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Msgr. Charles Pope on strong preaching November 18, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, General Catholic.

This guy is really good.  Many priests would do well to take his advice, and for those that are already boldly proclaiming the Truth Christ has revealed through His Church, thank you.

Preaching is about saving before it is about consoling, and God makes this clear to Ezekiel and to every preacher. I think a lot of people think that preaching is supposed to merely please and encourage them. There is a place for that but good preaching also afflicts and provokes response. Jesus was more than willing  to provoke people and unsettle them. It is not a goal in itself. Rather,  it is the necessary outcome of lancing a spiritual boil or setting a broken limb. Protests, anger, and so forth are not necessarily the sign of failure. I’ve had people come to me and say, You once made me mad but you also made me think and I’ve come to understand what you were saying was true. A lot of times powerful preaching takes people through a cycle of: mad, to sad, to glad.

I think we have long enough tried the “nice guy” preaching that is extolled by many, as the model. But all through these past 40 years with that model largely operative,  Mass attendance has steadily dropped. Currently, as noted, only 27% of Catholics attend Mass at all any more. We have, collectively become a rebellious house…….

The fact is, I think there is a general hunger for a return to vivid and strong preaching. I think this is more common among younger people, many of whom have had enough of polite but abstract sermons that preach ideas more than unvarnished Catholic and Biblical truth. I observe a hunger for strong preaching. I look at how popular priests like Fr. John Corapi, and Fr. Bill Casey are. Lay people too like Scott Hahn and Patrick Madrid don’t mince words, they say it plain. Looking back who can ever forget the great Archbishop Fulton Sheen? He was a real hero to me and I think I’ve listened at least once to every thing he ever preached. He too made it plain and did not apologize for preaching the cross and repentance as a prelude to victory. None of the men I have mentioned are dainty  in any way.

Go read the whole thing.

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