Wednesday, June 15, 2016

“Has the Word of God then ceased to be what it was described by the Apostle?”

Pope Benedict XV said that in an encyclical in 1917 ...

Something to think about, huh?

What follows are a few random excerpts from the 1917 papal encyclical, On Preaching the Word, as well as commentary by Joe Tremblay:

“Has the Word of God then ceased to be what it was described by the Apostle, living and effectual and more piercing than any two-edged sword? Has long-continued use blunted the edge of that sword?”
“If you detect any one for his own glory or for gain, abusing the office of preaching, you should at once remove him from that function.”
The criteria for choosing worthy men for the priesthood, according to Pope Benedict XV, were three-fold. First, the candidate was a man “who always fully conformed himself to God's will.” In other words, he had to be a man of virtue and zeal, putting God’s glory above his own profit. Secondly, “he will not avoid labor or trouble of any kind.” The Holy Father went on to say that such a man should not immoderately desire the comforts of life or seek his own ease rather than the good of souls. Like Christ and the Apostles, the man of the cloth should possess the spirit of sacrifice. As such, short-term sacrifices will deter him from long-term gains. In the third place, every priest and preacher of the Word should be a man of prayer. 
“(A)ll Christ's doctrines and commands, even the sterner ones, were so proclaimed by St. Paul that he did not restrict, gloss over or tone down what Christ taught regarding humility, self-denial, chastity, contempt of the world, obedience, forgiveness of enemies, and the like, nor was he afraid to tell his hearers that they had to make a choice between the service of God and the service of Belial, for they could not serve both, that when they leave this world, a dread judgment awaits them; that they cannot bargain with God; they may hope for life everlasting if they keep His entire law, but if they neglect their duty and indulge their passions, they will have nothing to expect but eternal fire. For our ‘Preacher of truth’ never imagined that he should avoid such subjects, because, owing to the corruption of the age, they appeared too stern to his hearers. Therefore it is clear how unworthy of commendation are those preachers who are afraid to touch upon certain points of Christian doctrine lest they should give their hearers offense.” - CNA

 So, anyway.  That covers a lot of ground, doesn't it.

For God and profit?

1 comment:

  1. Wow! No ands, ifs, or buts there. I'm saving this, too.


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