The word of God

I am fortunate to live in a big parish and, given that it includes a Jesuit house, we are certainly not short of clergy. Nor are we short of sermons. Some of these are excellent. Some turn out to be poor. So in my mind’s eye I know what a good semon requires. What is your experience?

Today I consider what general tips I would use to advise a preacher. I am certainly not an expert sermoniser but as someone who for several years was a professional public speaker I do have some experience of what might be needed. So here goes.

First point, and most essential, point. Start by deciding your objectives in terms of your congregation – not in your own terms. In what ways do you want to improve their spirituality? In what ways do you want to leave them thinking constructively? In what ways do you want to improve their knowledge or their understanding? Make a short list and make sure that whatever what you decide to say, and how you say it, matches up to your objectives.

Try to make your message original. By that I mean you must develop your own insights. Platitudes will look after themselves. In your ordained life you have thought much about spiritual progress. As you are an unique individual you may well have seen aspects of spirituality which are particular to you. These may be a gift to your listeners. One good idea is more powerful than a series of ideas.

Consider structure. How are you going to get them to move forward in their seats when they hear your first words? Are they always clear about the shape of your message, because you were clear about it first? Avoid expressing your message in several different ways – keep your examples few and short. Please. please don’t go round and round saying the same thing in different forms. Your congregation is not stupid – they can get the message the first time, if you are clear enough. A two minute sermon which says something worthwhile is better than a ten minute sermon which says everything three times.

Finish your sermon with a brief, but clear, summary – which invites them to make your message their own.

About Quentin

Science Editor, Catholic Herald. Portrait © Jacqueline Alma
This entry was posted in Quentin queries and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to The word of God

  1. Horace says:

    Quentin is lucky!
    We have a young, intelligent, educated parish priest, generally active and well liked by parishioners, but unfortunately he is a Nigerian – and although his English has greatly improved during the last couple of years – when he gives a sermon few, if any, of his parishoners can understand what he is saying!

    • David Smith says:

      One wonders who chooses to send and receive these missionary priests.

      On the flip side, you have priests sent to Hispanic parishes in the US whose Spanish is so bad that the congregations can neither understand them nor identify with them.

      And if this is happening – and clearly it is – one has to wonder in how many other ways bishops are causing direct damage by their bad decisions. Tone deaf and insular.

  2. David Smith says:

    In the Western world, the mainstream media produce a continual barrage of stories meant to elicit shock and outrage in readers, listeners, and viewers. Without favoring one side or another in these manufactured emotional storms, sermons could provide instruction in seeing beyond the provocations, providing a wider and deeper perspective, teaching both tolerance and critical understanding. The typical listener in the pews is likely already to be focused on these issues and troubled by them. Addressing them in a positive, mature manner could help him to defuse their venom and place them in a perspective much healthier and more Christian than that in which they were initially introduced.

    Of course, there’s a chance that no matter how carefully the preacher works to avoid taking sides, parishioners who have already become intensely emotional partisans will interpret an attempt to defuse them as taking sides. Thus, when a priest decides to take on this task, he’ll need to be prepared for accusations of improper partiality. But if a priest tries to avoid addressing all media-created issues that trouble his flock, he’ll be placing himself in a safe bubble, apart from the messy and bothersome real world.

  3. galerimo says:

    Set aside all the crafting of good rhetoric and effective communications. And please not a word about “slick”. This historically loaded term “Preaching”, should read instead as the Prophetic role of Jesus within the community.

    It is not for education – though in saying that I have to recall that survey of a few years ago, which showed how, in one of the most evangelized continents of the world, no more than 40% could recall four out of the ten commandments and 12% believed that Joan of Arch was Noah’s wife!

    Jesus as prophet is very obscured in our Churches; this is due to our creation and adherence to the clerical state which absorbing, as it does, all ministries, thereby diminishes them.

    No one else receives the prophetic function within our community accept the cleric.

    Breaking open the truth of scripture, like the breaking of bread, gives a clear recognition of Jesus in our midst and it needs to be done more by the listening process than “preaching”.

    How much we have relegated the readings, and the Bible, in recent Catholicism to a dead letter.

    When Paul refers to the living Gospel he is speaking not of Christian writings, which was mostly non-existent in his time, but of human experience lived under the influence of the Holy Spirit in light of Jesus’ example.

    The Word of God gets substituted by the records. And God’s Word is not that.

    So, if it were ever possible, I dream of the example of a woman exercising a prophetic ministry in the Church. More attentive to the Holy Spirit as she engages through prayer and adoration with the memory of Him, guided by Scripture prior to and during her standing up in our gatherings and at Mass.

    Such a Prophetic role, as is always the case both in Old Testament and New Testament times, and manifestly in the case of Jesus, would be always critical of and mostly counter to the culture in which we live. Far from the “thought for today” style.

    Not in a way that denies our culture but points to ways like repentance, revolt, hospitality and much more –ways that are in recognition of God in our midst and ways of serving in our world as His disciples, a church guided by the Spirit of God.

    50% of the clergy in this country are from overseas and that blessing is accompanied at times with the difficulty mentioned by Horace above.

    For more than five years I have not been able to understand much of what my priest has said at Mass – (I read the homily on the Internet before I go).

    But I often think of those who first “heard” their mass in missionary countries, long ago in the thick, broad accents from remote parts of Ireland and say to myself, “sure God help us all”.

  4. David Smith says:

    From an article by Fr Joseph Illo in the current issue of the Herald:

    // Homilies are expected to be good enough for publication and website posting //

    Excellent.

  5. Nektarios says:

    If the Holy Spirit has given one the gift and calling to preach the Gospel and the whole counsel of God then let them faithfully do so.

    Quentin’s against repetition but in sermons, it is a bit like the advice given to Army officers. ‘Tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you have told them.’

    Reading Galerimo’s posting, it is clear he is commenting about preachers. That has been the case for centuries by people who do not have that gift of the Holy Ghost. If you are a true Christian, you will have your own gift(s) of the Holy Spirit, find out what it is or they are and exercise them.
    For some, this may be rather difficult as the clergy have assumed all the gifts to themselves even though most do not have such a gift, and so are denying those with the gifts of the Holy Spirit in the Church with such gifts as to preach the Gospel. This is to rob the people of God their birthright in Christ in the Church and makes beggars out of everyone and a mere pawn in their ecclesiastic game which is far removed from the Apostolic Doctrine, Teaching and Practice they brag about that they, the clerics are the sole heirs.

    Concerning Jesus our Lord as a Prophet – He was filled with the Holy Spirit. He did on occasions do so, but it is not the main thing to note. He was the fulfilment of Prophecy concerning Him as Saviour and Lord, as Messiah and as Emmanuel.

  6. Hock says:

    It is not always understood by congregations that all sermons are to be based on the readings of the day especially the Gospel. There is little flexibility to take a different path so for those expecting some kind of treatise on the problems of the world/ Church/ Society then they should be disappointed, unless the readings can be used in a direct correlation to a particular issue.

    • David Smith says:

      // all sermons are to be based on the readings of the day especially the Gospel //

      Whoa. That’s very limiting. And almost certain to be deadly dull.

  7. John Nolan says:

    Strictly speaking a homily in the Novus Ordo ‘should be an exposition of some aspect of the readings from Sacred Scripture or of another text from the Ordinary or from the Proper of the Mass of the day … ‘ (GIRM 65) . That does give the priest some leeway. For example, there is material to be explored in the Collects now that they have a more-or-less accurate translation (this would scarcely have been feasible when the pre-2011 texts were in use).

    I would venture to suggest that it is usually helpful to preach on the first reading; one of the problems with the 1970 lectionary is that it has little meaning for most congregants since it is not contextualized and few Catholics have read much of the Old Testament. I find it more interesting to be told something I didn’t know before than to hear yet another exposition of the Prodigal Son or the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes which does little more than repeat the text.

    • David Smith says:

      // I find it more interesting to be told something I didn’t know before than to hear yet another exposition of the Prodigal Son or the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes which does little more than repeat the text. //

      Surely. Little classes in Scripture. But they ought to be well taught. That almost certainly requires training. I seem to remember that one of Andrew Greeley’s complaints was that American seminaries didn’t teach preaching.

  8. Nektarios says:

    It must be twofold. Preaching to those who are outside the Church and Preaching to those who are believers.
    Who is a real preacher? They are fewer than one thinks, about 1 in 10,000 is called of God to truly preach. One who faithfully proclaims the Gospel and also faithfully preaches to the household of God, over time, expounding from the Scriptures, for there is no other real authority, the whole counsel of God to them.

    Preaching is a gift of God. It is a calling of God to a person to serve first the people of God and preach to the wider world. It is quite specific and while we must sermonize, it must also be of the Holy Ghost and faithful to Scriptures.

    A Preacher sent by God is not usually a Bishop or a cleric. Preachers are a gift and sent to the whole Church, not prescribed what to preach on any given day. That is to think more of organized prescription as to what to preach on any given day than real preaching in the freedom of the Holy Spirit.

    • David Smith says:

      // Who is a real preacher? They are fewer than one thinks, about 1 in 10,000 is called of God to truly preach. //

      Surely preaching can be taught. Rhetoric is taught. Well, it used to be.

      But John and Hock, above, tell us that the Catholic Church forces the sermons to be about nothing but the officially selected Scripture reading of the day. No wonder that whenever I attend mass with my wife at our Jesuit parish, I’m bored stiff by a ritual that simply drones on forever, neither eloquent nor beautiful.

      Well, there was a priest, now retired, who was worth listening to. And that brings me back to your point, I guess. A rare few can do it well, even if limited by the boss to a few prescribed scraps of Scripture.

      • John Nolan says:

        Actually, I pointed out that a homily should (not must) reflect the texts of the Mass of the day, Ordinary or Propers; not simply the lectionary readings. Also, since sermons were traditionally preached outside of Mass, and even outdoors, the preacher could develop his theme since he was not interrupting the liturgical action.

        By the way, the idea that the homily is part of the liturgy is a Novus Ordo conceit not justified by tradition. It has led to homilies at weekday Masses, and (horror of horrors) even homilies at Vespers.

  9. Geordie says:

    Many sermons or homilies often include an episode from the preacher’s life. That’s okay now and again but I would prefer not to have the confessions of a preacher too often. The sermons become centred round the preacher and not about the Word of God.

    I agree with John Nolan that it is more interesting to be told about something you didn’t know; but there may be people in the congregation who haven’t got the advantage of age and experience and will find the sermon instructive. A lot depends on how much you have studied and learned during a long or short life.

  10. Geordie says:

    Why do I have fill in my email address and name every time I post a comment?

    • David Smith says:

      // Why do I have fill in my email address and name every time I post a comment? //

      You can avoid that by creating a WordPress account. (WordPress is the software behind this site.) On my iPad, there’s a little bit of text that pops up near the bottom-right corner of the screen. Tap that (try tapping both on the left side and on the right side – there seems to be a difference) to be taken to a screen that will let you create your account. Once you’ve got your account and used it to log in, you’ll have to log in again only rarely.

      • Geordie says:

        Thanks David. Normally I just press “Post Comment” and it goes.

      • David Smith says:

        Having said that, today this WordPress blog refuses to recognize either of two WordPress accounts I’ve used successfully in the past. WordPress recognizes at least one of the logins, but this blog does not. Annoying. So I’m trying to post this without logging in.

        A situation’s arisen for me in which I’ll have to choose which website-writing platform to use for a local project. After a continuing string of difficulties here, I will probably avoid WordPress.

  11. Nektarios says:

    All preachers sent of God into the world to communicate the Gospel, and to the Church, the whole counsel of God are humble people, if not they were not sent by God.
    If a preacher relates anything of their lives to the Church it is to like our Lord, to identify with all his Christian brethren.

    Any preacher worth their salt will be steeped in the Scriptures, in the Apostolic Doctrine, Teaching and Practice. Being sent of God, he will have the Holy Spirit to lead and guide him. They would not preach without that but be silent.

    Many pastors who have charge of a congregation of believers often find times of blessing and long periods of faithfully plodding on with little or nothing happening.

    All preachers who are faithful and sent of God are men of Prayer, that is the powerhouse of their ministry.
    Many preachers who are sent of God will suffer many things for the sake of the Gospel as our Lord instructed them.

    I suppose one needs to ask, is the chap leading the Church, preaching to the Church have these prerequisites that tell you they are a preacher, pastor or clergyman sent of God, or just someone trained and sent by the institution who they know will not rock the boat?

    Preachers will rock the boat, shake you from your comforting illusions and cosy half-truths but for the body of Christ, they are precious. They are faithful first to Christ and the Gospel and the whole counsel of God and will be faithful towards your soul.

  12. Hock says:

    I am stunned by those posters who fail to see that the scriptures are a source of learning and that even if there is a repetition there is always something new to be gleaned from them. In dictating that the content of the homily has to be based on the readings of the day it largely removes the danger of a priest/ deacon saying something that is ‘off the wall’ and perhaps scandalising their listeners.
    Another good reason ( according to the rules,) for lay people not being allowed to give the homilies.

    • Nektarios says:

      Hock
      What you say is such an old ecclesiastic argument and is self-serving. As you point out it creates a division between, hierarchy, clergy, and laity. Where is the authority in Scriptures or from the Apostolic doctrine, teaching and practice? Gods people are one, under the analogy of the body. There are other reasons for it, it was for the sake of the Roman obsession with law and order imposed from on high. Self-serving for the hierarchy alone and their petty power-mongering game.

      • FZM says:

        What you say is such an old ecclesiastic argument and is self-serving. As you point out it creates a division between, hierarchy, clergy, and laity. Where is the authority in Scriptures or from the Apostolic doctrine, teaching and practice? Gods people are one, under the analogy of the body.

        Motes and beams? There are ways of criticising ecclesiastical structures that are old and one dimensional as well.

        Using the analogy of the body, not all parts are eyes, feet, hands etc. Clergy, religious and laity are divided by the kind of roles they have or tasks they fulfil. This kind of division in Christian communities dates from times before Latin Christianity so can’t be something imposed by Romans (unless Romans includes Greeks, Jews, Egyptians etc.)

  13. Nektarios says:

    FZM

    I have already mentioned the gifts in the Church: ‘If you are a true Christian, you will have your own gift(s) of the Holy Spirit, find out what it is or they are and exercise them.’

    Let us be clear, these gifts of the Holy Spirit are different functions within the one body of Christ, the Christian Church. They do not divide but denote a gift(s) of the Holy Ghost.

    Laity is not a gift of the Holy Spirit, but a division created by clergy.
    Clergy denotes a function within the body of Christ, not a division. These divisions over time, have come to mean very different things from the Apostolic template.
    The same applies to the gift of Bishop is very different in function today from its original Apostolic template as well.
    Where they have departed from the template, has led to a class of Bishops, clergy and laity. The first two classes think they have the right to rule over the Household of God, whereas the laity is reduced to being a mere pawn in their ecclesiastic games and have no power, this is to rob them of their heritage in Christ. the beginnings of that can be traced to the 2nd Century AD, By the 7th century AD, these divisions and power structures were formulated and entrenched.

    Bishops and clergy exercise their power through the auspices of their head, the ecclesiastic superiors of their particular denomination.
    What they are all forgetting including laity, is their Head, which is not institutional religious set-up, a grave error, but Christ Himself, one body and One head.

    The move away from the local church with a Bishop and Elders with gifts recognised by them all, to a national Church and on to one global Church is unworkable unless enforced by these self-appointed leaders who do not participate at the local level at all, don’t know them or even care.
    Their care is this well thought out an ecclesiastic system to be imposed on others so the one world church idea would be imposed without any say so from the whole Church.

    Where such structures have been built up, posing as Apostolic in origin when clearly it is not.

    Lastly, there seems to be some problem with my criticism of ecclesiastic structures. Let me correct you on this point. I am not interested in criticizing such structures perse, but the need to reform such structures.

    That reform can only take place with the authority of the Head, Christ Himself. The only authority He gives to the Church is the Apostolic Doctrine, Teaching and Practice.

  14. galerimo says:

    Can you imagine, having heard the Beatitudes from Jesus himself, and his affirmation of “love God and love your neighbour like yourself”, seen Him raising the dead, heard His stories and having him explain them over and over again?

    Can you imagine running away when they came to take Him away and murder Him, and then eating breakfast with Him on the beach after He Himself rose from the dead? Can you imagine that?

    That’s the Gospel. Not the record of the Gospel – the actual Breaking Good News .

    Well the most shocking part is that after all that – living, breathing and seeing Jesus, they all ended up locked in a room, saying their prayers in fear that the baddies would come and get them too.

    That Gospel – which we have turned into a lectionary, and into a book featuring a neat division between the old story and the new story, chapters and verses and God help you if you don’t read it they way I think you should!!! Dead letters. That’s our Gospel.

    Just as dead to us as the life of Jesus, the living Good News, obviously was dead to his contemporary followers – in their stuffy room observing their Jewish “weeks” rituals. Despite all they had seen and heard and felt. Just like us traipsing into our big buildings.

    What makes the difference, both then and for us now is God’s Holy Spirit.

    That’s what brings everything, everywhere, every moment, to life. And how right Jesus was when he said, just as well for us that he should go and the Spirit come.

    I cant understand a word my “priest” says, and I usually have to listen to someone, behind a public address system, reading “scripture” who obviously likes the sound of their own voice sooo much.

    It is all just the same old dried up sticks.

    Now and then I feel God’s Holy Spirit, more often than not, far from the lectionary and sticky pews and the stuffy old congregation to which I belong.

    When it comes to the word of God, whether I have been one of those who saw it face to face, with my own eyes or have to hear it from a crazy book, or from the lips of a guy with an accent from God knows where –

    When it comes to the “word of God”, Quentin, – come Holy Spirit.

    • David Smith says:

      // I cant understand a word my “priest” says, and I usually have to listen to someone, behind a public address system, reading “scripture” who obviously likes the sound of their own voice sooo much.

      It is all just the same old dried up sticks. //

      Yes, so obvious and so irritating, yet many or most of the hierarchs seem persistently to blind themselves to it, just as they have been blinding themselves for at least a half century to the sexual rot over which they preside. There’s certainly fuel here for another Reformation, or, since Catholicism today has nowhere near the cultures-wide importance it did in the sixteenth century, for something similar. So sad.

  15. Nektarios says:

    David Smith

    Sorry, you are having problems with WordPress. Technologies always have their cliches, just a pity it is happening to you. Glad your postings are still getting posted on the blog.

    It is worth remembering the so-called Protestant Reformation, the word ‘Protestant’ was used as a slur against those involved with the Reformation who were all Catholics.
    None of them actually wanted to leave the Church, but to reform it from within of its excesses. This exposed the Administration and rather than confess to it, they hounded them and persecuted them and often killed them.
    How unchristian and evil acts those were. Why did the Administration do that? It was to silence people and power and money. They succeeded in their aims unfortunately but lost their faith it would seem imposing all sorts of ecclesiastic rules from their ivory tower at the Vatican.

    Like today, with the excesses of the Administration, let”s call them, are forcing faithful Catholics to separate and set up independent Catholic churches. This is taking place in Northern Italy from my information and other places. I cannot imagine with what heavy hearts they have separated and for what reasons.

    I can but conclude that the present Administration is incapable of reforming itself.

    But I am concerned for those who have separated and set up independent Catholic Churches, let history serve you well.
    Preach the Gospel and to the faithful believers within, the whole counsel of God. That is a coming back to following the Apostolic template set down by the Holy Apostles in doctrine, in teaching and in practice. For in that God will bless!

    • FZM says:

      It is worth remembering the so-called Protestant Reformation, the word ‘Protestant’ was used as a slur against those involved with the Reformation who were all Catholics.
      None of them actually wanted to leave the Church, but to reform it from within of its excesses. This exposed the Administration and rather than confess to it, they hounded them and persecuted them and often killed them.
      How unchristian and evil acts those were. Why did the Administration do that? It was to silence people and power and money. They succeeded in their aims unfortunately but lost their faith it would seem imposing all sorts of ecclesiastic rules from their ivory tower at the Vatican.

      Its hard to describe Calvinism as just about reforming excesses, it was advocating major theological change and is a kind of excess of its own.

      The main reason the so-called reformers (to borrow some conventional French terminology) had any success was because of their influence with secular lords and princes, who then persecuted, hounded and often killed those who refused to accept their version of reform. How unchristian and evil those acts were?

      They succeeded in their aims but lost their faith imposing all sorts of strange sectarian ideas and attitudes and making the path to atheism much straighter and easier.

      • Nektarios says:

        FZM
        I agree killing anyone is a sin. I would also remind you, secular lords, and princes were initially under the control of the Pope.

        Concerning Calvin, he was not right on everything either, but he gave no instructions or was involved with the so-called Protestants killing anyone, nor was Luther. Your last sentence I said is trying to turn what I said on its head.

      • FZM says:

        I agree killing anyone is a sin. I would also remind you, secular lords, and princes were initially under the control of the Pope.

        That is false. Medieval popes may have claimed some kind of universal papal monarchy at different times, that is different to it existing and the opposite not being the case; that Popes were often under the control of kings and the emperor.

        Concerning Calvin, he was not right on everything either, but he gave no instructions or was involved with the so-called Protestants killing anyone, nor was Luther. Your last sentence I said is trying to turn what I said on its head.

        In the case of Luther there is the notorious pamphlet exhorting German lords to slaughter by any means possible rebellious, heretical peasants. Maybe he did not personally command troops doing that, but he seems to have been strongly in favour of it and eager to see it carried out.

        As far as Calvin goes he never got involved with anything like this but he wasn’t against burning or executing heretics either, so he shared a common view of many Western Christians of that time.

  16. Nektarios says:

    Quentin’s preamble on preaching and what he would advise has elements that are OK, otherwise, it is a very mechanical method, not God’s methods.
    The preacher has to be called of God to the task. For those in ministry, it would do you well to go through the OT in Hebrew seeing the ways God calls persons as preachers. Also, see in the NT the way God calls his disciples to Him.
    Again, in the NT see the teaching of the Holy Apostles to those called into the Kingdom of God.
    You will see it is a far cry from peoples’ ideas of calling to the ministry and believers today, with the exceptions of course.

    I wonder reading this, do you have a call of God to Preach? Are religious institutions which are man-made organisations passing as a Church, the ones alone to discern if one can be a preacher or not? They don’t like preachers.

    If one is thinking they have a calling of God, let me as you, can you go and do anything else?
    If you can, go and do so, for you have not received such a calling from God to Preach or be a preacher. I have had to advise some people over the years on their notion to be a preacher without knowing or realizing what it all entails.

    If that has not put you off, let me ask you, do you feel the constraint of the love of God for your fellow man in their plight as lost souls. Does such a constraint of God lead not also fill you with the state of the Church today seeing the needs within it for preaching the whole counsel of God to them? Does such an understanding cause you to weep for them; does it not drive you to your knees in prayer?
    Do feel the constraint of the Holy Spirit on your life to go forth and preach? If you have all this, you may possibly have such a calling to Preach.

    Public speaking as is Quentin’s experience depends on what he outlined in his preamble, preaching is not a matter of public speaking nor on what he outlined were necessary elements.

    And a word to the other members in your local Church. You may not have the gift of the Holy Spirit to Preach, but as a child of God, you will have your gifts to exercise in the body of Christ.

  17. Nektarios says:

    Quentin’s preamble on preaching and what he would advise has elements that are OK, otherwise, it is a very mechanical method, not God’s methods.
    The preacher has to be called of God to the task. For those in ministry, it would do you well to go through the OT in Hebrew seeing the ways God calls persons as preachers. Also, see in the NT the way God calls his disciples to Him.
    Again, in the NT see the teaching of the Holy Apostles to those called into the Kingdom of God.
    You will see it is a far cry from peoples’ ideas of calling to the ministry and believers today, with the exceptions of course.

    I wonder reading this, do you have a call of God to Preach? Are religious institutions which are man-made organisations passing as a Church, they being the ones alone to discern if one can be a preacher or not? They don’t like preachers.

    If one is thinking they have a calling of God, let me as you, can you go and do anything else?
    If you can, go and do so, for you have not received such a calling from God to Preach or be a preacher. I have had to advise some people over the years on their notion to be a preacher without knowing or realizing what it all entails.

    If that has not put you off, let me ask you, do you feel the constraint of the love of God for your fellow man in their plight as lost souls. Does such a constraint of God see the needs within the Church for preaching the whole counsel of God to them? Does such an understanding not cause you to weep for them; does it not drive you to your knees in prayer?
    Do feel the constraint of the Holy Spirit on your life to go forth and preach? If you have all this, you may possibly have such a calling to Preach.

    Public speaking as is Quentin’s experience depends on what he outlined in his preamble, preaching is not a matter of public speaking, nor on what he outlined were the necessary elements.

    And a word to the other members in your local Church. You may not have the gift of the Holy Spirit to Preach, but as a child of God, you will have your gifts to exercise in the body of Christ. EXERCISE THEM!

  18. John Nolan says:

    Nektarios, the idea of ‘independent Catholic churches’ is oxymoronic.

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