The Anvil of God

Drawing Inspiration from the Preaching of Bl. Clemens von Galen

In a time when his people were suffering and felt helpless to change the course of world affairs, the Lion of Münster[1. To read more about Blessed Clemens von Galen, see Fr Daniel Utrecht, The Lion of Münster: The Bishop Who Roared Against … [Read more...]

What Direction Does the Church Give to Homilists?

Every Catholic has an opinion about how homilies ought to be preached. And while such personal observations and insights can be helpful, they do not provide a solid foundation upon which to build a sound understanding of what the substance … [Read more...]

Mass Attendance and Cura Personalis

The novel coronavirus pandemic resulted in novel dilemmas for Catholic parishes. In compliance with local health mandates, many parishes quickly augmented their technological capabilities to offer “virtual Mass” to provide members a safe opt … [Read more...]

Preaching Politics from the Pulpit

With the 2020 electoral campaign now behind us, candidates in close races strategize about how to garner votes among religious believers in two and four years. So, too, religious leaders will once again have to brace for political battle in … [Read more...]

Book Reviews – January 2021

God with Us: Encountering Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew. By Edward Sri. Reviewed by Lawrence Montz. (skip to review) The Lighthouse. By Michael D. O’Brien. Reviewed by K.E. Colombini. (skip to review) A Legacy of Preaching, Vol. I: Ap … [Read more...]

Book Reviews – June 2020

At Mass with Jesus on Calvary: Reflections on the Prayers of the Mass and the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist By Fr. Gene Martens, SJ. Reviewed by Fr. James Swetnam, SJ. (skip to review) Hope to Die: The Christian Meaning of … [Read more...]

The Call of the New Evangelization for Preachers

Although the new evangelization is new in several respects, its message is the timeless Gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ, following St. Paul, who writes, “What we preach is Christ crucified” (I Cor 1:23). At the heart of the pre … [Read more...]

“Many Shall Come from the East and the West”

A Comparison of the Preaching of Augustine and John Chrysostom

Introduction “Many shall come from the East and the West and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the Kingdom of Heaven” (Mt 8:11). The two great preachers of the fourth and fifth centuries — John Chrysostom, Bisho … [Read more...]

The Words Men Need to Hear

A Priest Speaks to College Seminarians

Speak only the words men need to hear, the things that really help them . . . (Ephesians 4:29) Introduction The effects of language—for good or ill—first occurred to me when I was five, during the summer before kindergarten. As my broth … [Read more...]

Lessons from a Patristic Homily

In learning how to craft homilies, it is worth studying past master homilists; from these masters, we can learn masterful techniques. Reading those who wrote in one’s own native tongue is, of course, a necessary thing: Newman would probably … [Read more...]

An October Mystagogy

A Proposal

We count people in October. Each year in the parishes of the dioceses of the province of Atlanta, we count the number of people who are attending Mass each weekend. The reason for the choice of this particular month has been lost to … [Read more...]

Early Fall Reading

The Concept of Woman: Volume III: The Search for Communion of Persons, 1500-2015. By Sister Prudence Allen, R.S.M., Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2016. 546 pages. Reviewed by Joshua M. Evans, Ph.D. Revelation. Catholic Commentary on Sacred … [Read more...]

Questions Answered

Question: Does a homily mean something other than a sermon? Online dictionaries seem to show them to be interchangeable. I have for years now believed homilies to be based on Scripture, and sermons might cover a range of topics, not … [Read more...]

What Lessons Do Thomas Aquinas’s Sermons Hold For Modern Preachers?

Son: “All the men who were ordained with me seemed to think that the faculty of preaching will come to them as a matter of course.” Father: “Then I pity their congregations.” —Canon Twells, Colloquies on Preaching It is strange to th … [Read more...]

Springtime Reading

  Proofs of God: Classical Arguments from Tertullian to Barth by Matthew Levering. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2016. Reviewed by Matthew K. Minerd, Ph.L. Speaking from Within: Biblical Approaches for Effective Pr … [Read more...]