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The Word on Fire Show - Catholic Faith and Culture

Brandon Vogt

Catholicism, Christianity, Christian, Religion & Spirituality, Catholic, God, Church, Faith, Vogt, Barron

4.9 • 5.4K Ratings

Overview

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.

426 Episodes

WOF 432: Who is Dante Alighieri?

Today we are excited to bring you the first lecture from Bishop Barron’s popular course, “Dante’s Catholic Imagination,” which is available in its entirety inside the Word on Fire Institute. We hope you enjoy this deep dive into Dante’s evergreen, always-relevant poetic, moral, and theological genius. NOTE: Do you like this podcast? Become a Word on Fire IGNITE member! Word on Fire is a non-profit ministry that depends on the support of our listeners . . . like you! So become a part of this mission and join IGNITE today to become a Word on Fire insider and receive some special donor gifts for your generosity.

Transcribed - Published: 8 April 2024

WOF 431: Euthanasia & the Culture of Death

Pope St. John Paul II used the term “culture of death'' in his 1995 encyclical Evangelium Vitae to capture the secular world’s dark confluence of poisonous ideas and practices that lead—directly and indirectly—to spiritual and physical ruin. Sadly, we’ve seen the the culture of death advance on many fronts. Today, we focus on the increasing legalization of suicide in the United States and abroad. Listen as we discuss the issue and how Catholics can and should respond to it. A listener asks why we pray for the dead, and can we pray for the souls on atheists and non-Catholics? 00:00 | Intro 01:18 | Bishop Barron's recent diocesan work 02:34 | The role of euphemism in the euthanasia debate 06:39 | Unpacking "autonomy" and "compassion" 12:31 | Responding to critics of the slippery slope argument 20:56 | The State's role in moral disputes 24:40 | How can Catholics positively respond to euthanasia? 26:50 | Listener question 28:15 | Word on Fire Institute SHOW NOTES: Evangelium Vitae “It’s Not Your Life, It’s Not Your Death, It’s Not Your Choice” article by Bishop Barron https://www.compassionandchoices.org/resource/states-or-territories-where-medical-aid-in-dying-is-authorized https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/254197/assisted-suicide-in-the-united-states-where-is-it-legal Learn more about the Word on Fire Institute: https://institute.wordonfire.org/ NOTE: Do you like this podcast? Become a Word on Fire IGNITE member! Word on Fire is a non-profit ministry that depends on the support of our listeners . . . like you! So become a part of this mission and join IGNITE today to become a Word on Fire insider and receive some special donor gifts for your generosity.

Transcribed - Published: 1 April 2024

WOF 430: A Full Witness to Jesus Christ

Today we bring you Bishop Barron's keynote address from the recent Good News Conference. In it, he speaks in depth about what it means to be a full witness to Jesus Christ. Enjoy! NOTE: Do you like this podcast? Become a Word on Fire IGNITE member! Word on Fire is a non-profit ministry that depends on the support of our listeners . . . like you! So become a part of this mission and join us today!

Transcribed - Published: 25 March 2024

WOF 429: Is There a Catholic Antidote to the Crisis in Higher Education?

According to Fortune magazine, overall undergraduate enrollment experienced the steepest rate of decline on record from 2019 to 2022, and it has only worsened since then. There are several explanations, but one cause is entirely self-imposed: most universities and colleges have now replaced education with ideology, subverting the search for truth with political indoctrination. Today, we discuss the ideological takeover of higher education and how the Catholic conception of the university can help provide an antidote. A listener asks, if priests are meant to represent Jesus, are nuns supposed to represent Mary? 00:00 | Intro 01:47 | Catholic social thought tradition and the higher education crisis 03:50 | Differences between Catholic and secular universities 04:50 | Seeking while knowing the truth 07:33 | Resisting relativism 09:30 | Catholic staff ratios for Catholic universities 11:16 | Segregating Catholic identity 13:51 | Academic freedom at Catholic universities 15:46 | Dicy freedom of speech claims 17:06 | Catholic universities and male participation 18:37 | Higher education and vocational training 20:35 | High costs and accessibility 21:51 | What can we do to course-correct universities that have lost their way? 24:50 | Listener question 26:01 | Word on Fire Institute Links “Ivy League Presidents and the Collapse of Moral Reasoning” by Bishop Barron Statistic on men in 4-year schools: https://www.pewresearch.org/short-reads/2023/12/18/fewer-young-men-are-in-college-especially-at-4-year-schools/ Learn more about the Word on Fire Institute: Institute.WordonFire.org 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!

Transcribed - Published: 18 March 2024

WOF 428: Talking Politics & Religion w/ Ro Khanna

Today, we are bringing you a recent conversation from the “Bishop Barron Presents” series between Bishop Barron and Congressman Ro Khanna. Congressman Khanna represents California’s 17th Congressional District, best known as the home of Silicon Valley. Over the course of the conversation, the Bishop and he discussed his background, Catholic social teaching, various policy matters, finding common ground, and why the American experiment is a great and worthwhile endeavor. Enjoy! NOTE: Do you like this podcast? Become a Word on Fire IGNITE member! Word on Fire is a non-profit ministry that depends on the support of our listeners . . . like you! So become a part of this mission and join us today!

Transcribed - Published: 11 March 2024

WOF 427: Hearing the Voice of God

Friends, the Book of Jonah is one of the shortest books of the Bible, yet it’s packed with profound truths about hearing and obeying the voice of God. On today’s episode of “The Word on Fire Show,” Brandon Vogt and I discuss this powerful little book. A listener asks, why did Jesus show up when he did and not at a different point in time? What would the world look like had he showed up later, or not at all? 00:00 | Intro 00:46 | Bishop Barron on Catholic Schools Week 01:51 | Bishop Barron’s recent conversation with Jordan Peterson 02:47 | Intro to the book of Jonah 04:41 | Jonah’s opening narrative 09:25 | Lessons from Luke’s road to Emmaus and Jonah 11:00 | The significance of Jonah’s storm 14:31 | The significance of Jonah’s fish 16:58 | Answering Jonah’s critics 18:22 | Jonah’s concluding narrative 20:17 | Jesus’ words on Jonah 22:48 | More resources on Jonah 23:34 | Listener question 26:17 | New book—Princesses of Heaven: The Flowers 27:13 | Special announcement about future of WOF Show Links A Journey with Jonah: The Spirituality of Bewilderment by Fr. Paul Murray Princesses of Heaven: The Flowers by Fabiola Garza 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!

Transcribed - Published: 4 March 2024

WOF 426: Democracy and the Catholic Church

Friends, what’s the proper relationship between liberal democracy and the Catholic Church? Many smart and reflective people, on either side of the Catholic/American divide, have felt that the two systems, democracy and Catholicism, were incompatible. But why? Using the thought of the 19th century French diplomat and political philosopher, Alexis de Tocqueville, Bishop Barron explores this question in his 2023 Russell Kirk Lecture for the Heritage Foundation, titled “The Breakdown of the Tocquevillean Equilibrium.” 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!

Transcribed - Published: 26 February 2024

WOF 425: Understanding the Mental Health Crisis

Friends, we are in the midst of a mental health crisis, with many calling it another pandemic. Record-high numbers of Americans are facing depression and suicide. Nearly half of young people report feelings of persistent sadness or hopelessness. What’s behind this crisis, and how can the Church help? That’s what Brandon Vogt and I discuss on today’s episode of “The Word on Fire Show.” A listener asks, is “just war theory” a concession to human weakness? How do we square that with Jesus’ teachings on non-violence? 00:00 | Intro 01:09 | USCCB recap on surrogacy 03:49 | Why the mental health crisis matters to bishops 06:00 | Social media's role in damaged mental health 09:39 | Community's role in healing mental health 13:03 | The connection between psychological and spiritual suffering 16:09 | Religious disaffiliation and mental illness 17:47 | Who is St. Dymphna? 18:40 | A word for those wrestling with poor mental health 20:55 | Listener question 24:17 | New book—“Christ Brings All Newness” Links Bishop Barron’s statement on surrogacy Christ Brings All Newness: Essays, Reviews, and Reflections by Fr. Robert Imbelli 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!

Transcribed - Published: 19 February 2024

WOF 424: Freedom and the Disciplining of Desire

Today, we’re excited to share with you Bishop Barron’s recent talk at the 2023 Alliance for Responsible Citizenship (ARC) Conference held in London, England. His talk was titled “What is the True Nature of Freedom?” As Bishop Barron explains, freedom for excellence is not self-determination. It is the disciplining of desire so as to make the achievement of the good first possible and then effortless. 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!

Transcribed - Published: 12 February 2024

WOF 423: Simply Catholicism is the Answer

Friends, the Catholic Church seems locked in constant disagreements, often between so-called liberal and conservative Catholics. But is there a third way to lead us out of this quagmire? Cardinal Francis George offers a compelling answer, which Brandon Vogt and I discuss on today’s episode of the “Word on Fire Show.” A listener asks, did Jesus ever get sick? 00:00 | Intro 01:13 | New episodes of “Bishop Barron Presents” are back! 03:24 | Who was Cardinal Francis George? 06:31 | Cardinal George’s critique of liberal Catholicism 09:45 | Why liberal Catholicism falls short of giving life 12:26 | Cardinal George’s critique of conservative Catholicism 18:11 | Cardinal George’s solution: simply Catholicism 20:53 | How Is Catholicism for our times and against our times? 23:38 | What Cardinal George might say to us today 24:39 | Listener question 26:41 | 2024 Wonder Conference Links “How Liberalism Fails the Church” by Cardinal Francis George (Commonweal) Register for the 2024 Wonder Conference (August 2-4, 2024 – Rochester, MN) 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!

Transcribed - Published: 5 February 2024

WOF 422: Being Formed by Ratzinger, De Lubac, and Balthasar w/ Fr. Joseph Fessio

Friends, today we’re excited to share with you the newest episode in our “Bishop Barron Presents” series. In this discussion, Bishop Barron talks with Fr. Joseph Fessio, SJ. Fr. Fessio was formed by some of the greatest figures of twentieth-century Catholicism, including Henri de Lubac, Joseph Ratzinger, and Hans Urs von Balthasar. This fascinating conversation covers his life story, his education, his experience in Europe, the founding of Ignatius Press, and much more. 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!

Transcribed - Published: 29 January 2024

WOF 421: 7 Ways to be Spiritually Great

Friends, we all strive to be spiritually great. We want to be magnanimous, great-souled men and women. But how do we get there? The Church offers a concrete seven-fold path, and that’s what Brandon Vogt and I discuss on today’s “Word on Fire Show” episode. A listener asks, I’m coming back into the Church after a 15 year absence, and all the words [of Mass] have changed. What happened? 00:00 | Intro 00:55 | Bishop Barron’s California recap 02:18 | How spiritual works of mercy relate to corporal works of mercy 05:08 | Why loving others includes meeting spiritual needs 05:44 | 1) Admonish the sinner 08:24 | 2) Instruct the ignorant 10:17 | 3) Counsel the doubtful 13:32 | 4) Comfort the sorrowful 15:54 | 5) Bear wrongs patiently 19:00 | 6) Forgive all injuries 22:18 | 7) Pray for the living and the dead 26:18 | Listener question 28:32 | New book—Ethics for Beginners by Peter Kreeft Links Ethics for Beginners by Peter Kreeft 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!

Transcribed - Published: 22 January 2024

WOF 420: The Catholic Intellectual Tradition

Today, we’re excited to share with you Bishop Barron’s recent talk at Harvard University titled “The Catholic Intellectual Tradition,” sponsored by the Harvard Catholic Forum. Bishop Barron explores some foundational themes in the Catholic intellectual tradition, including God, the human person, sin and grace, society, and freedom. All flow from Christology, our understanding of Jesus, so that, as St. Bonaventure said, Christ is truly found at the center of all the disciplines pursued in the university. 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!

Transcribed - Published: 15 January 2024

WOF 419: How to Become a Person of Love

Friends, each of us wants to be a good person. But how do we actually do that? How do we truly become a person of love? That’s what Brandon Vogt and I discuss on today’s “Word on Fire Show” episode. A listener asks, if I did not inherit the sins of my parents, why did I inherit the sins of Adam and Eve? 00:00 | Intro 00:46 | Update on Winona-Rochester Diocesan Pastoral Center 02:38 | Dorothy Day and the need for corporal and spiritual works of mercy 04:41 | The seven corporal works of mercy 05:50 | Corporal works of mercy as measuring marks for self-examination 06:36 | 1) Feed the hungry, 2) give drink to the thirsty, 3) clothe the naked 10:53 | Direct aid for the needy vs. indirect aid 12:57 | 4) Visit the imprisoned—is this literal? 14:41 | How acts of love can lead to peace 17:27 | 5) Shelter the homeless 18:53 | 6) Visit the sick 21:02 | 7) Bury the dead 22:57 | How ordinary parents can pursue corporal works of mercy 24:12 | Listener question 27:21 | 2024 Lenten Reflections booklet from Word on Fire Links 2024 Lent Reflections Booklet – FREE copy! 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!

Transcribed - Published: 8 January 2024

WOF 418: In the Beginning Was the Word

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!

Transcribed - Published: 25 December 2023

WOF 417: The Baby King Who Takes on Caesar

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 Links Word on Fire Institute – Join Today! 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!

Transcribed - Published: 18 December 2023

WOF 416: The Philosophical Roots of Wokeism

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!

Transcribed - Published: 11 December 2023

WOF 415: Mind, Meaning, and the Materialists

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” Links The Surprising Rebirth of Belief In God: Why New Atheism Grew Old and Secular Thinkers Are Considering Christianity Again by Justin Brierley Popcorn with the Pope: A Guide to the Vatican Film List by David Paul Baird, Andrew Petiprin, and Michael Ward 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!

Transcribed - Published: 4 December 2023

WOF 414: What Makes a University Catholic?

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!

Transcribed - Published: 27 November 2023

WOF 413: “Nones” Rediscovering the Bible

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? Links The Surprising Rebirth of Belief In God: Why New Atheism Grew Old and Secular Thinkers Are Considering Christianity Again by Justin Brierley The Golden Key and Other Fairy Tales by George MacDonald 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!

Transcribed - Published: 20 November 2023

WOF 412: The Evidence for God from Science w/ Fr. Robert Spitzer

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). Links 100 Great Catholic Poems edited by Sally Read 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!

Transcribed - Published: 13 November 2023

WOF 411: America’s Cultural Revolution w/ Chris Rufo

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 edi\xadtor 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! Links America’s Cultural Revolution: How the Radical Left Conquered Everything by Christopher Rufo 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!

Transcribed - Published: 6 November 2023

WOF 410: It's Time for Catholics to Embrace Halloween w/ Fr. Steve Grunow

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? Links “It’s Time for Catholics to Embrace Halloween” (Word on Fire) – Fr. Steve Grunow 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!

Transcribed - Published: 30 October 2023

WOF 409: The Rise and Fall of the New Atheism

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 Links The Surprising Rebirth of Belief In God: Why New Atheism Grew Old and Secular Thinkers Are Considering Christianity Again by Justin Brierley Know Thyself: Catholic Classical Education and the Discovery of Self by Andrew Youngblood 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!

Transcribed - Published: 23 October 2023

WOF 408: Great Catholic Kids Books w/ Haley Stewart

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 Links Word on Fire Spark Saintly Creatures: 14 Tales of Animals and Their Holy Companions by Alexi Sargeant 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!

Transcribed - Published: 16 October 2023

WOF 407: What’s Next for the Word on Fire Institute?

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! Links Word on Fire Institute (free 30 day trial!) 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!

Transcribed - Published: 9 October 2023

WOF 406: The Genius of G.K. Chesterton’s “St. Francis”

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! Links St. Francis of Assisi by G.K. Chesterton Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton (Word on Fire Classics) Pivotal Players: G.K. Chesterton (Word on Fire) – Watch FREE when you join the Word on Fire Institute Chesterton.org 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!

Transcribed - Published: 2 October 2023

WOF 405: Why We Love Distractions

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? Links Bishop Barron at World Youth Day Christianity for Modern Pagans: Pascal’s Pensees Edited, Outlined, and Explained by Peter Kreeft Saintly Creatures: 14 Tales of Animals and Their Holy Companions by Alexi Sargeant 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!

Transcribed - Published: 25 September 2023

WOF 404: Understanding Flannery O’Connor w/ Ethan and Maya Hawke

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! Links “Wildcat” film (IMDB) 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!

Transcribed - Published: 18 September 2023

WOF 403: Scapegoating in the Digital World

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? Links Bishop Barron Presents: Luke Burgis All Desire is a Desire for Being edited by Cynthia Haven I See Satan Fall Like Lightning by René Girard Wanting: The Power of Mimetic Desire in Everyday Life by Luke Burgis Tolkien’s Faith: A Spiritual Biography by Holly Ordway 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!

Transcribed - Published: 11 September 2023

WOF 402: The Faith of J.R.R. Tolkien w/ Holly Ordway

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. Links Tolkien’s Faith: A Spiritual Biography by J.R.R. Tolkien 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!

Transcribed - Published: 4 September 2023

WOF 401: A Theology of Work

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? Links The Theology of Bishop Barron by Matthew Levering Catholic Social Teaching Collection by Word on Fire 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!

Transcribed - Published: 28 August 2023

WOF 400: Three Paths Beyond Scientism

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. Links A Grand Slam for God: A Journey from College Baseball Star to Catholic Priest by Fr. Burke Masters 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!

Transcribed - Published: 21 August 2023

WOF 399: Why You Should Ponder Your Death

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? Links Understanding the Hillbilly Thomist: The Philosophical Foundations of Flannery O’Connor’s Narrative Art by Fr. Damian Ference Remember Death: The Surprising Path to Living Hope by Mathew McCullough The Soul’s Upward Yearning: Clues to Our Transcendent Nature from Experience and Reason by Fr. Robert Spitzer 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!

Transcribed - Published: 14 August 2023

WOF 398: The Most Important Decision in Life

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!

Transcribed - Published: 7 August 2023

WOF 397: What Makes Great Leaders Great?

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? Links Evangelization and Ideology: How to Understand and Respond to the Political Culture by Matthew Petrusek The Thomistic Response to the Nouvelle Théologie: Concerning the Truth of Dogma and the Nature of Theology by Raymond-Léopold Bruckberger 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!

Transcribed - Published: 31 July 2023

WOF 396: Why Parishes Fail to Engage 93% of Parishioners w/ Matthew Warner

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. Links Why They Follow: Lessons in Church Communication from That One Lost Sheep by Matthew Warner 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!

Transcribed - Published: 24 July 2023

WOF 395: Knowing Jesus Personally

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? Links Why They Follow: Lessons in Church Communication from That One Lost Sheep by Matthew Warner 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!

Transcribed - Published: 17 July 2023

WOF 394: The Beauty of Sainthood w/ Dr. Gianna Emanuela Molla

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. Links Good News Conference 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!

Transcribed - Published: 10 July 2023

WOF 393: Mrs. Davis, Algorithms, and God

Friends, my favorite current TV show, “Mrs. Davis,” features an adventurous nun, a search for the Holy Grail, and an all-powerful algorithm. It also raises many interesting questions about artificial intelligence, God, free will, and our mystical union with Christ. In today’s “Word on Fire Show,” Brandon Vogt and I discuss these themes and more. (NOTE: This episode does not contain any major spoilers so it’s safe to listen before watching the series.) A listener asks, is artificial intelligence a threat or an opportunity for evangelization? Links The Mystical Body of Christ by Fulton Sheen w/ introduction by Brandon Vogt and foreword by Bishop Barron

Transcribed - Published: 3 July 2023

WOF 392: Poetry, Beauty, and the Shock of Grace w/ Fr. Paul Murray, OP

In this talk from the 2022 Good News Conference, Fr. Paul Murray reminds us that the God whom we are seeking is endlessly seeking us. It is through beauty that our hearts can be pierced with the desire to know God more deeply, and it is often by stories and poetry that God communicates his message. Our God is a lover, a poet, and he goes after the least of us. Learn more about the Good News Conference and sign up to attend this year’s conference at https://goodnewsconference.com. Links Good News Conference 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!

Transcribed - Published: 26 June 2023

WOF 391: Why Modern Men Look Elsewhere for Spiritual Wisdom

Friends, an interesting article was published at The Gospel Coalition titled “Savior or Stoics? Why Modern Men Look for Spiritual Wisdom Outside the Church”. The author observed how a growing number of young men are filling a moral and spiritual void in their lives by turning to modern self-help books based on ancient Stoic thinkers. Authors such as Jordan Peterson, Ryan Holiday, and Navy SEAL Jocko Willink have won large followings of men by translating the principles of Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, and Epictetus into modern advice. Why is Stoicism so appealing to many young men today? And what lessons might Christians learn from this development? That is what Brandon Vogt and I discuss on today’s episode of “The Word on Fire Show.” A listener asks for recommendations before receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time. Links “Savior or Stoics? Why Modern Men Look for Spiritual Wisdom Outside the Church” by Shane Morris (The Gospel Coalition) Word on Fire Eucharist resources This is My Body: A Call to Eucharistic Revival by Bishop Robert Barron ($2 per copy) 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!

Transcribed - Published: 19 June 2023

WOF 390: Finding Beauty in the Loss of Control w/ Britt Fisk

In this talk from the 2022 Good News Conference, Britt Fisk, shares her wisdom on what it means to hand over complete trust to the Lord, particularly in times of great suffering. Though we may feel like we’re at a loss when we are not in control, this is the moment when the Lord meets us and asks us to hand over control and trust his will for our lives. As Britt affirms through her story of suffering, untold beauty comes from that surrender of control. Learn more about the Good News Conference and sign up to attend this year’s conference at https://goodnewsconference.com. Links Good News Conference 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!

Transcribed - Published: 12 June 2023

WOF 389: Catholics and the Culture of Contempt

Friends, what fuels our modern “culture of contempt,” so prevalent online? And how can Catholics resist it? A helpful new book by John Allen, Jr., Catholics and Contempt, seeks to answer those questions, and on today’s “Word on Fire Show” I discuss the book with Brandon Vogt. A listener asks, do the three transcendentals include unity? Links Catholics and Contempt: How Catholic Media Fuel Today’s Fights and What to Do About It by John Allen, Jr. Word on Fire Bible, Vol III: The Pentateuch This is My Body by Bishop Robert Barron Word on Fire Rosary Initiative 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!

Transcribed - Published: 5 June 2023

WOF 388: What Is the Laity’s Role in Evangelization?

Friends, in February 2023, at the Sharing the Church’s Story Conference in London, I reflected on the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience, and how these counsels can be lived out by the laity. Vatican II wanted great Catholic parents, great Catholic lawyers, great Catholic politicians, great Catholic writers and journalists, great Catholic business leaders, great Catholic bankers and investors, and more living their faith vibrantly and publicly. How do we accomplish that? By living out the evangelical counsels. Links Sharing the Church’s Story Conference Word on Fire Bible, Volume III: The Pentateuch 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!

Transcribed - Published: 29 May 2023

WOF 387: It’s Time for Eucharistic Revival

Friends, a recent study from the Pew Research Center found that nearly seven-in-ten Catholics (69%) believe that during Mass, the bread and wine used in communion “are symbols of the body and blood of Jesus Christ.” Only one-third of U.S. Catholics believe in the doctrine of transubstantiation, which says the bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Jesus. This is a spiritual crisis, and in response, the United States bishops have launched a three-year Eucharistic revival to help Catholics understand the truth and beauty of this sacrament. On today’s episode of “The Word on Fire Show,” Brandon Vogt and I discuss our hopes for the revival and the special resource Word on Fire created to accompany it. A listener asks, if the Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, is the Eucharist a person? Links National Eucharistic Revival Word on Fire Eucharist resources This is My Body: A Call to Eucharistic Revival by Bishop Robert Barron ($2 per copy) 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!

Transcribed - Published: 22 May 2023

WOF 386: Christianity, History, and the Modern Age w/ Tom Holland

Friends, in February 2023, award-winning historian, author, and broadcaster Tom Holland and I discussed Western culture, the intellectual and moral aspects of Christianity, and the doctrine of original sin, among many other topics, at the Sharing the Church’s Story Conference in London. Links Sharing the Church’s Story Conference This is My Body: A Call to Eucharistic Revival by By Bishop Robert Barron 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!

Transcribed - Published: 15 May 2023

WOF 385: The Franciscan Intellectual Tradition

Friends, many people are familiar with the Thomistic tradition, following St. Thomas Aquinas, but what about the Franciscan intellectual tradition, following St. Francis? Who are some of the great Franciscan theologians, and what can they teach us today? That’s what Brandon Vogt and I discuss on today’s episode of “The Word on Fire Show.” A listener asks, does God the Father love us as much as he loves Jesus and the Holy Spirit? Links Venerable Jerome Lejeune Fellowship Ordered by Love: An Introduction to John Duns Scotus by Thomas Ward This is My Body: A Call to Eucharistic Revival by Bishop Robert Barron 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!

Transcribed - Published: 8 May 2023

WOF 383: What Christianity Brings to the Public Conversation

Friends, does Christianity still have a place in the public square? What can it contribute to the broader culture? On today’s episode of “The Word on Fire Show,” Brandon Vogt and I discuss some of the unique ways that Christianity has shaped the modern world. A listener asks, what is the Catholic response to post-modernity, specifically the claim that everything is predicated on power? Links As Kingfishers Catch Fire: Selected and Annotated Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins edited with an introduction and notes by Holly Ordway 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!

Transcribed - Published: 24 April 2023

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