June 15, 2015

[Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared on Father Robert Barron’s Word on Fire blog on May 22 in anticipation of 20th anniversary of the release of the film “Braveheart” on May 24. It is being republished here for Father’s Day. Thank you to the Cor Project for permission.] Stunned. Overwhelmed. Speechless. As the credits rolled, so did the tears. My fiancée and I were the last to leave the theater and didn’t do so until we were practically kicked out. It’s hard to believe… Read more

June 5, 2015

Graham Greene’s novel The End of the Affair chronicles the passionate love affair between the writer, Maurice Bendrix, and the married wife of a civil servant, Sarah Miles. Although we might surmise that the end of their affair would also involve the end of their love, Greene surprises us by having God intervene between two lovers who continue to love each other until the end. As we follow Sarah through her painful journey of renouncing the man she loves for the… Read more

June 5, 2015

The beginning of “Such Great Heights” by The Postal Service sounds like bubbles popping. The soft pop-pop-poppoppop-pop leads into a deeper electronic beat that queues in Ben Gibbard’s soft melodic voice singing about true love. Yes, he sings about that scary thing. Most artists do. And even more often, they sing about the lack of love (also known as rejection, isolation, or objectification). Gibbard goes ahead and outlines the complete package of love—body and soul. The song begins with these bold words: I… Read more

May 25, 2015

One night my husband and I were performing the post-dinner dish cleansing ritual observed world-over when a song by Vance Joy came on the radio. I turned it up and marveled to my husband, “What is this guy, a Catholic?!”  Indeed, “Your Mess is Mine” describes love with an accuracy rare enough in religious circles and nearly alien to radio. As the chorus repeats throughout the song it tells simply of what conjugal union means. It means “This body is… Read more

May 12, 2015

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein offers a warning to its readers by presenting a perversion of the creation story in Genesis. By the end of the novel, Victor Frankenstein’s egotistical aspiration to cause life  has brought about destruction, solitude, death, and ultimately a permanent exclusion from human community, for both himself and his creature. This story and its consequences align precisely with and can be illuminated by John Paul II’s diagnosis of what he calls the “civilization of death” in his Letter to Families. Breaking down… Read more

May 3, 2015

Over at Aleteia, there’s a nice article about something that is very close to the heart of Love Among the Ruins. Here’s a taste: Seeds of the Word, a new release from Word on Fire, gathers Fr. Barron’s commentary on film, books, politics, and culture into a wide-ranging collection of essays. The first section, “Imago Dei” – easily the most fun to peruse – retraces the wry wisdom of Woody Allen (“Kierkegaard, Woody Allen, and the Secret to Lasting Joy”), the bleak, violent landscapes… Read more

April 30, 2015

What happened to the love song? Though seemingly every song on the radio these days is about what we might call carnal camaraderie—the mutually enjoyable meeting of two hard bodies—very few are about real love. Lady Gaga, as good a candidate as any for the title of Queen of Contemporary Pop Music, rhapsodizes poetic about a characteristically extortionary and emotionally avaricious relationship: I won’t tell you that I love you/Kiss or hug you/Cause I’m bluffin’ with my muffin … Just… Read more

April 28, 2015

[Editor’s Note: Recently I was interviewed for a podcast over at Fountains of Carrots, the combined effort of the lovely Catholic bloggers Haley Stewart (Carrots for Michaelmas) and Christy Isinger (Fountains of Home). We talked about one of my favorite things, Mad Men. Here’s their description along with the link.] Digging deep into one of our favorite TV shows, Mad Men, with Kathryn from Through a Glass Brightly. The meaning of love, the purpose of man, the fulfillment of the human person: why we… Read more

April 22, 2015

The Vow (2012) follows Leo (Channing Tatum) and Paige (Rachel McAdams), a newlywed couple who are involved in a car accident that leaves Paige in a coma.  When she wakes up, Paige has no memory of the last five years of her life—during which she met, fell in love with, and married Leo. Essentially, Paige becomes the person she was five years ago, before she knew Leo.  Here is an extreme example of the “my spouse changed” argument for divorce, which… Read more

April 18, 2015

[Editor’s Note: A friend of mine sent me this post about my new favorite novel, Kristin Lavransdatter, viewed through the lens of the Theology of the Body. The blog is called The Wine-Dark Sea and is filled with great insights. Enjoy this excerpt and click below to read more!] The following are quotes from Christopher West’s The Good News About Sex and Marriage with annotations by the blogger: Yet if this issue is left unaddressed, a couple who enters marriage having already engaged… Read more

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