200 YEARS AGO: PREACHING – NOISY GONGS AND CLANGING CYMBALS

As an outstanding preacher himself, Eugene had no patience with the flowery preachers who had style and played with words but had no solid content. His diary entries spare them no criticism, and in his Rule he wanted to ensure that his Missionaries never fell into this trap.

It should be understood that it is in direct opposition to the spirit of our Rule to aim at elegance of style in preaching, rather than solidity of doctrine.
Too many preachers want to be admired for the magnificence of their eloquence and the brilliance of their studied language; we must follow another way;

1818 Rule Part 1, Chapter 3, §1 Preaching

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One Response to 200 YEARS AGO: PREACHING – NOISY GONGS AND CLANGING CYMBALS

  1. Eleanor Rabnett says:

    I have been reading and rereading The Kusenberger Lecture for 2018 – Ron Rolheiser’s lecture on “The Oblate Charism Today”.
    No gongs or cymbals, no fireworks or fanfare and yet it carries its own eloquence, within it the grace of our shared charism, the Oblate charism, which is shared and lived out by all those who make up the Mazenodian Family. It touches and echoes the depth of my heart as it beats and invites me to continue to breathe in and out.
    I am reminded of Mary, our Mother – Maman – standing at the foot of the Cross – no loud or noisy words are needed. And I think of the Constitutions and Rules. Beautiful, simple, honest words to be lived. Constitution 7 and its Rules – all on “Proclaiming the Word” of God and it is followed by “Simplicity in Preaching” from the 1818 Rule: “Our one and only aim should be to instruct people… not only to break the bread of the Word for them but to chew it for them as well…” – just as Jesus did. There is an eloquence in the solidity of our doctrine. It is all that is needed.

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