Audio Highlights

Reflections with Fr. Mike Schmitz: Wholehearted, Part III: Unwanted (March 24)

Because of the wound against trust that has come into all of our hearts, it is difficult to be vulnerable. It is challenging to be vulnerable before other people. And it is incredibly challenging to be vulnerable before God. Because we all know that one can only be loved if a person is beautiful, healthy, strong… “whole”. Due to this, we all carry around a temptation to shame. Only when our shame is named and we allow Jesus to call us out of the shame can we step towards living whole-heartedly.

Word On Fire: Evangelizing with Goodness (March 24)

Truth, beauty, and goodness are the three transcendentals that draw people to belief in God. As important as rational arguments and beautiful artwork are for preserving and sharing the faith, Christian goodness has proven to be an explosively powerful means of evangelization over the centuries. In this episode of the Word on Fire Show, Bishop Barron explains the history of Christian moral goodness and discusses how this unique way of charity continues to bring people to Christ. Finally, a listener asks who inspires Bishop Barron.

Reflections with Fr. Mike Schmitz: Wholehearted, Part II: School of Trust (March 17)

Ever since the Fall in the Garden of Eden, our image of God has become distorted. We find that we don’t naturally trust God. We all have the temptation to imagine that God is simply out to eliminate joy and ruin our happiness. And yet, the entire Bible is God’s attempt to win back our trust. Father Michael Gaitley calls this attempt “God’s School of Trust”.

Word On Fire: How to Have Hope (March 17)

Lent is a time where Catholics go “into the desert” and confront all the sins that keep us from perfect communion with God. We offer Lenten practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving that we might be strengthened for our journey into the Divine Life. During this trial (and all trials), Catholics can take heart in the certain joy of Easter, the great Christian hope of the Resurrection. In this episode of the Word on Fire Show, Bishop Barron explains the hope on offer in Christianity and discusses how we can cling to this unique hope regardless of our circumstances. Finally, a listener asks how to cultivate an emotional connection with God.

2017 Catholics at the Capitol

This is a special broadcast of the Minnesota Catholic Conference's Catholics at the Capitol event, which took place Thursday, March 9, LIVE from the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul. Over 1,000 Catholics from across the state of Minnesota gathered for this day of inspiration and advocacy so that they could be equipped to make an impact in their state. Throughout the hour, host Fr. Craig Vasek spoke with Bishop Sirba of the Diocese of Duluth, Bishop Hoeppner of the Diocese of Crookston, Gloria Purvis from EWTN's Morning Glory, and Bishop LeVoir of the Diocese of New Ulm.

Reflections with Fr. Mike Schmitz: Wholehearted, Part I: Go Big. Be Small (March 10)

Lent is tough. Fasting is tough. Christianity is tough. Jesus reveals that His heart is soft when it comes to our weakness. If we are willing to come out of hiding and fully give our entire selves to Him, He can make our hearts whole in the midst of our littleness.

Word On Fire: Viral Videos and Labels (March 10)

Is it ever necessary to label ourselves? Is it ever okay to label anyone else? Not according to internet celebrity and spoken-word poet, Prince Ea, whose viral video entitled “I Am Not Black, You Are Not White” claims that labels are the root of all social ills and that our identity is entirely separate from our physical reality. The video has reached over 100 million views on Facebook and over 11 million views on Youtube with an overwhelming approval rating (300 to 1 like to dislike ratio). The most liked comment on Youtube reads, “They showed this to us in school.” In this episode of The Word on Fire Show, Bishop Barron critiques each segment of the argument posed by the young poet and explains the philosophical history behind this radical, yet widely accepted argument. The listener question asks for a book suggestion that encourages teens to return to the Church.

Reflections with Fr. Mike Schmitz: Two Roads: Master or Disaster, Part V: Through the Door (March 3)

If we knew the future, very few of us would make foolish decisions. But very few of us make decisions in the first place. Many people prefer to be carried along by other peoples’ decisions and by the circumstances of life. But wise people make decisions. And they make these wise decisions without knowing the future. Instead, they look at their past, their present, and where they would like to end up. And then they choose. This choice does not have to be a leap…sometimes it is just a step.

Word On Fire: LIVE from the L.A. Congress! (March 3)

The Religious Education Congress, sponsored by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles Office of Religious Education, is America’s largest annual gathering of Roman Catholics, bringing together nearly 40,000 every year for a four-day event! 2017 marked the 20th year that Bishop Robert Barron has been in attendance. In addition to several interviews and book-signings Bishop Barron participated in at this year’s Congress, he also gave a keynote in the central arena. This episode of The Word on Fire Show was recorded live at the Word on Fire booth in the exposition hall. During the show the good bishop answers questions from the expo audience as well as the audience watching live on Facebook.

Reflections with Fr. Mike Schmitz: Two Roads: Master or Disaster, Part IV: Apprentice (February 24)

If a person is going to craft a life through wisdom, then they will need to find a master craftsman. It is this apprenticeship that helps a person become wise. Whenever it is crucial that a person becomes wise, they always discover someone who can show them how to live wisely. Every excellent life passes through wisdom…and knowledge becomes wisdom through relationship.

Word On Fire: Stephen Colbert, Ricky Gervais, and the Debate About God (February 24)

Does God exist? That is the question Catholic comedian and television host, Stephen Colbert, debated with his Late Show guest, the popular actor and outspoken atheist, Ricky Gervais. The YouTube video clip of the two men going “head to head on religion” has gone viral, quickly garnering over 2.5 million views. In this episode of The Word on Fire Show, Bishop Barron breaks down each segment of the discussion and offers helpful insights for everyone fascinated (or haunted) by questions about God. The listener question asks whether atheists or theists bear the burden of proof when it comes to these debates.

Reflections with Fr. Mike Schmitz: Two Roads: Master or Disaster, Part III: Become Wise (February 17)

An external guide can be helpful and, at times, necessary. But we are called to move beyond the external boundaries to an internal freedom. By choosing the good, we become more and more free to choose the good. By choosing wisdom, we become wise.

Word On Fire: Listener Q&A with Bishop Barron (February 17)

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.

Reflections with Fr. Mike Schmitz: Two Roads: Master or Disaster, Part II: Unlosable (February 10)

If salt loses its taste, it is no longer salt. It has lost something that is unlosable. In the process of becoming wise and crafting a masterpiece, there are a number of important elements. Wisdom requires vision, experience, and memory. But there is one more element that is essential to wisdom…and we have lost it.

Word On Fire: How Are We Saved? (February 10)

Are you saved? This is a question we have heard from our Protestant friends regarding the state of grace for individual souls. In this episode of the Word on Fire Show, Bishop Barron discusses the Catholic response to this question and in doing so reveals the rich message of the Cross. The listener question asks about original sin.

2017 Know Your Faith State Competition (Hour 2)

Enjoy the exciting conclusion of the 8th annual Know Your Faith State Competition brought to you from St. Mary's Central High School in Bismarck, ND. Fr. Kregg Hochhalter and Fr. Justin Waltz hosted this year's trivia-style contest between Shanley High School from Fargo, St. Mary's Central High School from Bismarck, Trinity High School from Dickinson, Bishop Ryan Catholic School from Minot, and Sacred Heart School from East Grand Forks, MN.

2017 Know Your Faith State Competition (Hour 1)

Enjoy the 8th annual Know Your Faith State Competition brought to you from St. Mary's Central High School in Bismarck, ND. Fr. Kregg Hochhalter and Fr. Justin Waltz hosted this year's trivia-style contest between Shanley High School from Fargo, St. Mary's Central High School from Bismarck, Trinity High School from Dickinson, Bishop Ryan Catholic School from Minot, and Sacred Heart School from East Grand Forks, MN.

2017 Men in Black Basketball Game (Hour 2)

Enjoy the second half of the 6th annual Men in Black Basketball Game at St. Thomas More High School in Rapid City, SD. Andy Shaw and Fr. Marcin Garbacz once again provided the play-by-play and color commentary of this match-up between the priests of the Diocese and STM students.

2017 Men in Black Basketball Game (Hour 1)

Enjoy the first half of the 6th annual Men in Black Basketball Game at St. Thomas More High School in Rapid City, SD. Andy Shaw and Fr. Marcin Garbacz once again provided the play-by-play and color commentary of this match-up between the priests of the Diocese and STM students.

Reflections with Fr. Mike Schmitz: Two Roads: Master or Disaster, Part I: Fool-ism (February 3)

With every passing moment, we are choosing what kind of life we will have lived. God wills for us to choose to live wisely. A person with wisdom has competence and character; they know the right thing to do in any situation and they have the ability to do the right thing in any situation. A fool is the person who either acts without knowing…or knows without acting.

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