"A man who governs his passions is master of the world. We must either command them, or be enslaved by them. It is better to be a hammer than an anvil." St Dominic
While preaching at the Eucharistic liturgy, with few exceptions, is confined to ordained men, much preaching in retreat centers and para liturgical settings is done lay women and men, and for those of us who have heard it, it is uniformly informed, powerful and challenging. The Dominicans especially have fostered this practice. Known as the Order of Preachers, they conduct workshops and seminars on preaching around the country in order to emphasize the importance of hearing a wide variety of preaching styles and voices so that everyday people might be attracted to the Gospel.
St. Dominic would have appreciated his followers efforts. Committed, like Francis of Assisi, to a deep reform of the church through simple living, care for the poor and careful teaching, Dominic is best known for his defense of the faith against the Albigensians. Successful, not simply because of his insightful and precise teaching, but because he was committed, like the Albigensians, to an ascetical life, Dominic appealed to ordinary people seeking to live the Gospel more fully.
It does not surprise people these days when Pope Francis encourages the church, especially its leaders, to live and preach more simply so that more and more people are attracted to the power of the Gospel lived with transparent joy and integrity. That women and men lay preachers, in the spirit of St Dominic, might lead this reform would be a wonderful gift to the church.
Today, pray for the ongoing reform of the church.
What do you think of lay people preaching?