Father Steve just returned from a trip to the theater to take in another "obligatory" B-rate film... for the good of the WOF reader. This time, he reviewed the new Tim Burton horror flick "Dark Shadows." Read his thoughts here.
I knew from the previews that Tim Burton’s re-purposing of the horror camp classic Dark Shadows would have to be on my list of must sees. As the resident Word on Fire B-movie aficionado with a specialty in horror, it seemed a perfect match. So I caught an early showing on a lazy spring afternoon.
Dark Shadows is the story of an 18th century vampire by the name of Barnabas Collins. His vampirism is the result of the curse placed on him by a spurned lover, the witch Angelique. Collins is imprisoned for several hundred years in his coffin and after he is released, discovers his beloved Collinwood Manor in near ruins and the descendents of his once wealthy family on the down and outs. Barnabas takes it upon himself to set things right, despite the opposition of Angelique, who has managed to find her own way of defying time and has dedicated all her powers to make the Collins family pay for Barnabas’ refusal to accept her as his bride...
On today's post, Father Steve talks about the role of the social media, not to mention Providence, in what he likes to call, "unintentional evangelization." His reflection serves as a wonderful reminder for each of us to do what we can do wherever we are, for we can never predict how God will use our efforts for His purposes.
Last week, two articles on the Word on Fire blog generated a great deal of interest. The first was a post concerning science and religion written by Robert Mixa, the second was by Father Barron concerning novelist Anne Rice’s repudiation of Christianity, while at the same time testifying to continuing her relationship with Christ. Both posts drew a lot of new people to our website, many of whom would not have considered visiting on their own.
Robert Mixa’s article was a commentary on a piece written by Lawrence Krauss in the August issue of Scientific American. Krauss is a secularist and a materialist. In his essay, he takes issue with religion in general and Christianity in particular for its alleged deficiencies, not only in terms of what Krauss believes to be the truths of science, but in terms of the failure of religion/Christianity before the expectations of the secular worldview. Mixa debated the insufficiencies of Krauss’ position, and for this he received a great deal both positive and negative appraisal. The comments section of this blog post were buzzing for days as folks went back and forth arguing the Church’s position in regards to the relationship of faith and reason, religion and science, even venturing into the claims of atheism. In an act of intentional evangelization, Robert Mixa linked his blog post to the Scientific American website which, as a result, extended the invitation to its readers to visit our website. This had the effect of not only increasing traffic on our site, but exposing many new people to the work of Father Barron and Word on Fire Catholic Ministries...
Last week, Anne Rice, a popular gothic and religious novelist and revert to the Faith, announced on her Facebook page that she had decided to "quit being a Christian." Father Barron addresses her proclamation and engages this conversation on today's Word on Fire blog post.
I had read only one of the Vampire novels which had made Anne Rice famous; so I wouldn’t have characterized myself as a fan. Nevertheless, I was fascinated when I heard, several years ago, that she had reverted to the faith of her youth, renouncing her atheism and re-embracing a robust Catholicism. I turned with great interest to the two novels she subsequently wrote concerning the childhood and youth of Jesus. I found these books extraordinary, both from a literary and theological standpoint, for they attempted to get inside the subjectivity of the one who is both human and divine. Though my theological mind quarreled here and there with the way this extremely tricky portrayal was carried out, I was generally impressed with Rice’s sure-footed and orthodox manner of presenting Jesus to a contemporary audience...
Father Steve Grunow reviews two popular books that feature the phenomenon of angels: Anne Rice's
Angel Time and Danielle Trussoni's
The cultural interest in angels seems to have persisted unabated despite all the protestations of secularity. Many theories have been proposed to explain this phenomena, all expressing the strange truth that Peter Berger was apt to note years ago- modernity remains captivated by the rumors of angels. Two recent books feature the interaction of angels and humans, each with its own story to tell, not just about angels, but about the spiritually evacuated spaces of modern culture that continue to be haunted by possibilities of the supernatural...
Also, be sure to check out Matthew Warner's recommendations for Catholic YouTube channels
on his blog on the National Catholic Register website
. He mentions Word on Fire and many other great Catholic resources. Thank you, Matthew!