ALWAYS KEEP OUR MISSIONARIES IN THE HUMILITY OF THEIR VOCATION
Continuing his letter to the Vicar General of Nancy about the style and method of Oblate preaching, Eugene wrote:
I will modestly reply by quoting a passage of our Rules which sets down the method that our Missionaries are to follow …
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 strive to be admired because of the sublimity of their eloquence and by the brilliance of their carefully prepared diction; we must follow a totally different route. We must seek only to instruct the faithful, to be attentive to the needs of the greater part of the audience, and we must not be content to break the bread of the Word of God for them, but also to chew it for them.
We should see to it that, when our sermons are over, they, instead of presuming to bestow foolish admiration on what they have not understood, will rather return to their homes instructed and well disposed, instructed, and able to repeat in their families what they have learned from our lips. (1818 Rule)
I wanted to transcribe this passage for you to commit you to always keep our Missionaries in the humility of their vocation and not expose them to do otherwise than what is recommended to them by their Rules.
Letter to M. Marguet, Vicar General of Nancy, 21 October 1847, EO XIII n 117
“A beautiful homily, a genuine sermon, must begin with the first proclamation, with the proclamation of salvation. There is nothing more solid, deep and sure than this proclamation.” (Pope Francis)
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