29 November 2013

Lukewarmness + doctrinal error + moral confusion

A Most Excellent Article on preaching over at the Homiletic and Pastoral Review by Fr. Gabriel de Chadarévian, O.P. of the Province of Canada

In my own teaching and pastoral experience, I have come to realize, more and more, that a great number of practising Catholics know little about the faith they profess, and whose Sunday Eucharist they more or less faithfully attend. Hence, the great responsibility for sound faith formation or catechesis (doctrinal and moral). I also quickly discovered that among practicing Catholics (including some clergy), few have developed a vital, intimate, and loving relationship with Jesus Christ; few have experienced a living and personal encounter with the Risen Lord in the Eucharist, in the sacraments, in their personal prayer, and their activities, choosing him as the true center, Saviour and Lord of their lives. The dearth and poverty of these two essential components in the life of many Catholics (knowledge of the faith and personal relationship with Christ) have led to a hemorrhaging out of the Church, especially in Europe and North America, and a lukewarmness combined with doctrinal and moral confusion in the lives of many practicing Catholics.

All this has made me firmly believe that, in our present age of indifference, increasing hostility towards Christianity (especially Catholicism) and rampant secularization, the Church urgently needs to rediscover the primacy of Kerygma, the fundamental proclamation of the Paschal Mystery, ad intra and ad extra.

Read the whole thing. . .give your pastor and deacons a copy!
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  1. Thanks for the heads up!

    I agree with letting the spirit act! My spiritual adviser called this - laissez agir l'esprit. He told us to increase your prayer life, live FOR the Lord and your heart will guide your words.

    I also agree with the 12-15 minute thing (we were told in homiletics class to keep it under 8 minutes), but convincing the congregation that they could stand a mass for a little longer than an hour has been a challenge.

    Happy Advent!

    1. Appropriate length depends a lot on the quality of the homily. A bad three minute homily can seem like thirty minutes.

  2. Gregg the Obscure9:23 AM

    I've said this in another context, but it seems germane here too. The Roman Canon is itself a magnificent catechesis containing rich theology in terms that many can readily understand. Expanding its use in a given setting provides ready opportunities for extended commentary on various details in the homilies.

  3. "At the heart of an anointed and fruitful homily is the preaching of this madness of God’s love for each and everyone, who 'loved the world so much that he gave his only Son'." Yes!! Our Auxiliary Bishop (Eusebio Elizondo) personifies this, however out here I have only seen/heard this in one other priest. I still contend that so much of this begins before seminary (was it different when there were minor seminaries?). I agree that there must be or have been a personal encounter/conversion/experience. And this must continue to fuel our clergy. My son at 14 is our parish's altar server, and the only teen-aged person in attendance at Mass most weeks. If you ask him why he is there every week, he says: "Because God said so and the Eucharist...because it's AWESOME!!" That's the energy I'm talking about - maybe it starts right there, with the Eucharist ... how's that for a personal encounter? Perhaps even more important than the homily is the priest's Eucharistic focus - does he truly, completely, utterly believe? Or at least want to? OK, I'm getting off topic, ... but I guess my thought is that our priests (and deacons) need to spend time considering our Lord in the Eucharist - REALLY meditating on it/Him - what do you believe? do you act like you believe it? what does it mean to believe? and do you think the Eucharist is AWESOME?!? When that kind of energy is bouncing around inside of you, it has to come out, doesn't it? ;-)

    (Aren't you glad I don't drink coffee?)