Thursday, December 08, 2005

homiletical headaches

What's an exorcist to preach to the masses on a day like today?

Don't misread me. I appreciate and celebrate the Immaculate Conception as much as any of the 1.1 billion Catholics that may be aware of today's solemnity. I just have trouble speaking about it.

I find little middle ground between two extremes, both equally inappropriate. Either a soggy, sentimental sonnet extolling the real or imagined facets of a life (Mary's) we know very little about, or a cerebral theological thesis that ponders the metaphysics of it all while putting the congregation to sleep.

I did find, however, a very good homily for December 8 that I am mightily tempted to plagiarize at this evening's Mass.

There is simply no no longer any foundation - epistemological, theological, cultural - in folks that allows Catholicism to explain itself. It all comes across as fairy tale, Harry Potter-like stuff that, in any case, has no bearing on the concerns of real life.

The big challenge is communication. Opening a door to truth and relevance that has been nailed shut by the shallowness of our culture.

There was a time, you know, when all an exorcist had to do was scare the devil out of people... ;)