Saturday, July 26, 2008

Jesuit On Preaching

Priests tempted to avoid tough topics online
An excerpt.
with the online earthquake that followed Father Michael Pfleger's sermon in which he pretended to be Hillary Clinton, sobbing because of her losses to Sen. Barack Obama. "She just always thought that, 'This is mine. I'm Bill's wife. I'm white,'" said the priest, speaking at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. "Then out of nowhere came, 'Hey, I'm Barack Obama.' And she said, 'Oh [darn], where did you come from? I'm white. I'm entitled. There's a black man stealing my show.'" It's natural to watch these cyber spectacles while muttering, "What were they thinking?"
The answer is quite simple, according to Father John Kavanaugh of St. Louis University. Like many preachers before them, they fell for the temptation to "preach to the choir," their listeners who already agreed with them. "You're supposed to be a messenger. You're supposed to be the person who brings people the Good News,"
said the Jesuit, author of "Following Christ in a Consumer Culture" and other books on faith and ethics. "But instead of being the mediator, you can end up putting the focus on yourself. You can become the message and, before you know it, people can start basing their faith on you instead of God."
Link (here) to full story
Photo is of Fr. John Kavanaugh, S.J. speaking to Mother Teresa


Jesuit John said...

I took two classes with Fr. K. at SLU. He is a very popular prof.

He wrote a book called "Who Counts as Persons" - it makes an EXCELLENT pro-life argument.

Joseph Fromm said...

I am speculating, but I think that Mother Teresa has made a big impact on The Society. When watching Malcom Muggeridge's documentry the Jesuits, they seem to be "taken" by her.