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?

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Friends, the coronavirus outbreak has left countless people all over the world asking themselves: Why is God allowing this to happen? How do we respond? And where can we find hope? In this bonus episode of “The Word on Fire Show,” we discuss these and other questions, exploring the ancient problem of evil, the impact of the virus on Catholic sacramental life, and other spiritual dimensions and effects of this crisis. Please listen and share!

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In last week’s episode, we shared the first half of Bishop Barron’s talk on “The Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.” It focused on the biblical and patristic basis for the doctrine. This week, we hear the second half of his talk which looks at the Eucharistic theology of Thomas Aquinas, the Council of Trent, and a letter on the Eucharist from Pope Paul VI. Enjoy!

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The fathers of the Second Vatican Council referred to the Eucharist as the source and summit of the Christian life, that from which authentic Christianity flows and that toward which it tends. Yet a recent Pew Forum study found that only 30% of church-going Catholics believe what the Church teaches about the Eucharist, that under the forms of bread and wine, Christ is really present in the sacrament.

That alarming statistic is why Bishop Barron devoted an hour-long keynote address to the topic at the 2020 Los Angeles Religious Education Congress. Today we share the first half of his talk, which looks at the Biblical and patristic basis for the doctrine of the Real Presence, and next week we’ll share the second half. Enjoy!

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Gnosticism was one of the earliest heresies of the Church, and it remains among the most enduring. With an emphasis on special knowledge acquired only by a small group of enlightened elites, as well as a sharp division between spirit and matter, with spiritual things being good and material things being evil, Gnosticism still thrives today everywhere from crack conspiracy theories to Hollywood movies to our culture of self-invention. Bishop Barron discusses Gnosticism and why it ultimately fails to satisfy.

A listener asks Bishop to help her understand the resurrection of the body.

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Just recently, Catholics were devastated to learn of another case of sexual abuse, this time involving Jean Vanier, the esteemed founder of L’Arche and a man once considered to be a living saint. Vanier, who passed away last year, was accused of sexually assaulting six women in France, using his religious position to abuse and manipulate them. How do we make sense of all this? How can a man who produced enormous good fruit fail so abysmally? And how should Catholics respond to this sort of abuse, and prevent it from happening again? Bishop Barron offers advice on all these questions and more.

A listener asks how energetic young people, passionate about apologetics and evangelization, can take their study to the next level.

Links

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With the beginning of Lent right around the corner, Brandon Vogt and I talk about this ancient period of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving in preparation for Easter, and offer several recommendations on how to have a more spiritually powerful Lent.

A listener asks: If God made us in his image, and the family is composed of a husband, wife and children, then is there a motherly dimension in God?

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Links

Stoicism is experiencing a cultural moment, especially among Millennial techies. What is this ancient school of philosophy? Why is it seeing a revival today? And how does it compare to Christianity? Bishop Barron discusses both worldviews in this episode of the “Word on Fire Show.”

A listener asks if the word “holy” means set apart for a particular purpose, what exactly does it mean when we say God himself is holy?

Links/Books

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How did Bishop Barron get drawn into the life of the mind? What are his reading and writing habits like? In this episode, he discusses the intellectual life and gives advice to aspiring intellectuals.

A listener asks which literature books Bishop would recommend for a Catholic high school English class.

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!