine tale about a cute baby being born? Or do the Gospels present something more subversive and revolutionary, a battle between two great kings? That’s what Brandon Vogt and I discuss on today’s “Word on Fire Show” episode.

A listener asks, whose body is the Body of Christ in the Eucharist? Infant, crucified, or resurrected Jesus?

00:00 | Intro
01:31 | Bishop Barron at Good News Conference
03:56 | The surprising subversiveness of the Christmas story
05:44 | Christmas details—Caesar and his census
08:31 | Christmas details—“no room in the inn”
10:37 | Christmas details—swaddling clothes
12:06 | Christmas details—laid in a manger
13:36 | Christmas details—shepherds as first witnesses
15:47 | Christmas details—“do not be afraid”
18:38 | Christmas details—“heavenly host” of angels
23:47 | Why did God come as a baby?
25:16 | Listener question
26:43 | Join the WOF Institute

NOTE: Do you like this podcast? Become a patron and get some great perks for helping, like free books, bonus content, and more. Word on Fire is a non-profit ministry that depends on the support of our listeners…like you! So be part of this mission, and join us today!

Dec 11, 2023

Today, we’re excited to share with you Bishop Barron’s keynote talk from the 2023 Acton University conference, hosted by The Acton Institute.

“Wokeism” is arguably the most influential public philosophy in our country today. It has worked its way into the minds and hearts of our young people, into the world of entertainment, and into the boardrooms of powerful corporations. But what is it precisely, and where did it come from?

Bishop Barron argues in his presentation that “wokeism” is a popularization of critical theory, a farrago of ideas coming out of the French and German academies in the mid-twentieth century. Until we understand its origins in the thinking of Adorno, Horkheimer, Derrida, Marcuse, and Foucault, we will not know how critically to engage this dangerous philosophy.

 

NOTE: Do you like this podcast? Become a patron and get some great perks for helping, like free books, bonus content, and more. Word on Fire is a non-profit ministry that depends on the support of our listeners…like you! So be part of this mission, and join us today!

Dec 4, 2023

Friends, can everything in the world be reduced to atoms bumping against each other, and chemical reactions in our brains? Or is there something more to reality than its material elements?

That’s what Brandon Vogt and I discuss on today’s “Word on Fire Show” episode, with the help of a new book by Justin Brierley, titled The Surprising Rebirth of Belief In God: Why New Atheism Grew Old and Secular Thinkers Are Considering Christianity Again.

A listener asks, if feelings are not acts of the will, what is contrition? A feeling, an act of the will, both, or neither?

00:00 | Intro
00:58 | Word on Fire’s New Ressourcement Conference
03:10 | The problem with Materialism
07:56 | The problem with Determinism
10:57 | Consciousness and the problem it poses to Materialism
16:34 | Rationality, C.S. Lewis, and atheism
19:44 | Beauty as a path to transcendence
23:25 | Materialism’s inadequacy as a source of meaning
26:03 | The Meaning Crisis without the Highest Good
29:48 | Listener question
31:36 | New book—“Popcorn with the Pope”

NOTE: Do you like this podcast? Become a patron and get some great perks for helping, like free books, bonus content, and more. Word on Fire is a non-profit ministry that depends on the support of our listeners…like you! So be part of this mission, and join us today!

Nov 27, 2023

Today, we’re excited to share with you a talk that Bishop Barron recently gave at the University of Notre Dame titled “What Makes a University Catholic?”

The talk was cosponsored by the Notre Dame Student Government, the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture, the McGrath Institute for Church Life, and Campus Ministry.

Enjoy!

NOTE: Do you like this podcast? Become a patron and get some great perks for helping, like free books, bonus content, and more. Word on Fire is a non-profit ministry that depends on the support of our listeners…like you! So be part of this mission, and join us today!

Nov 20, 2023

Friends, an exciting group of psychologists, scientists, and thought leaders are rediscovering the beauty and brilliance of the Bible.

What’s causing so many of them to look at the Bible with fresh eyes? That’s what Brandon Vogt and I discuss on today’s “Word on Fire Show” episode, with the help of a new book by Justin Brierley, titled The Surprising Rebirth of Belief In God: Why New Atheism Grew Old and Secular Thinkers Are Considering Christianity Again.

A listener asks, how can Jesus be, at the same time, a God and a human being since God’s nature and human nature have many differences?

NOTE: Do you like this podcast? Become a patron and get some great perks for helping, like free books, bonus content, and more. Word on Fire is a non-profit ministry that depends on the support of our listeners…like you! So be part of this mission, and join us today!

Nov 13, 2023

Today, we’re excited to share Fr. Robert Spitzer’s keynote talk from the 2022 Good News Conference on “The Evidence for God from Science.” Fr. Spitzer introduces a growing amount of evidence for God found in contemporary science, along with data suggesting a rising number of young scientists who are open to God.

Fr. Spitzer is the President of the Magis Center of Reason and Faith and the Spitzer Center. He has authored several books including New Proofs for the Existence of God: Contributions of Contemporary Physics and Philosophy (2010) and Science at the Doorstep to God: Science and Reason in Support of God, the Soul, and Life after Death (2023).

NOTE: Do you like this podcast? Become a patron and get some great perks for helping, like free books, bonus content, and more. Word on Fire is a non-profit ministry that depends on the support of our listeners…like you! So be part of this mission, and join us today!

Nov 6, 2023

Today, we’re excited to share with you the newest episode in our “Bishop Barron Presents” series. In this discussion, Bishop Barron talks with writer, filmmaker, and activist Chris Rufo.

Chris is the author of a new book titled America’s Cultural Revolution: How the Radical Left Conquered Everything. He has directed four documentaries for PBS and is a senior fellow of the Manhattan Institute and a contributing edi­tor of the public policy magazine City Journal. His reporting and activism have inspired a presidential order, a national grassroots movement, and legislation in twenty-two states.

Sit back and take in this latest conversation in our series “Bishop Barron Presents”. Enjoy!

NOTE: Do you like this podcast? Become a patron and get some great perks for helping, like free books, bonus content, and more. Word on Fire is a non-profit ministry that depends on the support of our listeners…like you! So be part of this mission, and join us today!

Oct 30, 2023

Today, we share a discussion between Brandon Vogt and Fr. Steve Grunow, Word on Fire’s CEO and resident Halloween expert.

Several years back, Fr. Steve wrote an article for Word on Fire’s website titled “It’s Time for Catholic to Embrace Halloween” that went viral and remains one of our most popular articles of all time.

In today’s discussion, Fr. Steve explains what Halloween is fundamentally about, whether it is of pagan origin, and what a properly Catholic celebration of Halloween looks like.

00:00 | Intro 
00:56 | Why is Halloween fascinating? 
02:11 | What is Halloween fundamentally about? 
03:10 | All Saints, All Souls, and Halloween 
05:01 | Excesses in how Halloween is sometimes celebrated 
06:36 | Is Halloween essentially a pagan holiday? 
08:33 | Is Halloween evil, a doorway to darkness? 
11:10 | Memento mori and Halloween 
12:34 | Connection between Halloween and costumes 
14:18 | “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”
14:54 | Candy and Halloween 
16:31 | What would a properly Catholic celebration of Halloween look like?

NOTE: Do you like this podcast? Become a patron and get some great perks for helping, like free books, bonus content, and more. Word on Fire is a non-profit ministry that depends on the support of our listeners…like you! So be part of this mission, and join us today!

Oct 23, 2023

Friends, the New Atheism movement rose quickly in the early 2000s, led by vicious critics of religion such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. What made their polemics so popular and effective? And how did the New Atheist movement decline and fade almost as quickly over the past few years?

That’s what Brandon Vogt and I discuss on today’s “Word on Fire Show” episode, with the help of an excellent new book by Justin Brierley titled The Surprising Rebirth of Belief In God: Why New Atheism Grew Old and Secular Thinkers Are Considering Christianity Again.

A listener asks, does the Catholic Church teach that the Holy Spirit has a gender?

00:00 | Intro
00:50 | Bishop Barron’s visit to Harvard University
02:55 | Justin Brierley – The Surprising Rebirth of Belief In God
03:32 | What is the New Atheism?
07:17 | What led to the rise of the New Atheism?
10:22 | Why the New Atheism appealed to young people
12:46 | How the New Atheism began to unravel
15:43 | How the New Atheism revitalized Christian apologetics
17:19 | The New Atheism’s failure to provide a satisfying alternative to religion
21:50 | New questions being asked by seekers and skeptics
24:21 | Listener question
26:49 | New book – Know Thyself: Catholic Classical Education and the Discovery of Self

NOTE: Do you like this podcast? Become a patron and get some great perks for helping, like free books, bonus content, and more. Word on Fire is a non-profit ministry that depends on the support of our listeners…like you! So be part of this mission, and join us today!

Oct 16, 2023

Today, we share a fun discussion between Brandon Vogt and Haley Stewart, Editor of Word on Fire Spark, our new imprint of books for young readers. Topics include:

  • Were you a reader growing up? What were some of your favorite books?
  • How would you assess the current landscape of childrens’ books? What’s good? What’s missing?
  • What is Word on Fire Spark and how did it come to be?
  • What is the mission/vision for Spark? How will Spark books stand out among other books for children?
  • Upcoming books from Word on Fire Spark
  • Forthcoming “Spark the Imagination” podcast
  • The Spark Bible – a new Bible for young Catholic readers

NOTE: Do you like this podcast? Become a patron and get some great perks for helping, like free books, bonus content, and more. Word on Fire is a non-profit ministry that depends on the support of our listeners…like you! So be part of this mission, and join us today!

Oct 9, 2023

Friends, five years ago, we started what has become the largest online community of Catholic evangelists: the Word on Fire Institute.

Where did this come from, what’s the purpose of the Institute, and what’s coming next? That’s what Brandon Vogt and I discuss on today’s episode of “The Word on Fire Show.”

A listener asks, will God still create humans in heaven?

00:00 | Intro
01:17 | Bishop Barron’s USCCB meeting
02:13 | Updates from the Diocese of Winona-Rochester
04:06 | Where did Word on Fire Institute come from?
08:00 | Building an army of Catholic evangelists
09:36 | St. Thérèse of Lisieux and the Word on Fire Institute
11:04 | Introducing Dr. Petrusek, new Senior Director of the Institute
12:52 | What a fully-formed evangelist looks like
14:53 | Why evangelists should be familiar with popular culture
17:36 | Why Catholic evangelists must understand the “nones”
19:31 | The future of the Word on Fire Institute
21:01 | Master’s Degree in Evangelization and Culture w/ University of St. Thomas
22:43 | Listener Question
24:40 | Join the Word on Fire Institute!

NOTE: Do you like this podcast? Become a patron and get some great perks for helping, like free books, bonus content, and more. Word on Fire is a non-profit ministry that depends on the support of our listeners…like you! So be part of this mission, and join us today!

Oct 2, 2023

Today we share Bishop Barron’s keynote talk from the 2023 Chesterton Conference from July 27, 2023, in Minneapolis, MN. The theme of the conference was “Chesterton and St. Francis” as it is the 100th anniversary of the publication of Chesterton’s biography of St. Francis, and Bishop Barron spoke about the enduring genius of that book. Enjoy!

NOTE: Do you like this podcast? Become a patron and get some great perks for helping, like free books, bonus content, and more. Word on Fire is a non-profit ministry that depends on the support of our listeners…like you! So be part of this mission, and join us today!

Sep 25, 2023

Friends, why do we love being distracted from the important things of life? The great French philosopher Blaise Pascal observed, “The sole cause of man’s unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his room.”

On today’s episode of “The Word on Fire Show,” Brandon Vogt and I discuss why it is so hard to be still and contemplate reality, and how we can get better at it.

A listener asks, what are some things laity can do to build unity in the Church?

NOTE: Do you like this podcast? Become a patron and get some great perks for helping, like free books, bonus content, and more. Word on Fire is a non-profit ministry that depends on the support of our listeners…like you! So be part of this mission, and join us today!

Sep 18, 2023

Today, we’re thrilled to share with you the newest episode in our “Bishop Barron Presents” series. In this discussion, Bishop Barron talks with well-known Hollywood actors Ethan and Maya Hawke. Ethan has starred in many excellent movies while Maya is probably best known for her roles in the BBC adaptation of Little Women and the hit Netflix series Stranger Things.

But more recently, Ethan and Maya joined forces to produce a new film titled Wildcat, a biopic about the Catholic writer Flannery O’Connor. Ethan wrote and directed the film, while Maya stars as Flannery herself.

Bishop Barron and the Hawkes enjoy a delightful and wide-ranging conversation about the film, Flannery O’Connor’s stories, and so much more.

So sit back and take in this latest conversation in our series “Bishop Barron Presents”. Enjoy!

NOTE: Do you like this podcast? Become a patron and get some great perks for helping, like free books, bonus content, and more. Word on Fire is a non-profit ministry that depends on the support of our listeners…like you! So be part of this mission, and join us today!

Sep 11, 2023

Friends, why are we so tempted to scapegoat people, especially online? And how do we escape that trap?

On today’s episode of “The Word on Fire Show,” Brandon Vogt and I discuss the great Catholic philosopher René Girard and his theory of scapegoating.

A listener asks, what does Bishop Barron think of classical education?

NOTE: Do you like this podcast? Become a patron and get some great perks for helping, like free books, bonus content, and more. Word on Fire is a non-profit ministry that depends on the support of our listeners…like you! So be part of this mission, and join us today!

Sep 4, 2023

J.R.R. Tolkien’s masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings, is one of the best-selling books ever, selling over 150 million copies. In a 1999 poll of Amazon.com customers, The Lord of the Rings was judged to be their favorite “book of the millennium”.

However, few people know that Tolkien was an ardent Catholic. Holly Ordway has written a fascinating new volume titled Tolkien’s Faith: A Spiritual Biography, which shows how his faith and his fiction were related, though in subtle and complex ways. This long-overdue spiritual biography gives new insight into his works by shedding fresh light on their author’s deepest-held convictions.

Brandon Vogt recently sat down with Holly to discuss her new book and the depth of Tolkien’s Catholic life.

NOTE: Do you like this podcast? Become a patron and get some great perks for helping, like free books, bonus content, and more. Word on Fire is a non-profit ministry that depends on the support of our listeners…like you! So be part of this mission, and join us today!

Aug 28, 2023

Friends, is work something good or bad? Is it central to being human, or a punishment resulting from sin? And how do we understand our work theologically, tying it to God?

On today’s episode of “The Word on Fire Show,” Brandon Vogt and I discuss the Catholic Church’s view toward the dignity of work and the rights of workers, learning from Dorothy Day, St. Josemaría Escrivá, and several recent popes.

A listener asks, what do you mean by the term “transcendence,” and how does it differ from immanent?

NOTE: Do you like this podcast? Become a patron and get some great perks for helping, like free books, bonus content, and more. Word on Fire is a non-profit ministry that depends on the support of our listeners…like you! So be part of this mission, and join us today!

Aug 21, 2023

Today we share with you Bishop Barron’s keynote talk from the 2023 Wonder Conference, hosted by Word on Fire.

His keynote addressed scientism, the view that authentic truth claims can be made only in regard to those matters treatable through the scientific method, and offered three paths of scape: the intelligibility of the world, the immateriality of the mind, and the inescapability of metaphysics.


NOTE: Do you like this podcast? Become a patron and get some great perks for helping, like free books, bonus content, and more. Word on Fire is a non-profit ministry that depends on the support of our listeners…like you! So be part of this mission, and join us today!

Aug 14, 2023

Friends, death is a topic most of us try to avoid. So, why does Catholicism teach we should meditate regularly on our death?

On today’s episode of “The Word on Fire Show,” Brandon Vogt and I discuss the ancient Christian practice of memento mori (remember your death), and how Christ solves the four problems that death poses to each of us: identity, futility, loss, and the end of earthly joys.

A listener asks, what should Catholics think about near death experiences and stories?

NOTE: Do you like this podcast? Become a patron and get some great perks for helping, like free books, bonus content, and more. Word on Fire is a non-profit ministry that depends on the support of our listeners…like you! So be part of this mission, and join us today!

Aug 7, 2023

Today we share Bishop Barron’s 2023 Commencement Address at Hillsdale College, delivered on May 13, 2023.

In his address, Bishop Barron examined not the question of what we are to do in life—important as that is—but rather what kind of person we ought to be? Do we hunger and thirst for righteousness or do we seek our own advantage? In a way, he says, there is no question in the moral and spiritual order more fundamental than that.


NOTE: Do you like this podcast? Become a patron and get some great perks for helping, like free books, bonus content, and more. Word on Fire is a non-profit ministry that depends on the support of our listeners…like you! So be part of this mission, and join us today!

Jul 31, 2023

Friends, what makes great leaders great? Why do certain men and women seem to lead with such effectiveness?

On today’s episode of “The Word on Fire Show,” Brandon Vogt and I discuss several great leaders including Jesus, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King, Jr., Pope St. John Paul II, and Queen Elizabeth II.

A listener asks, how can I be sure if I’m acting out a theo-drama or an ego-drama?


NOTE: Do you like this podcast? Become a patron and get some great perks for helping, like free books, bonus content, and more. Word on Fire is a non-profit ministry that depends on the support of our listeners…like you! So be part of this mission, and join us today!

Jul 24, 2023

We know Church leaders need to be trained well in theology, morality, scripture, liturgy, and pastoral ministry. But if we want them to be able to wield those skills as effective leaders, they must also be great communicators.

After all, sharing the Good News is, at its heart, the task of communicating. Communication is a linchpin skill that unlocks the full potential of all other skills, and church leaders often get very little training in it.

That’s why most parishes fail to engage 93% of parishioners, and it’s why Matthew Warner wrote his excellent new book titled Why They Follow: Lessons in Church Communication from That One Lost Sheep, which was just published by Word on Fire.

Today, Brandon Vogt sits down with Matthew to discuss the book and the communications tips and strategies he recommends.

The Church needs great communicators. This book will teach you to be one. It belongs on every church leader’s desk.


NOTE: Do you like this podcast? Become a patron and get some great perks for helping, like free books, bonus content, and more. Word on Fire is a non-profit ministry that depends on the support of our listeners…like you! So be part of this mission, and join us today!

Jul 17, 2023

Friends, Christians often speak of “having a personal relationship with Christ” or “knowing Jesus personally,” but what does this actually mean? Is it possible? How do we go beyond knowing about Christ to truly knowing him? That’s what Brandon Vogt and I discuss on today’s “Word on Fire Show.”

A listener considering conversion to Catholicism asks, how do I go about looking for a parish?


NOTE: Do you like this podcast? Become a patron and get some great perks for helping, like free books, bonus content, and more. Word on Fire is a non-profit ministry that depends on the support of our listeners…like you! So be part of this mission, and join us today!

Jul 10, 2023

In this talk from the 2022 Good News Conference, Dr. Gianna Emanuela Molla shares the story of her mother, St. Gianna Beretta Molla, patron saint of mothers, physicians, and unborn children. She also discusses her parents’ love through their many letters and their devotion to Our Lord, which solidified their union. 

St. Gianna’s holiness had everything to do with her beloved husband, Pietro. They were both dedicated to working for the salvation of their spouse’s soul, and this commitment to love and holiness inspired their children to trust in divine providence.

Learn more about the Good News Conference and sign up to attend this year’s conference at https://goodnewsconference.com.


NOTE: Do you like this podcast? Become a patron and get some great perks for helping, like free books, bonus content, and more. Word on Fire is a non-profit ministry that depends on the support of our listeners…like you! So be part of this mission, and join us today!

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