Monday, September 22, 2008


I am going to let it all hang out here for a moment. I go to church every single Sunday. Most Sundays I go to the same church and I hear the priests assigned to that church expound their spiritual views from the pulpit of that church almost every Sunday. The problem that I have is that these guys think that they are fooling me into thinking that the reflections that they put forth come from the depths of their own souls. Most times, they do a fair job of assimilating the material. There are times when they really give themselves away. Last Sunday was one of those times.
It was a Sunday when the celebration was really special. It was in honor of the saint who was the patron of the Missionary Congregation to which the preacher is attached. It was a well organized celebration. This individual came to the pulpit and started off by looking for the right words to open his oration. He finally almost got his mind around it, but then had to drop his gaze down to the crib notes that he had prepared for the occasion. This went on for 15 minutes. This missionary who has been dedicating his life for nearly 25 years to the same community didn't have enough personal conviction to communicate the core of his vocation to the parishioners in the pews without crib notes. He came to the pulpit unprepared and staggered through a miserable 15 minute display of searching for his place on his crib-note sheet.
You may think that this was a one-time occurrence. Wrong. About a year ago one of the missionaries from this parish came to the pulpit and intoned that the gospel for the day made him think of his relationship wih his father. He then proceeded to struggle his way through his notes trying to impress us that he was sharing a deeply moving episode in his life and that of his father. For all that I cared, this story could have been written by Ernest Hemingway. If there was a connection between it and the gospel story of the day, it got lost in the feeling of insult that was conveyed by the fact that this individual could not testify honestly to a meaningful event between him and his father in relation to the Gospel.

If this type of ignorance doesn't impress you, let me ask you to consider the bozos who come to the pulpit and dig out a story that they have found on the Internet that they think is going to illustrate the point of the Gospel. You know the type...the cute little dog who is blind or the poor little cross-eyed boy who is bullied at school... They do this despite the wonderful stories that come from the Old Testament readings of the very same day. They ignore these because they are too ignorant to understand what the Church wants to teach through the structure of the Sunday readings.

This is wrong. The people in the pews deserve to be informed about the revelation of God through the Sacred Scripture. This can only be done through priests who are sincere, honest and impregnated with the spirituality of the Liturgy as it is intended by the Church. The instruction of the faithful cannot be accomplished on a steady diet of "canned" presentations.