Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of March 3, 2008
Too many words obscures the Gospel – preacher
No need to filter God's word – Cantalamessa
By JOHN THAVIS
"In the age of mass communication, the Church too risks sinking into the straw of useless words."
- Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa
"Too many human words, too many useless words, too many speeches, too many documents," he said.
"In the age of mass communication, the Church too risks sinking into the straw of useless words, pronounced just for the sake of saying them, written just because there are magazines and newspapers to fill."
Cantalamessa said preachers would do well to stick to the "simple and plain word of God" rather than filter it through "a thousand distinctions and clarifications and additions and explanations."
These explanations may even be correct ones, but they end up weakening the impact of the Gospel in people's hearts, he said.
He said preachers should also be careful not to allow their talks to be exploited for political or partisan purposes.
Where the preacher has no realistic chance of bringing his listeners to the point where he can say, "Convert and believe," then it's probably better just to witness the Gospel in silence, he said.
When writing sermons or similar talks, Cantalamessa said, preachers should leave room for divine stimulation. Rather than praying afterward, as if to ask God to bless their words, they should pray beforehand for inspiration, he said.
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