Bishop Robert Barron recently had the privilege of speaking to around nine thousand students from the Catholic middle schools and high schools of the Los Angeles Archdiocese. Encouraged by their enthusiasm, he invited them to internalize three spiritual truths as they come of age. In today’s episode, Bishop Barron recounts the event and explains some lessons that all Catholics but particularly young Catholics need to take to heart. The listener question asks what Gospel passages are difficult for the bishop to come to terms with and how Catholics ought internalize Jesus’ more troubling messages.

Topics Discussed

  • 0:17  – Introduction, The Word on Fire Show 50th Episode, Youth Event Details
  • 2:50 – Lesson 1: The Law of the Gift, what does that mean?
  • 5:55 – What do you say to someone who claims total happiness in the secular world?
  • 8:49 – How does St. Mother Theresa of Calcutta represent the Law of the Gift?
  • 10:35 – Lesson 2: Spiritual Excellence, why not settle for spiritual mediocrity?
  • 12:50 – How does Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati best represent aspiring young Catholics?
  • 14:30 – What does it mean to say that holiness is broad, vibrant, and colorful?
  • 16:45 – Lesson 3: Be a Rebel! What is true rebellion?
  • 19:36 – Who is Jose Sanchez del Rio?
  • 22:57 – Question from listener: What does Bishop Barron consider to be the most difficult messages of Jesus? How ought we wrestle with them?

Bonus Resources

  • Websites

Normally, in each episode we take one listener question. But we’ve received such a large number of outstanding questions from around the globe that we’ve decided to devote another episode to answering a range of questions from listeners like you. Bishop Barron answers several questions, rapid fire, on many different topics.

Topics Discussed

  • 0:24  – Intro: Bishop Barron talks about the PBS premier of Pivotal Players
  • 3:00 – If goodness is just part of God’s nature, why are we under any obligation to make ourselves into good human beings?
  • 6:11 – What is the Catholic way of dating?
  • 8:35 – What is the difference between hope and wishful thinking?
  • 12:19 – How do you explain Old Testament animal sacrifice to vegans?
  • 15:10 – Is evil really just an absence of good or a force of its own, opposing the Kingdom of God?
  • 19:45 – How do we reconcile centuries old philosophy with modern science?
  • 23:35 – Why do we focus so much on interpreting the Greek words in scripture when anything Jesus spoke was in Aramaic?
  • 26:30 – How does a new parent, busy parent find time to deepen her prayer life?

Bonus Resources

October 31st, 2016 marked the beginning of the 500th year anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, which is decidedly the greatest split in Christian Church history. Pope Francis traveled to Sweden that Halloween weekend to meet with Lutheran Church leaders, commemorate the historical significance of the Reformation, and emphasize unity amongst the Christian faithful. In today’s episode, Bishop Barron offers a brief history of the Reformation and explains his hopes for continued dialogue between Protestants and Catholics. The listener question asks about St. Augustine’s views on the theological topic of predestination.

Topics Discussed

  • 0:17  – Introduction, Bishop’s meeting with Pastor Rick Warren
  • 2:50 – What is the Reformation and who were the major players?
  • 5:13 – What are some points of doctrinal contention in the Reformation?
  • 6:40 – What does Bishop Barron make of Pope Francis’ visit with the Lutherans?
  • 09:21 – Why is it a sign of respect that Protestants can’t receive Catholic Communion?
  • 12:10 – Was the Reformation an entirely bad thing?
  • 15:08 – What is the Catholic Counter-Reformation?
  • 17:00 – Should Catholics actively try to convert Protestants?
  • 19:02 – What should the Catholic Church do to end this schism?
  • 20:38 – Question from listener: What does St. Augustine think about predestination and what does the Church teach about it?

Bonus Resources

  • Websites

How do we proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ in today’s culture? In a talk he gave at the Religious Education Congress, Bishop Barron offers recommendations for effective evangelization, aimed to permeate our densely secularized society with the beauty and joy of Catholicism. In Part Two of the Bishop’s great talk we hear him discuss the remaining four “Keys to the New Evangelization”.

Bonus Resources 

How do we proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ in today’s culture? In a talk he gave at the Religious Education Congress, Bishop Barron offers recommendations for effective evangelization, aimed to permeate our densely secularized society with the beauty and joy of Catholicism. In Part One of the Bishop’s great talk we hear him discuss three of his “7 Keys to the New Evangelization”.

Bonus Resources 

After perusing the latest Pew Study on why young people are leaving the active practice of Christianity, Bishop Barron noticed that (once again) the reasons they offer for abandoning Christianity are entirely not compelling. That is to say, any theologian, apologist, or evangelist worth his salt should be able easily to answer these objections to faith and hopefully encourage the youngster to reconsider the Truth of the Church. With this in mind for today’s episode, Bishop offers smart, passionate responses to the common misconceptions and objections that continue to lure young people away from God. The listener question asks which books are best for evangelizing atheists from both a rational and emotional standpoint.

Topics Discussed

  • 0:17  – Introduction, Bishop’s trip to Lake Placid and current reading list
  • 3:25 – Bishop’s reaction to young people leaving the church?
  • 5:15 – Should we avoid pressuring them and let young people return on their own?
  • 7:48 – Some common objections: Is religion the opiate of the people?
  • 11:10 – Has science disproven religion?
  • 15:15 – If religion causes so much violence, how can it possibly be right?
  • 17:50 – Does the sex abuse scandal invalidate the Church?
  • 20:53 – Is it better to be open-minded to all world religions?
  • 26:48 – What if church is too boring and you don’t have time?
  • 30:40 – How would Bishop Barron encourage young people to return to the Church?
  • 32:09 – Question from listener: What are some good books to battle atheism both from a rational and emotional standpoint?

Bonus Resources

What is faith exactly? How do faith and reason coexist? How do we grow in power and freedom when we surrender to an almighty God? Where does philosophy fit into Catholic theology? What is the foundation for Catholic reasoning? Bishop Robert Barron addresses these questions and more at Duke University’s Goodson Chapel in an event hosted by the Duke Catholic Center.

Bonus Resources 

What is faith exactly? How do faith and reason coexist? How do we grow in power and freedom when we surrender to an almighty God? Where does philosophy fit into Catholic theology? What is the foundation for Catholic reasoning? Bishop Robert Barron addresses these questions and more at Duke University’s Goodson Chapel in an event hosted by the Duke Catholic Center.

Bonus Resources 

We are taking the next few episodes of the show to discuss each of the great men and women featured in Word on Fire’s epic new film series, CATHOLICISM: The Pivotal Players. This episode covers Michelangelo Buonarroti. A figure whose first name evokes an instant connection to the West’s most famous artworks, Michelangelo, we hear from Bishop Barron, ought also bring to mind a wonderfully rich theological connection, which The Artist expressed beautifully through his predominantly Catholic subject matter. Our listener question of the day asks Bishop Barron about how the human imagination can be useful in evangelization.

*In this episode we include a limited time Word on Fire Show discount on CATHOLICISM: The Pivotal Players with Coupon Code: Sistine4

Visit PivotalPlayers.com to purchase and act now because this offer expires soon!

Do you have a question for Bishop Barron?  Go to AskBishopBarron.com and record it from any device right now!

Topics Discussed

  • 1:00  – Bishop Barron discusses his recent pastoral adventures
  • 3:30 – What does an ancient monk have to do with Michelangelo?
  • 5:45 – Who is Michelangelo Buonarotti?
  • 9:27 – What is the Pietà?
  • 13:22 – What is the biblical significance of the “David” statue?
  • 20:19 – What is the theology behind the Sistine Chapel paintings?
  • 27:19 -How does creating artwork make Michelangelo a pivotal player?
  • 29:54 – Listener Question: How is the use of the human imagination effective in evangelization?

Bonus Resources

We are taking the next few episodes of the show to discuss each of the great men and women featured in Word on Fire’s epic new film series, CATHOLICISM: The Pivotal Players. Today we’re focusing on the joyful English journalist and evangelist, G.K. Chesterton. A larger-than-life figure, Chesterton charmed his way into the heart of the modern culture and illuminated the dull philosophy of the age with his clever, Catholic brilliance. Our listener question asks Bishop Barron about praying for intercession from those souls who’ve not yet been named saints.

*In this episode we include a limited time Word on Fire Show discount on CATHOLICISM: The Pivotal Players with Coupon Code: FrBrown

Visit PivotalPlayers.com to purchase and act now because this offer expires soon!

Topics Discussed

  • 1:30  – Bishop Barron discusses the Pivotal Players World Premier Party
  • 2:40 – Who was G.K. Chesterton?
  • 5:03 – What is G.K. Chesterton’s impact on modern evangelism?
  • 6:10 – What inspiration can married laypeople find in Chesterton?
  • 7:37 – How was G.K. Chesterton an artistic evangelist?
  • 9:21 – Why is Chesterton called a “happy warrior”?
  • 10:48 -How did Chesterton separate ideas from people?
  • 11:33 – Why did Chesterton love the paradoxical?
  • 14:17 – How did Chesterton highlight the vibrant paradoxes of Catholicism?
  • 16:45 – What is Chesterton’s Orthodoxy? 
  • 21:56 – What is Chesterton’s Everlasting Man?
  • 23:48 – How did Chesterton take on religious relativism?
  • 27:35 – Listener Question: How do we know when it is appropriate to pray for intersession from the holy departed?

Bonus Resources