Future Priests of the Third Millennium

A little insight into the life of seminarians from various dioceses preparing for ministry as Roman Catholic priests, including daily activities, personal interests, special events, the spiritual life, news from the seminary, and almost whatever comes to our minds!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Homily Prep

We were told in our first homiletics class that beginning preachers need to spend about one hour of preparation for every minute that they will preach. I have found this estimate to be basically true when one accounts for time spent in prayer, writing, and practicing the delivery. Nevertheless, even with all of this preparation, there are still times when the preacher looks at the end result and says, "Ugh!" Such is the case with my homily for tomorrow morning. The reading is Matthew's telling of the Parable of the Talents. I have written a homily, I have done my homework, and still I look at it and am displeased. It is a good experience, I suppose. I can't have a brilliant homily every time, and when I am preaching every weekend someday soon, there will be lots of times when I have to say something even though I am not happy with what I have prepared. In these moments, preachers have to trust that the Holy Spirit is at work and that he will help us say something that is helpful to someone. Such is my prayer for tomorrow.


J. Thorp said...

Take comfort in the fact that perpetual brilliance can be a bit overwhelming for those of us in the pews. :) And while occasional brilliance warrants handshakes and backslaps, but if you do it all the time, it comes to be expected!

I'm playing. I'm know the feeling, in a way, and it's not my favorite. Keeps you humble, though.

Adoro te Devote said...

You know, though...it could be that you think it's awful, but those in the pew will think it's brilliant. Conversely, when you think it's the best thing you've ever written, it'll completely tank.

At my parish a few years ago a newly ordained priest was working with the young adult group, and told us that we should never compliment him on his homilies. This was advice given to him by a more experienced priest, reason being: even when he thinks he's doing well and even if people loved what he had to say, he can ALWAYS do better. (So it was that when he really droopped a bombshell we just got creative with compliments...) :-)

I'm sure you'll do well.

Jinglebob said...

Always remember, "Brevity is the soul of wit" "Less is more". Best ones I've ever heard were short and to the point and easy to remember because of it.

J. Thorp said...

Kinda wish I could've heard it, after all that ...

Jonathan said...

This past summer, people would compliment me on my homilies. They said that I was great. Of course, that was only because I was young, new, and they weren't tired of me yet.

The most (to me) backhanded compliment is "I always learn something from your homilies." I don't want people to learn something, I want them to be inspired to pray more or to change their life. But if they learn something, that isn't too bad either.

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