Brandon Vogt and Fr. Blake Britton are best friends, two Millennial Catholics living near Orlando, FL. “The Burrowshire Podcast” is an extension of their friendship, sharing conversation about faith, culture, books, and the spiritual life. New episodes release every two weeks.
We have received several requests to do an episode on the sacred liturgy. We know it's always a hot-button topic in the Church, and for good reason. The sacred liturgy is incredibly important. So, in this episode we discuss what the liturgy is, how Vatican II reformed the liturgy, and why it's time to move past the liturgy wars. We also unpack many of today's liturgical debates concerning the Traditional Latin Mass, ad orientem, and more. Finally, we explore the role of liturgy in family life and how to cultivate a liturgical rhythm and environment in your home.
Books and Resources
The Catholic All Year Compendium: Liturgical Living for Real Life by Kendra Tierney
Around the Year with the Von Trapp Family by Maria Von Trapp
“Carrots for Michaelmas” Blog by Haley Stewart
Survey after survey shows that young people, especially Millennials and Generation Z, are rejecting the faith in huge numbers. Whether they grew up going to church, few attend now. So, how can we reach them? How can we present the Gospel in a compelling way? Fr. Blake and Brandon, fellow Millennials, share some practical strategies including cultivating holiness, reading the signs of the times, learning the (true) art of accompaniment, knowing your stuff, and the way of beauty.
Brandon and Fr. Blake, both native Floridians, are proud of their home state, especially the sacred ground of St. Augustine. Founded in 1565, it's not only the oldest city in the United States but the site of the country's first recorded Catholic Mass. Even more, the so-called "sacred acre," home to the Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche, also served as the place of martyrdom for several of the Florida Martyrs, whose cause for canonization has recently begun. Listen as Fr. Blake and Brandon share some of these incredible stories and why this great city of St. Augustine, bathed in Catholic history, is worth a visit.
Books + Resources
The Cross in the Sand: The Early Catholic Church in Florida, 1513-1870 by Michael Gannon
The Florida Martyrs: Compelled by Compassion by Eric Olson
The Martyrs of La Florida: A Heroic Story of Catholic Faith (graphic novel)
“The Martyrs of Florida” - Fr. Blake Britton (Word on Fire)
“Antonio Cuipa and Companions” - Fr. Blake Britton (Word on Fire)
The Martyrs of La Florida Missions
“They Might Be Saints” (EWTN Documentary)
This month we celebrate the Solemnity of St. Joseph (March 19), but that’s not the only reason St. Joseph is on our minds. A few months ago, Pope Francis released a beautiful apostolic exhortation on St. Joseph titled Patris Corde (With a Father’s Heart), recalling the 150th anniversary of the declaration of St. Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church. To mark the occasion, the Holy Father has proclaimed a “Year of Saint Joseph” from December 8, 2020 to December 8, 2021.
There’s never been a better time to grow closer to St. Joseph, and that’s what Brandon and Fr. Blake help you do through this episode.
Books + Resources: https://burrowshirepodcast.com/st-joseph-fatherhood
On this Ash Wednesday, Brandon and Fr. Blake reflect on the holy season of Lent and offer advice on how to sanctify your Lenten season through spiritual reading, prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.
Frank Sheed – To Know Christ Jesus
Fulton Sheen – Life of Christ
Romano Guardini – The Lord
Pope Benedict XVI - Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week
Dom Jean-Charles Nault, OSB - The Noonday Devil: Acedia, the Unnamed Evil of Our Times
Fr. Benedict Baur - Frequent Confession: Its Place in the Spiritual Life
St. Vladimir Seminary Press “Popular Patristics” series
St. Basil the Great - On Fasting and Feasts
Word on Fire - “St. Basil the Great on Fasting” by Fr. Blake
Burrowshire Podcast - How to Start a Good Catholic Library
PDF - "How to Have a Holy Lent" by Fr. Blake Britton
PDF - "The Sacred Triduum: A Home Guide for Families" by Fr. Blake Britton
J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings ranks near the top of almost every “favorite book” or “book of the century” list. Yet few readers know that Tolkien was a devout Catholic who infused his Middle-earth stories with Catholic themes and symbolism. In fact, the author stated, “The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work; unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision.”
In this episode, Fr. Blake and Brandon discuss these Catholic features, including Providence, the sacramentality of Middle-earth, three Christ figures, the Marian dimension, the philosophy of evil, and the eventual victory of goodness and beauty.
Frodo’s Journey: Discover The Hidden Meaning of The Lord of the Rings by Joseph Pearce
The Power of the Ring: The Spiritual Vision Behind the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit by Stratford Caldecott
The Philosophy of Tolkien: The Worldview Behind the Lord of the Rings by Peter Kreeft
J.R.R. Tolkien’s Sanctifying Myth by Bradley Birzer
The Battle for Middle-earth: Tolkien’s Divine Design in The Lord of the Rings by Fleming Rutledge
Tolkien’s Modern Reading: Middle-earth Beyond the Middle Ages by Holly Ordway
Brandon Vogt – “8 Books on J.R.R. Tolkien’s Catholicism”
Frederic Heidemann – “I Was an Atheist Until I Read “The Lord of the Rings”
Steven Greydanus – “Faith and fantasy: Tolkien the Catholic, The Lord of the Rings, and Peter Jackson’s film trilogy”
Let us give you fair warning ahead of time, because this is going to be quite the episode as we discuss two of our greatest heroes, G.K. Chesterton and Pope Benedict XVI. Prophets of their age who spoke truth with wisdom and clarity, these two holy men radiate a rare innocence and purity to all who read them. Discover why we love them so much and our recommendations on where to get started with each thinker.
Links + Books >> https://burrowshirepodcast.com/chesterton-pope-bxvi
We often hear about our vocation to become a saint. But what is a saint? And why does the Church honor saints?
In this episode, Fr. Blake and Brandon discuss the theology of saints, how that theology is rooted in the Incarnation, and, most importantly, how we can become saints ourselves.
We’re in a period of deep confusion about the priesthood. Some people wonder why the priesthood exists, others wonder why women can’t be priests. The abuse crisis and examples of bad priests have added to that confusion, causing people to misunderstand this vocation established by Christ.
In this episode, Fr. Blake and Brandon discuss the origin of the priesthood, why it exists, and its significance today. They also discuss how laypeople can help priests become better priests and what qualities define a great priest.
In his classic book Leisure: The Basis of Culture, philosopher Josef Pieper observed that “the original meaning of the concept of ‘leisure’ has practically been forgotten in today’s leisure-less culture of ‘total work.’” For many of us, work is the primary task, and leisure is what we do to recuperate so we can work some more. Therefore, leisure usually means relaxation, refreshment, killing time, or binging on Netflix shows.
But for Pieper, this is not leisure as it was meant to be. Leisure is not a secondary activity, but a main one. And it’s not a passive “doing nothing,” but an active participation in practices that generate calm, silence, and contemplation, activities that are pursued for their own sakes and not as means to some higher goal.
In this episode, Fr. Blake and Brandon discuss how different cultures have understood leisure, how our modern culture has prioritized work over leisure, and some specific ways we can practice authentic leisure.
With the upcoming general election, it's good for us to reflect on the role of Catholics in the political sphere. Fr. Blake and Brandon discuss a Catholic approach to politics, why Christians should care about the common good, and how to react if your preferred candidate doesn't win in November.
Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship (USCCB)
It seems like each week, another scandal emerges in the Church: sexual abuse, cover up, financial impropriety, poor leadership, heretical teaching, or lack of faithfulness. At the same time, many Catholics have experienced increased doubt and confusion, whether about something they heard from the Pope or bishops, about the Second Vatican Council, or about questions concerning liturgy, theology, or morality. How should faithful Catholics respond to occasions of scandal and doubt? That's what Fr. Blake and Brandon discuss in this episode of “The Burrowshire Podcast.”
The Blessed Virgin Mary is a troubling figure for many Protestant Christians, but this is a relatively new phenomenon. In the early Church, Marian devotion was hardly debated and even the major Protestant reformers themselves, such as Martin Luther and King Henry VIII, wrote treatises defending Marian doctrines. In this episode, Brandon and Fr. Blake explore some of the key beliefs about Mary, her pivotal role in salvation history, and the revival of Marian theology during the last two centuries.
Jesus and the Jewish Roots of Mary: Unveiling the Mother of the Messiah by Brant Pitre
Hail, Holy Queen: The Mother of God in the Word of God by Scott Hahn
The World’s First Love: Mary, Mother of God by Fulton Sheen
Daughter Zion: Meditations on the Church's Marian Belief by Joseph Ratzinger
Mary: The Church at the Source by Joseph Ratzinger and Hans Urs von Balthasar
Wider Than Heaven: Eighth-century Homilies on the Mother of God by Eastern Church Fathers (St. Vladimir Press)
The Handmaid of the Lord by Adrienne von Speyr
33 Days to Morning Glory: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat In Preparation for Marian Consecration by Fr. Michael Gaitley
The Reed of God by Caryll Houselander
Behold Your Mother: A Biblical and Historical Defense of the Marian Doctrines by Tim Staples
Christians are often divided on questions about movies, television, and video games. Where do we draw the line between good entertainment, worthy of our attention, and bad media we should avoid? What about movies or shows with excessive violence or sexuality? How do we discern which video games to play (or allow our kids to play)? Brandon and Fr. Blake offer several general principles while also discussing specific films, TV shows, books, games, and more.
The Monsters and the Critics: And Other Essays by J.R.R. Tolkien
Our culture is experiencing a crisis of masculinity. We're confused about what it means to be a man and because of that, we struggle to initiate boys into authentic masculinity. In this episode, Fr. Blake and Brandon discuss how to father boys and help them to encounter God, sharing plenty of practical tips.
Episode Notes >> https://burrowshirepodcast.com/raise-boys-to-follow-god
Wild at Heart: Discovering The Secret of a Man's Soul by John Eldredge
The Way of the Wild Heart: A Map for the Masculine Journey by John Eldredge
The Second Vatican Council (aka Vatican II) was convened in 1962 by Pope St. John XXIII and lasted through 1965. It gathered all the bishops from around the world to produce 16 wonderful texts.
However, fifty years after its conclusion there’s still debate about what Vatican II taught and how the Council was implemented. In this episode, Fr. Blake and Brandon discuss what you need to know about the Council: why Vatican II was needed, a simple timeline, the key terms and people, what happened after the Council, the major controversies, and why the Council remains important today. They close with several recommended books on Vatican II to go deeper.
Note: At 28:52 , Fr. Blake refers to the "Council of the Magisteriums" but he meant "Council of the theologians."
Documents of Vatican II – start with 4 constitutions
The Irony of Modern Catholic History by George Weigel
What Happened at Vatican II by John O’Malley
Conciliar Octet: A Concise Commentary on the Eight Key Texts of the Second Vatican Council by Fr. Aidan Nichols, OP
The Council in Question: A Dialogue with Catholic Traditionalism by Fr. Aidan Nichols, OP and Moyra Doorly
The Disputed Teachings of Vatican II by Thomas Guarino
The Reception of Vatican II edited by Matthew Lamb and Matthew Levering
Vatican II: Renewal Within Tradition edited by Matthew Lamb and Matthew Levering
The Spirit of the Liturgy by Pope Benedict XVI
The Bible is a complicated book. If you read or interpret it the wrong way, you'll quick go astray. In this episode, Brandon and Fr. Blake share some of the basic interpretative principles Catholics should use to understand Scripture, including recognizing the genre, using the "four senses," and reading the Bible from the heart of the Church.
The Word on Fire Bible
Dei Verbum (Vatican II)
The Word of the Lord: 7 Essential Principles for Catholic Scripture Study by Dr. Steven C. Smith
The Bible Compass: A Catholic’s Guide to Navigating the Scriptures by Dr. Edward Sri
Light on the Dark Passages of Scripture by Dr. Mark Giszczak
The Bible is a Catholic Book by Jimmy Akin
We live in an age that does not know how to recognize and reconcile its woundedness. This explains why we lash out at others, why we seek false substitutes for God such as Netflix, food, pornography, and drugs, and why we avoid long periods of silent introspection. If we want to deepen our spiritual life, we must discern our wounds, asking Christ to name them and heal them. It’s the only path to freedom and the redemption of our personality.
The Praktikos by Evagrius Ponticus
Heart Speaks to Heart: A Review of Life and Healing Prayer by Fr. John Horn
The Catechism describes the family as a “domestic church” (ecclesia domestica), the first school of Christian life and a school for human enrichment. How can we excel in this school? How do we help our family members become holy? Brandon and Fr. Blake share tips from their own lives and from Fr. Blake’s ministry to young families.
It is here that the father of the family, the mother, children, and all members of the family exercise the priesthood of the baptized in a privileged way “by the reception of the sacraments, prayer and thanksgiving, the witness of a holy life, and self-denial and active charity.” Thus the home is the first school of Christian life and “a school for human enrichment.” Here one learns endurance and the joy of work, fraternal love, generous – even repeated – forgiveness, and above all divine worship in prayer and the offering of one’s life. (CCC, 1657)
Catechism on “The Domestic Church” (paragraphs 1655-1658)
In numerous studies, Millennials and Gen Z’ers mention “true friendship” as one of their most unmet needs. What is true friendship? What’s unique about Christian friendship? Brandon and Fr. Blake explore what ancient thinkers such as Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, and Augustine have said about friendship, and also explain how to develop deep friendships ourselves.
Laelius De Amicitia (Treatise on Friendship) by Cicero
Friends and Friendship for Saint Augustine by Sr. Marie Aquinas McNamara
Spiritual Friendship by Aelred of Rievaulx
Video games are surging in popularity. There are over a billion gamers in the world, and the gaming industry is eclipsing the impact of social media, Hollywood, and live sports. It's the new digital frontier, especially for evangelization. But why are so many young people drawn to video games? What longings do these games fulfill? And how should Christians engage this increasingly important realm? Brandon and Fr. Blake, avid gamers and guides, take you on a tour of this exciting landscape.
All links/resources in show notes: https://burrowshirepodcast.com/video-games
Fr. Blake's articles on video games (Word on Fire)
“Kingdom Hearts III” and the Essential Goodness of the Heart
Video Games: A Lesson on the Importance of Aesthetics
Video Games and Music
Video Game Culture and the Millennial Soul (Evangelization & Culture Journal, only available to members of the Word on Fire Institute)
Carlo Actusi, possible patron saint of video games
Daily Mail - "Patron Saint of the Internet"
Our Sunday Visitor - "With a miracle approved, beatification awaits computer programmer Carlo Acutis"
Every Catholic should have a solid home library, as Brandon and Fr. Blake explain. But why is that important? Which books should we definitely have? And where can Catholics find good book recommendations? Join the two bibliophile hosts as they discuss.
All links/resources in show notes: https://burrowshirepodcast.com/library
Must-Have Catholic Books
Bible (we recommend Ignatius Bible, RSV-CE)
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Vatican II Documents
New Jerome Biblical Commentary
Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture
Ancient Christian Commentary Series
Liturgy of the Hours (4-volume set)
To Know Christ Jesus (Frank Sheed)
Life of Christ (Fulton Sheen)
The Lord (Romano Guardini)
Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives (Pope Benedict XVI)
Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration (Pope Benedict XVI)
Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week (Pope Benedict XVI)
St. Vladimir Seminary Press "Popular Patristics" series
Brandon Vogt - Best Catholic Books of All Time
Bishop Barron - Bishop Barron’s Recommend Books
Mortimer Adler - Great Books of the Western World
Did you know there is one set of prayers that the Church recommends ALL Catholics pray, every day? It’s called the Liturgy of the Hours, the official prayer of the Church…and it’s not just for priests. Fr. Blake and Brandon talk about this transformative discipline, and how to overcome obstacles that beginners usually face. We also share some book recommendations and tips on how to get started with these prayers.
Liturgy of the Hours (4-volume set)
The Everyday Catholic’s Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours by Daria Sockey
A Layman’s Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours: How the Prayers of the Church Can Change Your Life by Fr. Timothy Gallagher
iBreviary app: Apple + Android
Few of us are geniuses, but all of us should be intellectuals. Brandon and Fr. Blake discuss the rich patrimony of the Catholic intellectual tradition and why we shouldn’t dumb down religion. They also offer tips on how to develop your own intellectual life.
How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization by Thomas Woods
Bishop Barron’s Recommended Books (PDF)
100 Best Catholic Books of All Time by Brandon Vogt
The Intellectual Life: Its Spirit, Conditions, Methods by A. G. Sertillanges, OP
One of the major themes of the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II) was the “universal call to holiness.” The Council Fathers urged all Catholics–not just priests and religious–to strive for sainthood. But what does it mean to be a saint in our time, to acquire holiness in the particular context we find ourselves in? Brandon and Fr. Blake discuss traits of our particular age which shape our pursuit of sanctity.
Lumen Gentium (Second Vatican Council)
Welcome to the first episode of The Burrowshire Podcast! In this episode we discuss why we started this podcast, how it’s different than other podcasts, and what you expect on future episodes. We also share how we first met each other and became rapid friends.
The Four Dimensions of Priestly Formation (from Pastores Dabo Vobis)