“The Church is interested in making saints. It’s not interested in making spiritual mediocrities. It wants saints.”
Robert Barron is a well-known figure in the Catholic Church, especially to those who are active on social media. He is a priest who has YouTube videos, a Twitter account, Facebook, Instagram and a dynamic Web site – all part of Word on Fire. His goal is to reach people for Christ and show them what God’s love can do in their lives. His methods are unconventional for some, such as reviewing the latest movies with a YouTube video, but he is reaching people who aren’t normally reached by churches. To Light a Fire On Earth is a book about his mission and his views.
I requested a copy of To Light a Fire On Earth to review from Blogging for Books. I hadn’t heard much about Barron, but the description looked interesting and I thought I should know more about this person. The book is written in almost an interview format as John L. Allen Jr. talked with Barron about multiple topics and put the book together.
The book starts with Barron upbringing in a Catholic family and how he decided to become a priest. Then, it delves into topics Barron thinks is key for evangelizing today – Beauty, Goodness, Truth, Prayer and the Bible. I really appreciated how Barron could take some complicated theological topics and speak about them in a very understandable way. One point that was repeated a few times in the book was the people have to see the beauty and good in the church before they can hear the ins and outs of the requirements. Rules and laws never attract people and, in the end, those aren’t what is important. What is important is how the people find a way to related to God and His love. He equates it to baseball – the infield fly rule isn’t going to get someone excited about going to a game, but talking about the crowds and excitement will.
I will be following Barron a lot more after reading this book and knowing what he thinks about various topics. He tries to stay away from politics and focus on faith. I think most Catholics would enjoy reading his story and thoughts and would learn a lot about evangelization by reading this book. Even non-Catholics could see some of the finer points of evangelization in how Barron approaches reaching people.
Do you have a favorite spiritual figure you follow? Comment below with who it is!