NB. Below are the notes I used in a recent lecture to my preaching students at NDS.
Homiletics I: Preachers, what are you getting yourselves into?
I. Influences on our people. . .
. . .lose of catholicity and triumph of the local
. . .ideology of “multiculturalism” (entitled enclaves of personal preferences)
. . .secular culture = absence of the transcendent, scientism (no truth, no center, no structure)
. . .inadequate catechesis before and after baptism (focus on personal experience and emotions)
II. Catholics are indifferent to or disaffected with the Church’s teaching. . .
. . .a spirit of individualism, entitlement → “cafeteria Catholicism”
. . .decline of the “common good”
. . .the sexual abuse scandals → undermines moral authority, exemplifies clericalism
. . .the sharp polarities in our political life → mirrored in our ecclesial lives
. . .constant dissent from clergy, religious, and special-interest groups
III. Dominance of relativism makes preaching more difficult. . .
perspectivism: "From my perspective, X is right/wrong."
relativism: "You have your perspective on X and I have mine. There's no way to tell which perspective of X is really true."
nihilism: "Since there's no way to know whose perspective on X is really 'true,' we can conclude that there is no such thing as 'truth.' about X."
eliminativism: "If there is no 'truth' about X, then there's no reason to believe that there is any such thing as 'truth' about anything at all."
triumph of the will: "Your claim that there is such a thing as 'truth' is just an exercise of your power."
IV. Materialism/consumerism encourages. . .
. . .the erosion of our spiritual lives → focus on earthly treasure and security
. . .an indifference/hostility to the poor → “I got mine!”
. . .violations of human dignity: racism, violence → competition against the Other
. . .a decline in youth participation in the Church → more susceptible to secular culture
. . .anxiety about “success” and apathy toward holiness
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