An article by the Protestant pastor Timothy Keller offers “6 Principles for How to Argue When You Disagree.” Bishop Barron and Brandon walk through the article and discuss how we can have better conversations with people who hold very different views than us.

A listener asks if, as a priest, Bishop Barron ever gets bored at prayer.

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One day in 1961, the famous physicist Richard Feynman stepped in front of a Caltech lecture hall and posed this question to a group of undergraduate students: “If, in some cataclysm, all of scientific knowledge were to be destroyed, and only one sentence was passed on to the next generation of creatures, what statement would contain the most information in the fewest words?”

In today’s episode we apply that same thought experiment to some of the greatest thinkers and saints from our tradition. What one sentence would encapsulate their thought? We look at Moses, Jesus, Paul, Augustine, Aquinas, Merton, and even Bishop Barron’s own “cataclysm sentence”!

A listener asks whether God made a mistake in creating humans.

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A recent New York Times story claimed to reveal “Why the Big Bang Produced Something Rather Than Nothing.” Bishop Barron and Brandon Vogt discuss the article and whether science is capable of answering this classic philosophical question.

A listener asks about the fear of God, and whether it’s appropriate since God is all loving.

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What are the basics we should know about the Holy Spirit? Who is he? And why is the Holy Spirit even necessary? Why not just God the Father and God the Son? In today’s episode Bishop Barron reflects on the Holy Spirit and explains how to grow closer to him and receive all his gifts.

A listener asks, what type of items would belong in a home devotional corner?

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In a recent article for The Atlantic, David Brooks claims “The Nuclear Family Was a Mistake.” He contends that the model of a married couple with 2.5 kids was an anomaly in the 1950s and 1960s, and that this nuclear family model is no longer working for many Americans, especially those who are less privileged. To address this family crisis, Brooks argues we need to break out of the nuclear-family-is-best mindset and “thicken and broaden” family relationships by incorporating extended families and “families of choice” (e.g., friends, co-religionists, and other voluntary groups living together) as better ways to raise children. Bishop Barron offers his thoughts on the article and how they compare with Catholic social teaching on the family.

A listener asks how to define beauty prove that it’s objective?

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Jesus has naturally been a key person of interest for Western thought, but over the last few hundred years, there have been some major shifts in what scholars describe as the “quest for the historical Jesus.”

Bishop Barron provides an overview of these developments and the problematic attempt to separate the “Jesus of history” from the “Christ of Faith.”

A listener asks what Bishop Barron would say about Jesus walking on water.

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Alleluia! We’ve just entered into the joyous season of Easter, where we celebrate the Lord’s Resurrection, but what does it mean to say that Jesus is risen from the dead? That’s what Bishop Barron answers in today’s episode.

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On this Good Friday, we share Bishop Barron’s “Tre Ore” reflections, which Cardinal Dolan invited him to deliver in 2012 at St. Patrick’s Cathedral (New York, NY).

The “Tre Ore,” or Three Hours’ Agony, is a liturgical service held on Good Friday from noon until three o’clock to commemorate the Passion of Christ, and includes a series of homilies on the seven last words spoken by Christ. Bishop’s seven reflections last around 90 minutes, so we encourage you to listen to them sometime today.

  • 1:24 – Introduction
  • 5:31 – First Word (“Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”)
  • 18:11 – Second Word (“Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”)
  • 34:08 – Third Word (“Woman, behold your son… Behold your mother.”)
  • 46:36 – Fourth Word (“My God, my God, why have your forsaken me?”)
  • 1:02:49 – Fifth Word (“I thirst.”)
  • 1:12:43 – Sixth Word (“Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”)
  • 1:20:44 – Seventh Word (“It is finished.”)
  • 1:28:10 – Conclusion

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As Holy Week begins, listen to Bishop Barron’s reflections on the 14 Stations of the Cross. Stream it all at once, or throughout the week, as we approach the memorial of Christ’s Passion.

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Bishop Barron answers questions from non-Catholics around the world, including:

  • If we are beloved children of God, how could he banish anyone to an eternity of Hell?
  • Why do priests have to be celibate?
  • What’s the difference between the Jewish Bible, Catholic Bible, and the Koran?
  • How do we read similarities between the Virgin birth and similar stories found in other myths/religions?
  • Why do Catholics need to confess their sins to a priest, and not directly to God?
  • Why is the Church so obsessed with sexual issues but not other sins, such as gluttony?

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!