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Stuff Luke Carey found for January: Stories Matter

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Stories matter. Especially today. Instagram encourages users to post videos as stories. Families pass down stories. Billions share stories on Facebook. Friends laugh at the same stories for decades.

Brands now tell stories to communicate with customers. There’s a reason for it all. Stories work. Humans crave the purpose and meaning stories provide. Shakespeare’s work contains more truths about humanity than many films that begin with “based on true story.” When we read Shakespeare, we read about what it means to be human. Hamlet screams at us, “What’s the point of it all when meaning is taken away?”

I often wonder about stories told in our postmodern era. What’s the purpose of a story in a post-modern society?

Think about it. If everything was random, if there were no ultimate purpose, why even tell a story?

Living in a post-modern era, and dare I say a post-Christian culture, it can be easy to forget that stories have meaning. Light sabers don’t make “Star Wars” matter. Space doesn’t make “Star
Wars” matter. A young and naïve Luke Skywalker starting at two setting suns makes “Star Wars” matter.

Taking time to contemplate the meaning of our modern stories is worth the effort. It deepens our appreciation for these stories and in a small way makes us more human, especially when we allow grace into our lives.

I’ll quickly highlight two ways to do so. First, try YouTube. There’s a plethora of good, awful, brilliant, and insane analysis of any modern movie or TV show. It’s beyond the scope of this article to even try to explain most of it. But, I promise, a quick YouTube search for an analysis of your favorite book or movie can forever change the way you understand your favorite movie.

(If you are into modern movies and television, check out my favorite channel, Nerd Soup.)

For brilliant analysis rooted in the reality of the Catholic faith, look no further than Bishop Robert Barron’s Word on Fire. (Wordonfire.org) The scope of Word on Fire is rather broad,but its mission is to proclaim Christ in the culture. The website has a plethora of content: Bishop Barron’s podcasts, movie and music reviews, resources for exploring Catholic content, homilies,
lectures on numerus topics, and more. Word on Fire’s only fault is the sheer amount of content. But it’s well worth it. Newcomers might do better by simply googling ‘word on fire’ plus the specific kind of content you hope to find. Word on Fire proposes modern popular culture as something worth trying to understand. Bishop Barron does a great job of not dismissing movies or music that on the surface seem might seem disjointed from or even hostile to Catholicism. Barron employs the often sought after, but rarely achieved, ability to “test everything and hold onto the
good.” This is a great website and a must visit for anyone who enjoys understanding the deeper meanings of a good story.

For Bishop Barron’s Word on Fire Video on Anti-Catholicism, check out the video below:

Twitter Follow of the Month: Me!
What better way to start out 2018? You can find me on Twitter at @thelukethe. I’ll follow you back if you correctly guess what inspired my Twitter handle. Father Mike Schmitz did, so I’m sure a few of you will be able to as well.

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