EG 157: More On Resources

Vasnetsov_Maria_MagdaleneWhat, did you think Pope Francis was going to cite in Evangelii Gaudium the latest monthly publications? The kind of resource he’s talking about here and in the previous section are the ones for which a good preacher will need to work:

157. Simply using a few examples, let us recall some practical resources which can enrich our preaching and make it more attractive. One of the most important things is to learn how to use images in preaching, how to appeal to imagery. Sometimes examples are used to clarify a certain point, but these examples usually appeal only to the mind; images, on the other hand, help people better to appreciate and accept the message we wish to communicate. An attractive image makes the message seem familiar, close to home, practical and related to everyday life. A successful image can make people savour the message, awaken a desire and move the will towards the Gospel. A good homily, an old teacher once told me, should have “an idea, a sentiment, an image.”

This is different from many American preachers who rely on humor or folksiness. Western culture is a visual culture, so if a preacher can pull that image out of a set of words, so much the better.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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