Book Review: To Light a Fire on the Earth by Bishop Robert Barron with John L. Allen Jr.

To Light a Fire
amazon.com

Ask almost any Catholic with Internet access who Bishop Robert Barron is, and you may receive a response like this: Oh! He does the Word on Fire YouTube videos! For the bookworm, his hit book Catholicism lingers in the back of a faithful mind. Walk into a Catholic book study, and odds are, you’ll see a supplemental resource written by Bishop Barron.

In To Light a Fire on the Earth, John L. Allen Jr. partners with Bishop Barron to bring the story of the Gospel to our secular world. For those who are looking for a sentimental reflection on the Catholic faith, they will be disappointed. Rather, Bishop Barron tackles the growing secularism in our society, and combats it with the hard truths and promises of Catholicism.

For example, Barron states that while the Catholic Church is “extreme in its demand…it’s also extreme in its mercy.” As a result, Barron argues that we should not succumb to what he labels “beige Catholicism” that is plain and watered-down. He recalls a story of a child who once recalled the story of the whole Star Wars saga, right down to names and details. The point? If a child can recall names like Obi Wan-Kenobi and Darth Vader, then he is capable of learning about Habakkuk, Nebuchadnezzar, and Aquinas. To combat secularism, Catholics must have high expectations for not only ourselves, but also for the next generation of the faithful.

To Light a Fire is highly recommended for those who are Catholic, Protestant, non-believers, and everyone in between. This book discusses everything from secularism to the use of the Bible in everyday Catholic living. For those who are not Catholic (or Christian), the book expertly describes Catholic teaching and doctrine. To those of us who are Catholic, the book is a reminder of why we believe what we believe. Additionally, as Catholics, Barron encourages us to be authentic with non-believers and to show them the beauty of our Faith.

Note: I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

Media Friday #2: Blessed is She

Welcome to your weekend! Also, thank you for visiting my second Media Friday. Today, I want to share an online women’s ministry that is near and dear to my heart: Blessed is She.

Why did I choose Blessed is She for this week’s Media Friday? Answer: For the vibrant online community.

In the Kentucky county where I reside, the U.S. Census reveals that a majority of its inhabitants are Catholic. However, in the northern half of the county where I live, I’m probably the only Catholic living in the zip code. This is not an exaggeration.  Thankfully, I attend Mass at an awesome parish about 30 minutes from my house. The people there are awesome and it’s the first time I’ve felt at “home” in a church in nearly a decade.

But, because we live in a rural region, it’s sometimes more difficult to connect with Catholic women in my own age group. I’m in a really odd spot right now: I’m too old to be a considered a member of the youth, and I’m slowly inching out of the young adult phase of my life. I’m not yet married, and I’m the only Catholic in my family. Sometimes, it can feel like a one-woman production.

This is where Blessed is She steps in and fills some of the fellowship gaps that many Catholic women (of all ages) experience.

Just a few of the wonderful ministries Blessed is She provides are:

  1. Daily devotionals based on the daily Mass readings, conveniently delivered to your email every morning.
  2. Online groups for women based on geographical location. You can find the link for the Southern region here.
  3. A wonderful store with unique items like Advent journals, prints, and religious gifts.
  4. Facebook live Teachable Tuesdays (which are uploaded here to YouTube).
  5. Free monthly web-based, live workshops for those with a Blessed is She paid membership. Side note: Membership is $99 per year and is well worth the investment. November’s workshop taught us about finding your “saintly tribe” and studying the earthly lives of our heavenly friends. Members also receive Advent and Lent journals auto-shipped to their address.
  6. Finally, a wonderfully made and very beautiful Liturgical Planner. You’ll never forget a Day of Obligation again!

To learn more about Blessed is She and their wonderful media ministry to women, please visit:

blessedisshe.net or facebook.com/blessedisshenetwork

Finally, check out their awesome Liturgical Planner video:

 

 

Media Friday #1: Litany of Trust

Good morning! Welcome to the weekend.

Each Friday, I want to share a form of media that is uplifting and encouraging. For the first Media Friday, I’d like to share with you the Litany of Trust, written by Sister Faustina Maria Pia, SV, of the Sisters of Life. This beautiful litany sheds light on the weakness of our human condition and invites Jesus in to bind our wounded hearts. The video below displays the text of the litany, accompanied with soothing music. As you pray along, may it bring you comfort on this rainy Friday.

Strive to be as holy as you can be. // St. Martin de Porres // Pray for us!

Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!