An apology to the readers of this blog for the infrequent updates since I went off to get hitched. I’ve been enjoying married life and trying to find purpose and focus in my new vocation. Jackie and I are planning to start teaching a middle school class in August, and we’re also going to be active in the youth ministry by planning a retreat and other activities.
We’ve been finding the rhythm of growing closer to Christ as newlyweds together, slowly but surely. This morning we listened to the Sunday scriptures before Mass and listened to Father Robert Barron’s “Word on Fire” podcast homily afterwards. Three times and the scriptures really start to sink in. The message of this morning’s texts is about following Christ completely and utterly, an inspiring message I hope to reflect on more this week.
The best opinion column I read this week came from Catholic Vote writer Emily Stimpson. I don’t know anything about Emily except that her post really made me want to shout “YES!” many times. Here’s the first of her points below, you can read the rest on Catholic Vote.
1. Preach the Faith.
On Sundays, don’t tell me to be nice; tell me to be holy. Don’t tell me to trust God; tell me who God is. Don’t even tell me to be faithful; tell me what faithful means. Explain holiness. Explain sin. Be specific. Preach on what lust, gluttony, selfishness, laziness, pride, anger, and vanity are, why they’re bad for me, and how to avoid them. Preach the Creed. Preach the saints. Preach the story of salvation history. And preach it in all its fullness.
While you’re at it, let go of this idea that homilies are a separate thing from catechesis. They can’t be separate right now. The majority of Catholics sitting in the pews on Sunday don’t know the basics of the Faith. And the only place most will learn them is from a homily. Don’t waste your precious 10 minutes in front of a semi-captive audience repeating fluff we can get from Oprah. Use the Scriptures to illuminate Tradition, not obscure it.