On Preaching, Then and Now

“… this kind of talk is no longer in fashion. Even preachers are composing their sermons so as not to displease.  They may have good intentions, and the good deeds may follow; but the result is that few try to amend!  But why don’t sermons influence many to give up public vice?

Do you know my opinion?  Those who preach are very cautious; they don’t have the great fire of love of God that the Apostles did, and so the flame has little power to enkindle.”

Saint Teresa of Avila wrote this in her autobiography, The Book of Her Life, in the mid 16th Century.

She goes on to say that what preachers should stress is that people should “abhor their lives” and not worry so much about their reputations, deciding instead to stop worrying about losing it all for God.  “Those who in fact risk all for God will find that they have both lost all and gained all.”

Preaching (including my own) suffers the same defect in every era it would seem.  Saint Teresa would have been a useful homiletics instructor, both then and now.

And, her observation that us priests (including me) lack sufficient fire is also keen.  

“I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!”  Luke 12:49.

May it be so, as the Savior commands.

About Father Nathan Reesman

On Twitter: @FatherReesman Father Nathan Reesman is a priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, ordained in 2006. He is the Shared Pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish, and also of Saint Frances Cabrini Parish, both in West Bend, Wisconsin. Father Reesman is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, obtaining his Bachelors of Arts in Political Science in the year 2000. He completed his seminary studies at Saint Francis de Sales Seminary for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee in 2006, obtaining a Masters of Divinity. Father Reesman completed post-graduate studies at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake, Mundelein, obtaining a Doctor of Ministry in 2019.
This entry was posted in At Random and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s