St. Thomas More Catholic Church

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Midweek Reflections
with Fr. Brad

Word On Fire

Jesus, Photosynthesis, and Redemption

The authors of Scripture observed the created world and liberally used symbols, metaphors and analogies from nature to describe attributes of God and his relationship to creation. For instance, right at the beginning in Genesis, the authors used the symbol of trees, rivers and a fruitful garden to describe the original blessedness, fertility and harmony God desires for his created world, meant to be enjoyed by human beings. For the rest of the Old Testament, this concept of the created order being somehow reflective of God’s wisdom and glory is found everywhere. We are told that King Solomon, who imparted divine wisdom to Israel, did so by pointing to the natural world: ‘He would speak of trees…he would speak of animals, birds, reptiles and fish’ (1 Kings 5:13). This could only be possible because ‘the greatness and beauty of created things gives us a corresponding idea of their Creator’ (Wis.

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“Urgency, Power, Drama”: Jessica Hooten Wilson on Literature and Redemption

Jessica Hooten Wilson is the author of three books: Giving the Devil His Due: Flannery O’Connor and The Brothers Karamazov (which received a 2018 Christianity Today Book of the Year award), Walker Percy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and the Search for Influence; and Reading Walker Percy’s Novels. Currently, she is preparing Flannery O’Connor’s unfinished novel, Why Do the Heathen Rage?, for publication. Here she discusses her particular love for these authors, and why literature is a powerful vehicle for instruction and evangelization, with Word on Fire Institute Assistant Director, Matt Nelson. We’re going to talk a lot about books in this interview. To start, can you tell us about your experience of literature as a child and young adult? When did you first discover within yourself a passion for the Great Books? I “wrote” my first story when I was three: my mother still has it in a…

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A Chapter That Changed My Life: “Brideshead Revisted”

In the spring of 2008 I was a senior in college sitting in the backyard of a little white rental house near campus and I was weeping because an old man in a book had made the sign of the cross.  I was reading Brideshead Revisited for my twentieth-century novel class. I had been delighted by its colorful characters and the author Evelyn Waugh’s brilliant humor, but slightly confused about where the story was going or why the book was hailed as a Catholic masterpiece. The Catholic characters all seemed to be a mess, with failed marriages and scandalous decisions and addictions they knew were wrong. They were bad Catholics, people who could barely hold onto the cultural trappings of their faith. They were haunted by their sins, but they didn’t even attempt to hide them under…

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