Three Ways Bishop Barron Blew My Mind at World Meeting of Families


We survived our first day as a family at the World Meeting of Families!


Copyright 2015 Erin McCole-Cupp. All rights reserved.

Had this event been held even twenty-five miles further from our home, we likely wouldn’t have been able to attend as a family. We are ridiculously blessed in this matter. Perhaps I should say “clearly” blessed. Get it? Clearly? Because they gave us clear backpacks?

That was bad. Here’s some of Philly’s bad public art, to make me look clever by comparison.


Copyright 2015 Erin McCole-Cupp. All rights reserved.

I think that’s supposed to be a monument to the Labor movement, but I think it just makes the labor movement look like a stack of assssss…

…sssssssI was saying, there were many highlights from our first day yesterday, but the one thing that still has me thinking, praying, and hoping is Father Bishop Barron’s Keynote, “Living as the Image of God: Created for Joy and Love.”

I know the world has seen Bishop Barron’s Catholicism series, but we don’t have cable. We barely have a TV. The only episode, and that one partial, I saw was playing in the background while I wrangled my wiggly four year-old at a parish Lenten luncheon series. In the past, I’ve liked Barron’s work but sort of in the way I like the Psychedelic Furs: I love everything I’ve heard from them, but I don’t own any of their albums, and I’ve never gone to one of their concerts.

I guess yesterday was my first Bishop Barron concert. He spoke on the words imago Dei, the image of God. I typed several hurried notes into my phone’s notepad app, but here are three that stick out in my mind.

“Atheism old and new teaches that God is in competition with Man.  This is inimical to Christianity.”  

As a recovering atheist myself, this really bloomed inside of me and put into words the essence of why I came back to the Church in the first place.

“When it comes to things we take seriously, we love the law.”

Bishop Barron gave us the example of himself trying to learn how to golf. He just went out there at first and swung the 8 iron, no guidance. He was, essentially, just “being himself” as a golfer with no guidance or rules. Then a pro golfer gave him a lesson on the physics and kinesthetics of the game, and when the lesson was over, then-Father said, “No! Teach me more!” The law gave him success. When we teach ourselves, our children, and the whole world to “just be yourself,” and that the rules don’t matter, we rob them and ourselves of success–of joy.

“If things are going wrong, the wrong things are being praised.”

I never put two-and-two together that the “doxy” in the word “orthodoxy” means “praise.” If we are being “orthodox,” we aren’t just saying the right things. We are praising the right things.

There is so much more, but I have to finish getting myself and the family ready to board a train!

What have you seen about the WMOF? Are you there? Are you making a virtual pilgrimage? Comment below with your impressions and experience!


Copyright 2015 Erin McCole-Cupp.
Photos copyright 2015 Erin McCole-Cupp. All rights reserved.


About Author

Erin McCole Cupp is a wife, mother, and lay Dominican who lives with her family of vertebrates somewhere out in the middle of Nowhere, Pennsylvania. Her short writing has appeared in Canticle Magazine, The Catholic Standard and Times, Parents, The Philadelphia City Paper, The White Shoe Irregular, Outer Darkness Magazine, and the newsletter of her children’s playgroup. She is a contributor to and has been a guest blogger for the Catholic Writers Guild. Her other professional experiences include acting, costuming, youth ministry, international scholar advising, and waiting tables. When Erin is not writing, cooking or parenting, she can be found reading, singing a bit too loudly, sewing for people she loves, gardening in spite of herself, or dragging loved ones to visitors centers at tourist spots around the country. Find her books and other projects at her website.

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