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Fr. Robert Barron
January 17, 2012
Effective evangelization commences with joy
By Father Robert Barron

One of the great icons in the Catholic Church today is Archbishop (soon to be Cardinal) Timothy Dolan of New York making his way up the aisle to commence Sunday Mass at St.Patrick’s Cathedral. While the congregation belts out the opening hymn, the good Archbishop thumps his episcopal crozier on the ground,beams at all and sundry, kisses babies, embraces young and old, calls out the names of friends he recognizes and generally speaking,spreads good cheer in every direction. One would have...

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January 10, 2012
A persecuted church and its heroes
By Father Robert Barron

A recent survey has indicated something that should lift the hearts of Christians everywhere, namely, that the fastest growing religion on the planet is Christianity. This explosive growth is on particularly clear display in Africa and Asia, where churches and seminaries can’t be built fast enough to accommodate the need. It is especially important that we in the West become cognizant of this state of affairs, for with the rise of secularism and the fall-off in church attendance in...

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January 03, 2012
The Hobbit and the Gospel
By Father Robert Barron

Like Star Wars, The Divine Comedy, and Moby Dick, J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit is the story of a hero’s journey. This helps to explain, of course, why, like those other narratives, it has proved so perennially compelling.

The hero’s tale follows a classical, almost stereotyped, pattern: a person is wrenched out of complacency and self-absorption and called to a great adventure, during which he (or she), through struggle, comes to maturity and vision. In Moby Dick, the young Ishmael...

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January 02, 2012
Why I loved to listen to Christopher Hitchens
By Father Robert Barron

I have, over the years, playfully accused some of my atheist interlocutors of being “secret Herods.”  The biblical Herod arrested John the Baptist but nevertheless took pleasure in listening to John preach from his prison cell.  So, I’ve suggested, the atheists who come to my website and comment so acerbically and so frequently on my internet videos are, despite themselves, secretly seeking out the things of God.  I will confess to having a certain Herod syndrome in reverse in regard...

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November 23, 2011
Why we should welcome the new Roman Missal
By Father Robert Barron

In just a few days, Catholics in this country will notice a rather significant change when they come to Mass. Commencing the first Sunday of Advent, the Church will be using a new translation of the Roman Missal. I would like to emphasize, at the outset, that this in no way represents a return to “the old Mass,” for the Latin texts that provide the basis for the new translation were all approved after Vatican II. So why the change?  What had come increasingly to bother a number of...

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October 24, 2011
What faith is and what it isn’t
By Father Robert Barron

The Protestant theologian Paul Tillich once commented that “faith” is the most misunderstood word in the religious vocabulary.  I’m increasingly convinced that he was right about this.  The ground for my conviction is the absolutely steady reiteration on my Internet forums of gross caricatures of what serious believers mean by faith.  Again and again, my agnostic, atheist, and secularist interlocutors tell me that faith is credulity, naïvete, superstition, assent to irrational...

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October 11, 2011
'Moneyball' and spiritual leadership
By Father Robert Barron

The management of the 2002 Oakland Athletics found itself in a bind. The team had performed very well the previous year, making it to the playoffs, but in the offseason, three of its best players were lured away by lucrative contracts offered by east coast powerhouses.  In a relatively small market and with a very limited budget, the A’s had to find a way to compete. Their general manager, former big-leaguer Billy Beane, stumbled upon a revolutionary strategy to make the Athletics...

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October 04, 2011
Pope Benedict XVI among the Germans
By Father Robert Barron

It is with a particular fascination that I’ve been following the speeches that Pope Benedict XVI (Joseph Ratzinger) has been delivering in his native Germany. We can certainly hear Herr Doktor Professor Ratzinger in the distinctively academic rhetoric of the addresses, but we also hear the voice of a pastor, uttering a cri de coeur to his wandering flock. In his first speech on the tarmac in Berlin, upon being welcomed by the officials of the German government, Benedict XVI specified...

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September 09, 2011
September 11th 2001: Anger and forgiveness
By Father Robert Barron

The tenth anniversary of September 11th, 2001 falls on a Sunday and, providentially, the readings proposed for the Catholic liturgy that day have to do with forgiveness.  This interesting confluence provides the occasion for reflecting on this complex and oft-misunderstood spiritual act.

Let’s begin by remembering the terrible day.  I was at my computer on that crystal clear early autumn morning when I received a call from a friend who said, “a plane just flew into one of the World...

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August 25, 2011
The Pope's young army
By Father Robert Barron

I have just completed one of the most extraordinary weeks of my life.  For the past eight days, I participated in World Youth Day in Madrid, a gathering of some 1.5 million Catholic young people with Pope Benedict XVI.  I met enthusiastic teen and 20-something Catholics from the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Netherlands, Sweden, Nigeria, England, Australia, New Zealand, China, the Philippines, India, Denmark, and many other countries.  The universality of the Church has never been,...

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