Why Do Passionate Preachers Make Some Catholics Squirm?

I recently had a terrific Mass experience that has me mentally trying to answer something, so I thought I’d share my befuddlement here in the hopes that you might have some answers.

Case in point: me, sitting in Mass, listening to an amazing homily by a passionate preacher. He’s on fire, and actually has been since he processed down the center aisle at the beginning of Mass. He doesn’t just “say Mass”, he proclaims it with his entire person. His prayers aren’t said by rote. This priest varies the cadence of his proclamations each time I hear him say Mass, emphasizing different words at different times.

I’m good, until I notice the couple sitting near me, snarls on their faces. At first I think their snarls are prompted by the music, but then I realize that it’s just that they are completely uncomfortable with this particular style of passionate preaching. They’d prefer to come to Mass, stick to the cadence they’ve always known, and not to venture out of their comfort zone. I think there are likely others like them in the congregation, but since I intentionally sit towards the front of any Church to avoid my built-in tendency to muse during Mass, I don’t see the other nay-sayers.

But I know they’re out there.

So I bring this question to you, my fellow Catholic blog readers: Why Do Passionate Preachers Make Some Catholics Squirm? 


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