Posted May 12, 2011:
On Boring Homilies

by Blosius the Venerable, Benedictine abbot.

Are the homilies in your parish failing to feed you? Here’s how someone addressed this situation in the sixteenth century.

The servant of God should listen to the word of God and salutary doctrine with a ready mind, thirsting for spiritual light. And this disposition we should have without reference to the person of him who may be preaching or to the simple nature of the things he may utter.

In this way, we will secure lasting fruit from what we hear, even if we forget the actual things that were said.

And if we feel weary of listening to pious things, it would be better humbly to blame ourselves rather than the preacher.

Nor should we much care if we perceive certain defects in the preacher’s style, provided the truth be spoken. Let us attend to the truth itself, looking on it as coming from its origin and fountain, God, without curiously discussing the nature of the channel through which it has run its course.

Then the mind should be ready to put into practice all useful advice that may be heard or read, as far as this is practicable.

Here are a couple more ideas, this time, from the 21st century:

(1) During a homily you are having trouble listening to, try listening for a phrase or sentence that strikes you. Then just let your mind and heart sit with those words.

(2) Try reading and meditating on the Mass readings ahead of time. This helps you get more out of them and any homily.



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