NEVER COME DOWN FROM THE PULPIT WITHOUT HAVING AROUSED HEARTS TO CONTRITION AND LOVE

Eugene continues his advice to Fr. Mille while he accompanies the Archbishop of Aix and preaches in his place.

In the morning, prior to the ceremonies, I think you will be asked to give a brief instruction on the Sacrament of Confirmation the children will be receiving. Watch that you are not too long, include many things in a few words. Never come down from the pulpit without having aroused hearts to contrition and love.
In the villages, make the Bishop understand the usefulness of speaking the local language.

Letter to Jean Baptiste Mille, 21 April 1837, EO IX n 614

What a difference to the Church this would make if more preachers put this into practice!

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One Response to NEVER COME DOWN FROM THE PULPIT WITHOUT HAVING AROUSED HEARTS TO CONTRITION AND LOVE

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I find myself responding to this invitation to arouse hearts to contrition and love. Somehow with love contrition is a natural response; with contrition being born out of the acceptance of love.

    I am reminded of Eugene’s own Good Friday experience of Jesus on the cross; his total awareness of Jesus giving up his own life for him. The tears that poured up from within him – not contrived, they were tears of contrition and healing that readily flowed up from his heart.

    It was that love that he shared when he preached his first Lenten Homily in the Church of the Madeleine; it was that experience of God that he shared with the poor and wretched, those abandoned and ignored by society.

    “My brothers, dear brothers, respected brothers… you are God’s children, the brothers of Jesus Christ, heirs to his eternal kingdom… there is within you an immortal soul made in the image of God… a soul ransomed at the price of the blood of Jesus Christ, more precious in the eyes of God than all earth’s riches.”

    There was no judgement or condemnation, no ‘shoulds’ or ‘have-to’s’; only, the sharing from his heart of his own experience of God’s love. And he said it all in the language of those he was speaking to.

    What a difference to the Church and to the world this would make if we all tried to put this into practice by preaching – not just from a pulpit but also in how we live.

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