Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Homily: Daydream Believer

So, two little thoughts about homilies, one today, one tomorrow.

Have you ever daydreamed during a homily? Maybe it's just me.

But just in case you have, did you feel bad? Like, OMG, I completely ignored what the priest was trying to say. Guess I better stick around and go to the next Mass.

Ok, so maybe you didn't stick around but you had that little twinge -- "Bad Catholic! Bad!" No treat for you.

But then one day in my preaching class our teacher gave a whole different take. He told us, as homilists your job is to help people come into contact with the Word of God. And once that happens for them, their job isn't to keep listening to you anyway, to understand your argument or the scriptures or agree with you, but to follow the direction in which their imaginations are being drawn. Maybe the invitation of the Word for them this week is to bring to God a relationship they're in, or to sit with some agitation or grief, or to savor their first kiss. When you consider that most people probably don't take a lot of time for quiet prayer during the week, shoot, their need for that time then for spiritual daydreaming is all the more significant.

The homily, in other words, is meant to be a set of offramps.

So if you're looking for a little greater insight, each week after Mass take a minute or two and note where you got off, and where you ended up. It might very well be that somewhere in there is where God is leading you...


Jane Marie said...

For years I've traveled with paper and pencil in my pocket. I've been known to take notes during mass...following those off ramps if you will. Once you get past the disapproaving looks from the people around you, it's a great way to follow the given off ramp throughout the week.

Jeanne Brady-McDermott said...

Jane Marie,
Thank you for your notepad...A dear friend of mine.. carries hers.. shall I say 'religiusly'... and copies all kinds of things down..0=)
Jim, as always, you are spot Catholic guilt for daydreaming in Church... I will simply enjoy the view..But can I ask you a ?.... in Preaching class.... how did they teach you to home in on the thing that was bother us the most...? I cannot tell you how many times I am sitting.. quietly... unless I am next to your Mom.... =) and the homily strikes right where I am..I look around.. to see if everyone has heard the same thing.... ouch... no... it was truly meant for me....thank you for your blog...a much needed Advent pick me up... ( and place me gently down.... ) Jeanne