Back to Basics
by Bishop Robert Barron . February 10, 2008 .
For the first Sunday of Lent, the church brings us back to spiritual training camp and encourages us to review the basics. We are in the garden with Adam and Eve and in the desert with Jesus. When the devil approaches us, do we respond as they did, or as he did? Everything else will flow from that decision.
Faith, the Friend of Reason
by Bishop Robert Barron . January 6, 2008 .
One of the truths that is manifested on Epiphany (that's what the word "epiphania" means) is the compatibility of faith and reason, of religion and science. The Magi were scientists, astronomers interested in tracking and measuring the heavenly bodies. But they also saw in the orderliness of the universe evidence of God. Their search for Christ symbolizes the fact that all of science leads finally to God.
Trusting the Darkness
by Bishop Robert Barron . August 12, 2007 .
Authentic faith has nothing to do with credulity or intellectual naivte. It has everything to do with placing one's trust in the God whom we cannot, even in principle, know with clarity. It is the willingness to follow the promptings of God, even when we don't see where they might lead.
The Natural Law
by Bishop Robert Barron . July 15, 2007 .
What the church calls "the natural law" is, as Moses suggests in our first reading, close to us, in fact, written on our hearts. Thomas Aquinas said that this natural, moral law is a reflection of the eternal law of God and is, in turn, the ground for all of our positive laws. When the relationship between God's law, the moral law, and political law is lost, our society suffers.
Both the Old and the New
by Bishop Robert Barron . July 24, 2005 .
At the conclusion of chapter 13 of Matthew's Gospel, the chapter of parables, Jesus says, "the scribe who is learned in the Kingdom of God is like the householder who brings forth from his storehouse both the old and the new." The one who is wise in the ways of God escapes the ideologies of both left and right--the idolatry of both the new and the old. Focused on God alone, he is able to see the value in both novelty and tradition.
The Irresistable Word
by Bishop Robert Barron . July 10, 2005 .
Our first reading, from the prophet Isaiah, shows that God's word is not so much descriptive as creative: it produces what it says. In the very intelligibility of the material world, we can sense this reality-producing power. We can also sense it in the Biblical word, an invitation into divine friendship. But we encounter it most powerfully in the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ. To what extent do we permit this reality-changing Word to take root in us? That is the challenge of our readings for today.
Falling in Love With God
by Bishop Robert Barron . April 3, 2005 .
So many of us skeptical moderns--intellectual heirs of Descartes-- identify with doubting Thomas. We too struggle with faith, ask tough questions, want proof. And to some degree, this is praiseworthy. But the trouble with systematic and persistent doubt is that it precludes the possibility of love, for love is always a surrender. "How blessed are those who have not seen and have yet believed," because they have allowed themselves to fall in love with Jesus Christ.
The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit
by Bishop Robert Barron . December 5, 2004 .
In the eleventh chapter of the book of the prophet Isaiah, we find a description of the gifts of the Holy Spirit with which the Messiah will be embued. They include wisdom, understanding, knowledge, counsel, fear of the Lord, piety, and fortitude. The good news is that these gifts are given to all of the baptized, all those who participate in the Messiahship of Jesus Christ. What precisely are these gifts and what difference do they make in our lives? Listen in order to find out.
Walking the Path of Faith
by Bishop Robert Barron . August 8, 2004 .
Our second reading this week is from the 11th chapter of the letter to the Hebrews, and it concerns that central virtue of the Christian life: faith. To believe is not to be naive, superstitious, or uncritical. It is not opposed to reason. Rather, it is a reasonable leap into the darkness of that which transcends what we can know and control. As such, it is analogous to the "leaps" made by a man about to marry, by a scientist embarking on an experiment the result of which he does not precisely know, by an adventurer about to embark on his journey of exploration.