Daily Archives: October 3, 2009

The Homily: I know that feeling

columban-About-that-sermon

You will have to agree that the above picture is an interesting choice to illustrate an article on Catholic priests and preaching. I must say I know that feeling. Listening to your average priest preaching his average sermon is doubley difficult when one is oneself a retired preacher. Professional criticism is always lurking in the wings. But what really irks me is not a question of homiletical skill, but the fact that whenever the 15 minutes taken up by the homily does not result in a better understanding of the text or a clearer proclamation of the gospel, I can only regard it as a wasted opportunity for evangelisation and catechisation.

The writer of the article, Columban Fr Paddy Clarke, suggests that we learn to pray for our preachers. He suggests that

whenever you attend Mass, say a short prayer for the priest as he begins to preach; if it does not change him, I believe it will help you.

Well, it would be a bonus if it changed the sermon too, but we get his point.

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