Saturday, November 10, 2007

A second note on preaching

The great English poet, Dean of St. Paul's Cathedral, convert to the Church of England from Roman Catholicism, John Donne, wrote:

"Christ spoke Scripture . . . Christ was living, speaking Scripture. Our sermons are text and discourse; Christ's sermons were all text: Christ was the Word".

For those of us who preach, our homilies are discourse on the sacred text. Whereas, what Christ spoke and was is all text, all Scripture. Not surprisingly, Donne wrote it better than I ever could. Deo gratias! I think my earlier point is that discourse matters.

Many thanks to Deacon Owen Cummings, our retreat master, for instilling in us that, if liturgy is first theology, poetry is second theology. Sadly, I tend to be a plodding prosaic sort of writer.

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