Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fr. Robert Barron on the New Evangelization-Updated

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee played host to Fr. Robert Barron for Archbishop Listecki's Pallium Lecture Series on Thursday, September 20th, and I had the privilege of being one of nearly 1200 people in attendance for his free talk on the New Evangelization, Proclaiming Christ to a Secular World.  Fr. Barron's talk was full of nuggets making it nearly impossible for my pen to scratch down notes quickly or effectively enough to remember everything.  Fortunately, the lecture was videotaped and will be available on the Archdiocese of Milwaukee website soon.  In the meantime, here are a few highlights from his talk that I was able to record:

"There are those who have a disenchanted world view who believe that this is all there is.  But as St. Augustine says 'You made us for yourself, O God, and we are restless until we rest in You.'  We seek the truth and rejoice when we find it, but we are never satisfied.  We keep searching.  The more answers we find, the more we continue to search.  Or, as St. John of the Cross described it, 'We have infinite caverns.'  But when we cover up those caverns and pretend they don't exist, that's the disenfranchised world."

"We are surrounded by a "meh" culture of relativism.  In other words, you've got yours, God bless you, and I've got mine.  Don't tell me what to do.  Nothing really matters."  And he built on it with this great example:

"The banks of a river give it purpose and energy.  Knock down the banks and the river becomes a lazy river with people comfortably, safely laying on their air mattresses at a distance from each other and not bothering others.  It's dull; boring.  It's the enemy of the bible which tells an energetic story.  It's the lazy life of those who say 'Religion is gray.  I'm going to let my kids decide for themselves, I'm not going to force them to believe.'"

And he asked, "Do we accept that logic in any area of life that we take seriously?  Consider playing a musical instrument.  If you're just going to play it any way you want to, how's that going to work out for you?  Or how about baseball or golf?  Anyone who is serious about playing the game well knows that they have to follow the specific rules, you can't just do whatever you want or you'll have a mess!

Once you find something of value, you want to get into that river that is going somewhere.  In any area of your life that you take seriously you are not a relativist."

UPDATE:  The video is now available and can be seen here.

photo: Archdiocese of Milwaukee


  1. What a tremendous blessing, Anne!!! I still have John on my "to do" list...hope to get a note out to him soon:) And of course we have him in our DAILY prayers! Have a blessed week!

  2. Exact same talk he gave at Napa in July......