What does it mean to “speak from the heart”? Is it just enthusiasm and charisma? Pope Francis suggests something deeper: enlightenment.
I think the Holy Father is asking questions of the Church’s preachers. Are they aware of and formed by the Word? And not just the Word, or a specific interpretation of it, but by a wider view of the entire tradition. Certainly, it is impossible for any person to access all of Tradition. But is there openness to it?
144. To speak from the heart means that our hearts must not just be on fire, but also enlightened by the fullness of revelation and by the path travelled by God’s word in the heart of the Church and our faithful people throughout history. This Christian identity, as the baptismal embrace which the Father gave us when we were little ones, makes us desire, as prodigal children – and favorite children in Mary – yet another embrace, that of the merciful Father who awaits us in glory. Helping our people to feel that they live in the midst of these two embraces is the difficult but beautiful task of one who preaches the Gospel.
The image of two embraces: baptism and reconciliation. Do preachers cultivate these in their communities? Do believers see how each in turn comes to the fore at different times in their lives?
Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium is available online.