Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Tradition and Preaching: Back to the Future

By Dr. Jeff Mirus (bio - articles - email) | Dec 13, 2012

One of the tasks of the USCCB’s November meeting was to review and approve the American bishops’ first statement on preaching in some 30 years. It was approved by an overwhelming 227 to 11 vote, with only 4 abstentions. The original English text of this 54-page document will be published as soon as the Spanish translation is completed.

But Adoremus received permission to publish a few excerpts in its latest Bulletin. The excerpt which struck me most forcibly, given the lack of concern for Catholic continuity which characterized much of the Church in the West in 1982 when the last statement was published, was this one on the preacher as a “Man of Tradition”:

Along with a profound love of the Scriptures, the homilist should also have knowledge of and religious adherence to the Church’s Sacred Tradition and its essential link to Scripture. From the perspective of Catholic faith, the one Word of God is expressed both in Scripture and in the Church’s Tradition. Blessed John Henry Newman said that the teaching of the Bible is like a seed, which has gradually unfolded across space and through time. Theology, spirituality, the liturgy, the lives of the saints, the formal teaching of the Church, great Catholic art, architecture, and poetry—all of these constitute the unfolding of the Word of God within our Catholic heritage. Tradition along with Scripture, therefore, is an important source from which preachers can draw inspiration.

This particular passage does not seek to clarify the relationship of Tradition as a source of Revelation with traditions which develop as Christians live and implement their Faith in specific cultural contexts, both of which combine to from our Catholic heritage. But it is an excellent reminder for preachers to draw their inspiration not from the latest theories but from those traditions which have developed in harmony with Tradition, Scripture and the Magisterium, and which have become part of our heritage because they have stood the test of time.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($25,337 to go):
$150,000.00 $124,662.96
17% 83%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Denial of Service Attack: Success! December 19
Federal debt as a social-justice concern December 19
Another side of Francis: US-Cuba role shows Pope's diplomatic muscle December 18
Silly season: a Christmas approaches, a scholar questions whether Jesus ever existed December 18
The intrinsic immorality of torture: still not convinced? December 18

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25
Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch sign joint declaration, lament persecution of Christians CWN - December 1
Consistory for new cardinals scheduled for February CWN - December 11
Vatican report on US women religious calls for further self-assessment CWN - December 16
Pope brokered deal to open US-Cuba ties CWN - December 17