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It goes without saying that it is never permitted to receive even the least recompense for preaching, or the administration of the sacraments, or any other ministry.
1818 Rule Part 1, Chapter 3, §1 Preaching
The Missionary co-operator of the Savior must imitate the example of the apostles:
“Give as freely as you have received! Don’t take any money in your money belts– no gold, silver, or even copper coins. Don’t carry a traveler’s bag with a change of clothes and sandals or even a walking stick. Don’t hesitate to accept hospitality, because those who work deserve to be fed.”
“There is always the danger that we may just do the work for the sake of the work. This is where the respect and the love and the devotion come in – that we do it to God, to Christ, and that’s why we try to do it as beautifully as possible.” Mother Teresa
The central aim of preaching for Eugene was to instruct and to give a message that would lead people into a deeper relationship with God and one another:
Experience proves that it is possible to attain this desirable end, the only end indeed that we may lawfully set before us in this dangerous ministry, which so many vain and proud priests have exercised to their own misfortune and without obtaining the salvation of others.
It may be surprising to read of preaching as a “dangerous ministry”. When one considers the huge numbers flocking to the missions and all the emotion around the many conversions, the danger would have been for the Missionaries to take personal credit for it themselves and to forget that they were preaching as instruments of the Savior and His grace.
“You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips.” Oliver Goldsmith
We shall not attain it, however, unless we renounce our own personal glory, and repress in the depth of our hearts the vain praises of men; in a word, unless like the Apostle we preach Jesus Christ and him crucified “not with pretentious speech, but in the demonstration of the Spirit,” that is to say, unless we make it evident that we are penetrated with what we teach, and that we have begun to practice, before attempting to instruct others.1818 Rule Part 1, Chapter 3, §1 Preaching
We should see to it that, when our sermons are over, they, instead of presuming to bestow foolish admiration on what they have not understood,
will rather return to their homes instructed and well disposed,
instructed, and able to repeat in their families what they have learned from our lips.
1818 Rule Part 1, Chapter 3, §1 PreachingWhen we sit down to prepare a sermon, we need to ask ourselves, “What message do I want the people to remember clearly as they walk out of the church and go back to their daily occupations?” Then, everything in the sermon is prepared in the light of that goal with only one desire: to instruct and to give an unforgettable message that will nourish the lives of the listeners throughout the week.
“Happiness is within. It has nothing to do with how much applause you get or how many people praise you. Happiness comes when you believe that you have done something truly meaningful.” Martin Yan