Robert Barron | – "Revelation" – Flannery O'Connor "Pivotal Players" Episode

Friends, I was pleased to hear The EMMY Awards – Southeast have nominated our Flannery O’Connor film for an EMMY award: [support us]

I want to express my gratitude toward our entire team for their fine work on this beautiful episode, including Fr. Steve Grunow, Joseph Gloor, Matt Leonard, John Cummins, and Manny Marquez.

Of all the “Pivotal Players” episodes, I’m particularly proud of this one, which I think is the most beautiful of the collection.

Watch this short excerpt from the episode, which explores one of Flannery’s most beguiling short stories.

(Get access to the entire film at [support us].)

About The Author

Bishop Robert Barron These are brief and insightful commentaries on faith and culture by Catholic theologian and author Bishop Robert Barron. The videos complement his weekly sermons posted and podcasted at

Comment (43)

  1. Thank you Bishop Barron for the most telling presentation and the video. You will always remain the best individual to have introduced one of the best Catholic Storytellers. And you will certainly be remembered as yet another equally graced Storyteller par excellence of the current century and ever after.

  2. I love your ministry and Flannery O'Connor! She is definitely my favorite author when I read her stories in English. My teacher did a great job at explaining and unlocking the religious truths within her stories. Where can I find the artwork like the art in this video? I absolutely loved it.

  3. My wife and i are Blessed with 8 children, You and Word on fire was an Oasis during the entire covad 19 . We are also Blessed as Palm Beach county is back to Mass .I am extremely grateful for you and your entire team! Ps your Lector gave me cause for pause his age and build till i listened Joseph Gloors video. wow awesome

  4. Flannery O’Connor is, along with Faulkner, the very greatest US writer of the Twentieth and Twentieth Centuries so far. Not just the finest Catholic fictionalist, mind you, but the world’s finest novelist of of the past couple of decades. Remarkable that she wrote a total of two novels. Read Wise Blood first. About four or five times. She is not a tricky reader, but her text is filled with beautiful poetry and symbolism. The layers must be peeled away carefully to reveal the astonishing (and non-preachy) truth. Wait until you find out who the dark ape-man swinging through the jungle in the background is. Utter brilliance.

  5. Thank you so much! Revelation is my very favorite Flannery O'Connor story. If you've ever sat in a rural Southern doctors waiting room you recognize the kind of characters and dialogue.
    She nailed it in the story.

  6. Thanks Bishop Barron. Too often we act like the Pharisee and forget that he watched the Tax Collector travel the purple swinging bridge before him. God's continued blessings on your evangelization.

  7. Sounds to me that what you are saying is that the sinner that has repented of their sins and is walking the straight and narrow life is less welcomed in heaven than the sinner who still has not repented?

  8. Narrated with such grace and ease, Bishop Barron. Matches the music and the visuals. Memorable and I hope you win an Emmy. Bravo for this transcendent gem!

  9. Bishop, please pray for me. I have just lost my fourth child in two years. Before she died, God seemed to me telling me and my husband that she should be named Grace. I hoped that it meant she would survive–but she didn't, despite the prayers of everyone around us. Now I am confused and heartbroken and trying to find God's love in all of this, but it all just seems like dust and ashes.

  10. I absolutely love Bishop Barron. However, his is a horrible summary of "Revelation," and very off-putting. "Revelation" is profoundly, more nuanced about who is "good" and who is "bad" than a simplistic summary like this. Please read the story yourself; it is one of the best stories ever written, and powerful in its nuance about what is salvation, how poorly all of us perceive its opportunity, and how perhaps (hopefully) all of us – good, bad, ugly and all sinful – may one day enter the paradoxical, wonderful, and strange Kingdom that God has created for all of us.

  11. Thank you I think?? To be honest, I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around this. I am confused about the pecking order of the faithful entering the Kingdom of Heaven. My understanding is that on the day of judgment that I will stand before the Almighty and give account of my self. And were much was given, much will be expected. And I will be judged irrespective of all the others.

  12. Well deserved recognition! I watched this and became an O'Connor fan, after only hearing about her in some of the low level lit classes I took in college. When you take lit classes in today's mostly secular colleges, the significance of the faith of the writer – and faith in general – seems to be downplayed or filtered out, perhaps out of contempt for "superstition." But of course its inseparable from the writer and their work and O'Connor is proof of that. Maybe one day today's generation will wake up to it.

  13. There, but for the Grace of God, go I.

    God let me fall just far enough to humble me, to show me how "good" people end up in hard places.

    Worst of all, someone who has been given (lavished with) so much Grace should never sin again, yet I do. I am the most miserable of sinners. I am grateful for a Savior who has Mercy on human weakness and blindness.

  14. When l die l hope Flannery O'Connor will meet me at the entrance to Purgatory and smile and in that Georgia accent, say, "Come along, child — seems you've got you a little work to do." Thank you, Bishop.

  15. Dear Bishop Barron, I purchased your CD series on Pivotal Players and I’m so grateful for your work and that of tour entire Word on Fire team. You share a consistent message of God’s yearning for each of us and as I finally get it, I’m on my knees overwhelmed by it. Thank you for your tireless work in keeping our faith alive by sharing its historical and present beauty.
    I pray for you always.
    Alexis Bustamante Delaney, a servant.

  16. I was introduced to Flannery O'Connor by Father Robert Lauder (St Johns University and the Diocese of Rockville Centre NY) in his list of The Catholic Novels. I have her Collected Works (over 1200 pages) which is kept in print by a foundational gift. I had to go to the middle of the volumn to read "Revelation" after your rendering. Bishop Barron, thanks for your insight into this literary work which allowed me to appreciate this great lady of American Letters even more.

  17. This is a hijacked interpretation of the story for religious reasons. The story is about race relations, not about realizing your need for salvation. It’s about white supremacy in the south. 90% of the story has blacks in it but this review doesn’t mention blacks once.

    It’s history and attitudes and meanness. That’s why Mary Grace throws the book at her and tries to choke and tells her to go back to hell. It’s a commentary on the South that Mary Grave is hauled away as crazy by the actual crazy people who keep perpetuating white supremacy.

    The main character is an into-hero and isn’t going to be saved, imho. She’s going to just keep on keeping on like white supremacy has.