FIYH 112-113: The Power of the Word

FIYH gives its readers a brief epilogue. As we head to the conclusion of the document, we find a reflection entitled, “The Power of the Word.”

[112] The pulpit of St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna displays an elaborate handrail in which are carved a detailed series of ugly, mythical creatures. The open mouths and oversized snouts of the beasts are there to remind tlle preacher of his inadequacies as he ascends the stairs. At the very top of the handrail, carved into the pillar that separates the stairs from the open, circular pulpit, stands a dog, jaws open, barking down at the ominous figures. The hellish beasts are not to enter the sacred place. The preacher has been enjoined to leave his sinful self behind as he prepares to speak God’s Word.

[113] The medieval artisan has captured in stone the inner tension of all of us who dare to preach. We are aware that the words we speak are human words, formed through reflection both on the Scriptures and on our personal experience of the needs of our community. Looking into the faces of the people who sit before us, we see those who are holier, more intelligent, and more creative. And yet they wait for us to speak, to preach, to proclaim and witness to the presence of God among us. Our theology tells us that the words we speak are also God’s Word. “What we utter is God’s wisdom, a mysterious, a hidden wisdom” (1 Cor 2:7).

(All texts from Fulfilled in Your Hearing are copyright © 1982 USCCB. All rights reserved. Used with permission.)

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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1 Response to FIYH 112-113: The Power of the Word

  1. thadeus says:

    I like the idea! I have often wondered about the reasons for the cycles we choose. Having summers off of school makes sense when you need to help out on the farm, or the school doesn’t have air conditioning. Not so much today. In the middle of summer most places in the U.S., people like to stay inside out of the heat.

    I especially like the idea of basing cycles on the liturgical year and have been trying to re-align my own thinking/calendar to Advent as the start of the year.

    It is an innovative idea you have, I hope that you are able to bring it to fruition.


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