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Five Features of Faith

In our efforts to evangelize and proclaim the Gospel, it is good to keep our focus and prayer on the goal of our work—that others will come to faith in Christ and enjoy a personal relationship with him. This intrinsic connection between faith born from evangelization begins with Jesus himself in Mark’s Gospel where his first words are: “The time has come and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the Good News!” (1:15). For St. John in his Gospel, his entire life of preaching and writing about Christ has been at the service of faith in him: “These things have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that through your faith in him you may have life” (20:30). So what then does this faith look like? What kind of faith do we hope to be born…

The Ten Commandments and “God as a Gentleman”

I was very grateful to have Rémi Brague’s help teaching my catechism class this year. The French historian of philosophy wasn’t sitting in on my fourth grade religious education class, but his 2018 Erasmus lecture “God as a Gentleman” was what I wanted to draw from when it came time to teach my students the Ten Commandments. When I walk my students through the list of thou shalts and thou shalt nots, I’m always trying to make it clear that these laws are given by God to us for our good, not a set of arbitrary rules that God is waiting to get us in trouble for. (Elementary-school-aged children are, often, already subject to a number of finicky rules, changing from teacher to teacher, that lead them to be a little skeptical of which rules really matter). I tend to reach for the metaphor of guardrails: God’s rules for us are…

Sigrid Undset and “Those Queer Men and Women the Catholic Church Calls Saints”

Nearly a century has passed since Sigrid Undset wrote the biographical essays about holy men and women, and the letters, which eventually would be collected and published under the heading Stages on the Road. It is a title evocative of the life of faith, wholly explored and lived-out—unpacked depot by depot, as it were—from the spiritual nursery, to precarious venturing forth, to stepping back in wonder or doubt, to the nearly inevitable and deepening darkness that, for all its pain, accesses an interior cave of Oneness, solitary yet completed in the companionship of the Christ. This last is something akin to what Saint Catherine of Siena referred to as the inner cell or the “cell of true self-knowledge.” Undset, like Catherine a Third Order Dominican, shared with that clear-eyed Doctor an impatience with the sort of illusions bred by social conventions and encouraged by trends. Raised by progressively-minded atheists,…

Join Us Tonight for “Bishop Barron Presents”!

Bishop Barron Presents: Conversations at the Crossroads will be streaming LIVE tonight at 7:00pm PT (10:00pm ET)! The event will feature Leah Libresco Sargeant, a Fellow of the Word on Fire Institute and a convert from atheism to Catholicism. Raised in an atheist home, Leah Libresco Sargeant wasn’t seeking the answers of religious truth; rather, she sought the nature and form of truth itself. Through a debate club at Yale University, her ideas of faith, God, and Christianity were challenged, and eventually she came to realize that truth is much larger than her atheism allowed. Leah tells the story of how her friends gave her room to reconsider. Although arguments may feel like an invitation to aggression, we are called to love the truth and our friends fiercely. With the right preparation, we can do right by them both. Watch LIVE on Bishop Barron’s Facebook page or right here:…

Be Made Whole

Right after our last child, I was recovering from the cesarean surgery and started to notice that my foot was sore. My husband is in orthopedics, so one morning over breakfast, I told him that it was hurting a bit. He promised to keep an eye on it, and we went about the day. Two days later the pain had grown worse, and by the end of the day it was swollen. We tried to treat it medicinally until I couldn’t walk on it at all. It was a Friday, and he told me to come in for an x-ray. I didn’t go. It was tough to get all the kids taken care of and make time for all of that. So the weekend came and it got progressively worse. I finally went in that Monday and got the x-ray. The x-ray tech set me up and went over to…