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To bring out the fact that, despite its recognition of man's weakness and man's sin, this religion in its principles and in its history, has ever given to man a position of honor accorded to him by no philosophy nor civilization of non-Christian character, is one of the highest privileges as it is one of the first duties of the sacred orator. In the parables of the Savior Himself or in such works as that marvelous book on the dignity of man, Taufer's "Following of Christ," we can find not only the recognition of the rights of human nature but also the highest regard for them. The whole religion of the Incarnation, with its dogmas and its precepts, works for the individual soul's advance, not by denying or rejecting the inherent rights and dignity of human nature, but by building upon these and by rearing that which is natural unto a supernatural stature.

Thus, too, the student will understand that the message of the Catholic preacher is one that has its bearing upon the social life of man. The spoken word is meant to influence especially the individual, but since society is made up of individuals, religion must have its effect upon the whole body. Such pronouncements by the supreme authority in the Church as the encyclical, Rerum Novarum, have called attention to the fact that to-day and for the Catholic priest, there are great social questions. In fact, it would be difficult to find any matters which so disturb the minds of men as these of a social character. The evident duty of him who is one day to expound the Christian Faith is to render himself familiar with the nature of the social evils which are to be combated; with the various remedies that are suggested by men of different religious convictions from himself or of no such convictions; with the bearing of Catholic principle, Catholic philosophy, Catholic theology upon society and its life; in a word with. all that will bring out what is most needed, the Christian improvement of economic conditions.

Here is not the place to insist upon the necessity for the priest of greater and broader activity in the field of social science; but taking the recognition of this necessity for granted, it will be admitted, I am sure, that the preacher could accomplish no greater good than that which he would achieve by throwing light into the dark places of human existence, and by showing that the

Christian religion, far from retarding, helps toward the coming of the reign of Christ in society.

The student will see further that the message of the Catholic preacher is one that has its bearing upon even the political life of man. A characteristic feature of our age-and of the immediate past is the great advance of liberty. Political society is impregnated with the idea of freedom. There arise again and again. those who maintain that the Christian religion is the foe of all liberty and is therefore unfitted for these enlightened times. To be capable of explaining true liberty; to present the Christian faith as the religion of liberty; to show that liberty, the freedom to do right and not to do wrong, must exist under authority; these are demands placed upon the preacher, and demands which can be met only through a deep study of the history of philosophy and of civilization and a thorough grasp upon the genius of Christianity.

In view of this message to the world, homiletics must ever insist that its pupil study not only religion but likewise the philosophy and the utility of religion. Pope Leo's encyclical on the Study of St. Thomas strongly advocated the former. The positive exposition of theology can never be neglected but this is an age of the how and the why. The temperament prevalent in the world outside the Church, especially amongst those who are deeply versed in secular science, is a temperament of doubt. Say what we may, the fact is there. In order that religion may penetrate the darkness, it must be presented not only in the light of its own splendor but with the added light of philosophy. Now, as in the days of St. Paul, it is necessary that we show "reason for the faith that is in us," and one of the most powerful reasons is to be found in the utility of religion. The preacher can use a most powerful instrument for truth and goodness, in that he can show that not a single teaching of revelation or of the Church. is for the mere intellectual acceptance or enjoyment of man, but rather that every dogma of the faith has man's utility for its object.

Nor is the homiletic value of education completely grasped when those most important fields of theology, of Scripture, of Church history, with their relations to human life, have been

covered. The preacher should aim to be what is styled a "well read" man; one conversant with general classical literature and especially with that of his own tongue and his own day. From the treasury of books can be drawn much material with which to clothe the body of religious thought. If we were asked what literature, in particular we would recommend, we would say the writings of the great poets. The poet is kinsman of the orator. Both are called upon to give expression to the most sublime thought. Familiarity with such men as Shakespeare and Tennyson and Browning, and, in our own time, with such a poet as our own Francis Thompson, cannot but awaken and stimulate the mind and imagination of the preacher of God's Word.

To be thus equipped with religious knowledge which is not dead but palpitating with life; to be able to stand before a world suffering in the throes of sin and under the tyranny of false ideas and wrong principles, and to offer with prophetic insight and spiritual vision the ever-living remedy of Christ's teachings; to demonstrate to the present age that the religion of the Divine Nazarene does satisfy the needs of the individual heart, does answer the cries of the social body, and does recognize the political aspirations of the people, these are the high requirements that must exist in him who through the Word would establish and maintain-the Kingdom that is within. All these considerations naturally lead to one conclusion: An appreciation of the dignity and of the office of the teacher of homiletics. It would be hard to find any position that carries with it greater responsibility.

Consider the effect of a sermon-and countless incidents are not lacking to him who has engaged in the public ministry-and the power of the spoken word is apparent. Consider how the soul of one wandering and wavering has been strengthened; how another has been brought from actual unbelief to faith; how from still another the scales of prejudice and bigotry have been removed; how one who is face to face with a fiery temptation has been given the power to resist; how another who had thrown himself into the delirium of sin is brought back like the prodigal of old; how faith is confirmed and unbelief routed; how virtue is maintained and vice conquered; how hope is enkindled and despair crushed; how nobler souls have been inspired to enter upon

a life of sacrifice and denial for the sake of others; how peace has been brought to those who have known only troublous and difficult ways-consider all such effects of the Word of God, and surely we must see that the man who is to train others for the accomplishment of these things must be one who gives the very blood of his heart to the task.

Or consider again the extent of preaching in this one country of the United States. The most recent statistics show that there is in this land a Catholic population of over fourteen millions. The total number of priests is 16,550; while the total number of churches is 13,204. From these figures I think a conservative estimate of the total attendance of Catholics at church every Sunday would be eight millions. When we remember that in most city churches there are preached more than one sermon and that therefore this offsets the fact that in some mission churches a sermon is preached only every other Sunday or even more infrequently; when we bear in mind that in many places besides the morning sermons, one is preached in the afternoon or evening, I think that we may safely say that there are preached in the Catholic churches of the United States every Sunday at least 13,000 sermons. The living Word of God addressed to eight millions of people in 13,000 sermons every Sunday! What a power if rightly used! And, by reflex consideration, what an awful responsibility rests upon the men behind the guns; upon those who, in the seminaries of our land, prepare this army of the Word.

What then may we say are the qualifications of the professor of homiletics? He must first be a discerner of men, in view of the individualities with which he has to deal; he must be a spiritual man, loving human souls, that his zeal may be contagious; he must be himself a capable preacher that the art of delivery may not be despised; he must be a man of the broadest culture that he may inspire others to study; he must be a man of experience that he may show others the relations of knowledge to life; he must, with all these, be a man so devoted to his calling that he makes it his life work. For him the teaching of homiletics can be no side issue; a task to which and from which he rushes

on the latest and earliest available trains; but a task which he looks upon as a sacred duty to God and human souls.

The seminary that places the science of homiletics in its due position of honor among studies; that sets aside sufficient hours in the week for its proper cultivation; that chooses a professor capable in every respect, will send forth its men not all great orators perhaps because such are born-but all intelligent, able preachers who, possessed of the grace of heaven, will fight valiantly with the sword of the Word against sin, will stem the tide of infidelity, will preach the Gospel to the poor and will do their noble part in the establishment of Christ's Kingdom.

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