Marriage has been one of the most talked about topics in the news over the past decade. Despite all the interest surrounding the institution of marriage, the numbers of people actually getting married has dwindled. In this episode Bishop Barron explores the beauty and goodness of married life by discussing the spirituality that undergirds this timeless institution. The listener question wonders what will happen to marriages in heaven.

Topics Discussed

  • 0:05  - Introduction and the Vogt's visit to Santa Barbara
  • 2:00 - Why has the number of people getting married declined?
  • 6:30 - What is the number one priority in being a husband or wife?
  • 8:40 - What is the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony?
  • 10:07 - What is the key to a healthy marriage?
  • 16:00 - How can a celibate priest be an authority on marriage?
  • 19:50 - Why does the Catholic Church demand an openness to children within a marriage?
  • 22:20 - Advice from Bishop Barron for people who aren't sure if they ever want to get married
  • 23:40 - Advice from Bishop Barron for those who aspire for marriage
  • 25:30 - Advice from Bishop Barron for those discerning marriage within their current relationship
  • 26:27 - Advice from Bishop Barron for those who are struggling through a difficult marriage or a divorce
  • 27:20 - Question from listener: Will I be with my wife as husband and wife in heaven?

Bonus Resources

Word on Fire Show host Brandon Vogt stopped into the Santa Barbara studio with his five children while on a cross-country road trip. The Vogt children were given the chance to ask Bishop Barron about God, Mary, and bananas in this special bonus episode of the Word on Fire Show.

Topics Discussed
  • 0:01  - Introduction, about the road trip and hellos
  • 1:15 - How did Bishop feel when he first became a priest?
  • 2:07 - How can Mary be "Queen" and Jesus be "King" if she's his mother?
  • 3:05 - How is Jesus King?
  • 3:50 - How old is Jesus?
  • 4:46 - How does it feel to be a bishop?
  • 6:05 - How to explain God to young children?
  • 7:35 - What is God's favorite color?
  • 8:00 - Was Bishop Barron an alter server?
  • 8:55 - What's Bishop Barron's favorite way to pray
  • 10:05 - How do we know God is real?

Bonus Resources

The best theological movements present the Church as an organism, not an organization. In this episode of our new series on the eight principles of Word on Fire, Bishop Barron explains how how the Communion of Saints works in and through the Mystical Body of Christ to evangelize the world. The listener questions asks about Catherine of Siena's three levels of prayer. 

Topics Discussed
  • 0:17  - Introduction, filming B-roll footage for Pivotal Players Volume II
  • 2:00 - How are the saints powerful?
  • 5:55 - How can the stories of the saints aid in evangelization?
  • 8:30 - What is the impact of the Little Flower?
  • 11:15 - How can Saint Thomas Aquinas become accessible for the current culture?
  • 15:30 - How was Saint John Paul II able to contribute so much to the Church and evangelization?
  • 19:20 - What is the great contribution of Bl. John Henry Newman?
  • 24:00 - Question from listener: How might we aspire to attain the third level of prayer as described by St. Catherine of Siena.

Bonus Resources

Statistics show that more people own a smartphone (4 billion) than own a toothbrush (3.5 billion). In this episode of our new series on the eight principles of Word on Fire, Bishop Barron discusses how readily available Internet access has made the new media an essential route of evangelization. The listener questions asks how virtue can possibly turn to vice. 

Topics Discussed
  • 0:17  - Introduction, Bishop's recent trip to Saint Anselm College
  • 2:30 - What is the power of the new media?
  • 5:19 - Why is the new media effective for evangelization?
  • 7:50 - What's the danger in not using the new media to spread the Gospel?
  • 9:30 - What made Fulton Sheen so effective at using the media of his time?
  • 16:10 - Why are people feeling less connected and more lonely despite the technology advances?
  • 19:35 - How might we cope with internet attacks while sharing the Gospel?
  • 25:00 - How do we become more effective at sharing our faith online?
  • 26:55 - Question from listener: How can virtue possibly turn into vice?

Bonus Resources

Joel and Ethan Coen, more famously known as the Coen brothers, are arguably the greatest filmmakers of our time. In this follow-up episode on the Coen brothers, Bishop Barron illuminates the Biblical motifs present in three of the Coen brothers' most unique films. The listener question asks about the nature of God. Topics Discussed
  • 0:17  - Introduction, catching up with Bishop Barron.
  • 1:38 - What makes the Coen Brothers so unique?
  • 3:45 -  What are the spiritual themes in A Serious Man? (spoiler alert)
  • 12:00 -What are the spiritual themes in The Big Lebowski? (spoiler alert)
  • 22:55 -What are the spiritual themes in Hail, Caesar!? (spoiler alert)
  • 25:15 - Question from listener: What is God?

Bonus Resources

  • Websites
Joel and Ethan Coen, more famously known as the Coen brothers, are arguably the greatest filmmakers of our time. They’ve been nominated for 13 academy awards, won four, and have garnered praise from many of the world’s most influential people. In this episode of the Word On Fire Show, Bishop Barron illuminates the Biblical motifs present in some of the Coen brothers' most celebrated films. The listener question asks about God's providence in relation to coincidence. Topics Discussed
  • 0:17  - Introduction, Bishop's Channel Island Mass.
  • 1:38 - What makes the Coen Brothers so unique?
  • 3:45 -  What are the spiritual themes in Fargo? (spoiler alert)
  • 11:16 -What are the spiritual themes in No Country for Old Men and how does it relate to Fargo? (spoiler alert)
  • 17:28 -What are the spiritual themes in True Grit? (spoiler alert)
  • 24:45 - Question from listener: What is the difference between coincidence and God's providence?

Bonus Resources

  • Websites
"The Church exists to evangelize.” These words from Evangelii Nuntiandi express the very nature of our mission. But what is evangelization? And how ought we to express Christ in the culture around us? In this episode, Bishop Robert Barron answers these questions and offers advice on exactly how an evangelist can move into the culture and plant the seeds of Christ. Evangelizing the Culture is the second of the eight principles of the Word on Fire ethos. Finally, a listener calls in to ask how he might evangelize his lukewarm parents. 

Topics Discussed

  • 0:17 – Intro and Bishop Barron's new award
  • 2:15 - What does it mean to "evangelize the culture"?
  • 6:40 - How can evangelizing the culture solve the problems of the Church and the culture?
  • 11:50 - How can we see Christ in our surroundings?
  • 15:24 - How do engage the culture without falling into sin?
  • 18:45 - Why was Tolkien so effective at evangelizing the culture?
  • 21:30 - How does the Church community (including the saints) serve evangelization?
  • 23:15 - What's the proper approach for drawing the world to Christ?
  • 24:38 - Question from listener: How do we re-evangelize our parents who grew up in the faith but now lack a relationship with Jesus?

Bonus Resources

Jesus boldly proclaimed, “I am the way, the truth, and the life”. In order to be His disciple, one must make Jesus Christ the foundation of life and proclaim His Lordship in every area of life. Much like the rose window in Chartres Cathedral, a well ordered soul revolves around the great center, which is Christ. In this episode, Bishop Robert Barron begins a series called The Eight Principles of the Word on Fire Ethos with this key principle, namely, "Christocentrism". Bishop explains how we go about making Christ the priority of our lives, and why we must know who Jesus is in order to do so. The listener questions asks why the Sacred Heart of Jesus is so important in Christian devotion. 

Topics Discussed
  • 0:17  - Introduction, Bishop's recent trip to Mundelein Seminary.
  • 2:00 - What is Christocentrism?
  • 5:53 - Is it possible to be too obsessed with Jesus?
  • 7:20 - Why is it important not to domesticate the real Jesus?
  • 8:45 - How should we read the difficult truths Jesus spoke?
  • 10:45 - How do we make Jesus the center of our lives?
  • 15:22 - Question from listener: Why is the Sacred Heart of Jesus is so important in Christian devotion?

Bonus Resources

Rod Dreher’s The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation has certainly emerged as the most talked-about religious book of 2017. There is a widely-felt instinct that something has gone rather deeply wrong with the culture and that classical Christianity, at least in the West, is in a bit of a mess. So, do we need the Benedict Option now? In this episode, Bishop Robert Barron discusses the upsides and the pitfalls of employing the Benedict option during these difficult times. The listener question wonders how Christians should engage the political arena. Topics Discussed
  • 0:17  - Introduction, New announcement regarding Pivotal Players: Volume 2.
  • 3:42 - Has something gone terribly wrong in our society?
  • 4:36 - What are Bishop Barron's thoughts on the Benedict Option as a proposal?
  • 6:30 - Who was Saint Benedict and how can he help solve our modern problems?
  • 8:50 - How is Noah's Ark a good symbol for the Benedict Option?
  • 11:23 - What is the identity/relevance dilemma?
  • 13:55 - How does St. John Paul II relate to the Benedict Option?
  • 18:10 - Should the Church pull back on political engagement?
  • 22:05 - Should Christians pull out of society and live in separate communities?
  • 24:30 - Is homeschooling the best option for Christian children?
  • 28:15 - Should we avoid occupations that will force us to compromise our values?
  • 31:20 - Should we avoid technology as Christians?
  • 34:33 - Question from listener: Should Christians be active in the political arena?

Bonus Resources

The Case for Christ is a film adaptation of Lee Strobel’s best-selling book of the same name, one that has made an enormous splash in Evangelical circles and beyond. It is the true story of a young, ambitious (and atheist) reporter for the Chicago Tribune, who fell into a psychological and spiritual crisis when his wife became a Christian. In an attempt to bring his wife back to atheism, Lee used his considerable analytical and investigative skills to debunk the resurrection of Jesus. If Jesus didn’t rise, Strobel realizes, all of Christianity crumbles like a house of cards. In this episode, Bishop Robert Barron walks alongside Strobel through many of the common claims against the Resurrection of Jesus and explains why each lacks credibility in the face of real historical evidence. The listener question wonders how he might overcome objections from his loved ones as he joins the Church. Topics Discussed
  • 0:17  - Introduction, Bishop's recent Confirmations.
  • 2:40 - What is The Case for Christ about?
  • 4:36 - Is it wrong to ask hard questions about your faith?
  • 7:10 - How is historical evidence used in the evaluation of the Christian faith?
  • 9:00 - What's wrong with seeing the Resurrection as a symbol of myth?
  • 12:30 - Is it possible that the witnesses of the Resurrection were hallucinating?
  • 16:30 - Is it possible that Jesus didn't die on the cross but simply fainted and was fully revived three days later?
  • 20:24 - How do the claims against the Resurrection hold up against the historical evidence as a whole?
  • 23:35 - How do people become convinced that the Resurrection is true?
  • 25:41 - What was the converging moment for Lee Strobel?
  • 27:24 - Question from listener: What do you do when your friends and family don't support your decision to join the Church?

Bonus Resources