30 October 2008

Follow Hanc Aquam. . .Talk Back!

Become a Follower of Hanc Aquam!

On the right-side bar you can click the "Follow Hanc Aquam" button and receive updates as I post them.

I'm always open for suggestions about future posts. . .and especially feedback on homilies.

Here's what I TRY to do in my homiles:

*Stay close the readings and preach on the text while going beyond the text where possible.
*Preach a contemporary Word without using modernist academic theories or methods.
*Preach using a patristic model advocated by the Holy Father, e.g. literary not historical-critical.
*Always preach WITH the mind of the Church never against it; preach only orthodox RC theology
*Preach the homily I myself need to hear: "The preacher preaches to himself first."
*Preach homilies you would not likely hear on Sunday morning, i.e. something different!
*Ask hard questions, give answers based in the Tradition, challenge your thinking.
*Keep you engaged with lively examples, a little humor, and some "red-meat" language.
*I'm a little bit Baptist, a little bit Benedictine, a little bit redneck and 100% Dominican!

Questions I am most interested in hearing your responses to:

1). Does the homily help you better understand the Mass readings of the day?

2). Is the homily understandable? Overly complex? Too simplistic?

3). Does the homily address your spiritual struggles/triumphs?

4). Does the homily help you grow in holiness?

5). What would you like to see more of/less of in these homilies?

6). If you use these homilies beyond reading them or listening to them, how so?

7). What else would you like to tell me about these homilies. . .?

If you enjoy the site, please help me out with my current assignment as a philosophy student in Rome by browsing my philosophy/theology WISH LIST and sending me a book or two (or three or four. . .)! Books are very expense in Rome and our university library has a very limited selection of books in my area of study. USED books are just fine by me.

God bless, Fr. Philip, OP


  1. Father, you're opening a can of worms and it would take much more than this little comment box for me to answer even one of your questions......maybe I should first learn to not talk so much. :-)

    I AM enjoying every Homily I've heard/read, and I listen/read each one at least 3 times.
    As to your other questions...I'll work on brief answers and get back to you.

  2. Mom,

    Use the electric can opener...it's faster!

    I've survived the humiliating criticism of eight years of lib arts grad school; five years of theology grad school; five years working in an adolescent psych hospital as a unit team leader; Clinical Pastoral Education; eight years of living in a religious community...trust me: NOTHING you say will hurt my feelings.

    Fr. Philip, OP

  3. huh? that makes you like 80 years old or something?? (ok, mild exaggeration)

  4. you've crammed a lot of schooling into 45 years!

  5. OK, in reference to "Reaching down for higher things"

    (just remember you asked)

    1) NO, simply because I don't know WHAT the Mass reading is (see my two previous comment/questions on that topic)

    2) understandable yes, hard to be too complex and keep it to 10 min (gotta love Catholicism for strict 10min sermons!)

    3) Actually, this one is a "triumph" to use your words. God has at times felt very far from me (or me from Him) but I have been fortunate enough to never fear that He'd failed me or left me. In my darkest times Jesus has been my only friend. In my brightest times I am grateful to God for my joy.

    4) Always. Just as study of the Word helps me to grow in holiness, study of a homily will reveal to me some part of myself that needs work.....there's LOTS of those parts.

    5) Less Latin....or at least give the translation whenever you use a Latin phrase. I made a note of your list of things to do to help me grow in holiness by becoming Christ (I'm not too sure about that "becoming Christ" bit..but I'm rolling with it). It's gonna be real hard for me to "lectio divina" since I have no clue what it is.

    6) This is hard to put into words. I listen/read the homilies several times over...not to memorize the homily or to "study" the homily and certainly not to dissect the homily as I would a poem in a literature class (ick) but rather to internalize the homily. oh well, that's not exact, but it's the best way I can say it.

    7) ummmm keep them coming?! :-)

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Aspiring, for a philosopher-in-training I'm doing a really bad job of clear! Thanks for the question!

    What I meant to say is "orthodox theology" is the "mind of the church." The theology of the Orthodox Church is not the theology of the Roman Catholic Church but is nonetheless "orthodox" on all major theological points. We differ from the Orthodox most in liturgical matters and how we understand the nature and structure of the Church. I've only parts of the Philokalia, but as far as I know, it's sound.

    Fr. Philip