THOUGHTS ON PREACHING FROM LONG AGO EVEN UNTIL NOW:
Gregory of Nyssa said: “Be a careful observer of life; know how your people live and feel. (4th century)
St. Dominic said “Be learned. Take the preaching task seriously.” (13th century)
St. Francis of Assisi said: “Be simple. Love God. (13th century)
Our preaching committee offers these thoughts on being a preacher:
- A preacher isn’t afraid to be revealed, and bravely speaks truth to provoke a revelation.
- Preaching is the art of meeting people where they are.
- To revisit the presence of God is to preach in silence and wonder.
- Authentic preaching requires an attentiveness to and respect for the culture that surrounds u and the signs of the times that reveal it to us.
- Silence, solitude, sitting with the Word—key ingredients for good preaching.
Preachers give attention to the world as it is, to the people around them, to the situations that need healing, and to the Scriptures that support their efforts. Watching, reading, listening and conversing all assist in the education and transformation of a good preacher’s essential character and being. We list here a few resources for you as preachers. May you find help for any of your preaching efforts.
The Last Brickmaker in America – Sydney Poitier stars in this film about labor rights.
Under the Same Moon – Here we share in the struggle of immigrants.
Dead Man Walking – This focuses on the somberness and grief of the death penalty.
Invisible Children – This film documents the effect of a rebel group in Northern Uganda.
Whale Rider – Pai, an 11 year old girl in a patriarchal New Zealand tribe, believes she is destined to be the new chief.
Rabbit-Proof Fence – Three half-caste girls are taken from their families and taught to forget their families and their culture.
Hotel Rwanda – One man’s heroism during the Rwandan genocide of 1994.
Philadelphia – A dying HIV/AIDS patient is fired from his law firm because he is gay.
Blindside – true story of a young man who is adopted under unusual circumstances
God Grew Tired of Us – documentary on the Lost Boys of Africa
Grand Torino – redemptive actions associated with gang violence (language and violence)
The Boy in Striped Pajamas – story of friendship across class and cultural lines
Texts on Preaching
The Preaching of Pope Francis: Missionary Discipleship and the Ministry of the Word – Gregory Heille, OP. Liturgical Press, March 2015.
Connecting Pulpit and Pew – Karla J. Bellinger. Liturgical Press, 2014.
- The Help by Kathryn Stockett, set in Jackson, MS during the civil rights era
- 1,000 Cranes – creation spirituality
- When God Was Silent by Barbara Brown Taylor
- The Gift of Years by Joan Chittister, spirituality of aging
- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, reflecting on life under German occupation
The following links are practical helps to anyone who is preparing a homily or wanting to reflect more deeply on the Sunday readings.