… There are few things more detrimental to the spiritual well being of a congregation than the stand-up homily. The stand-up homily, in case you don’t know, is a homily where a priest tries to get all relate-y to his congregation using jokes and pop culture references. Nothing is said that could be construed as confrontational or judgmental. It serves no purpose other than to entertain. It is really a dreadful spectacle to endure. I have no patience for the stand-up homily. It is a complacent thing that bears no real fruit.
When a priest faces his congregation and speaks boldly the Gospel truth and reaffirms the Church’s teaches in no uncertain terms one of three things can happen to the listener. Their faith can be reinvigorated by a powerful homily, a stirring can begin to develop where one never existed before, or it can fall on deaf ears. With a stand-up homily the first two are surely to never happen.
Last week I read a heart wrenching letter published online. The anonymous writer was moved to contact the priest after hearing his pro-life homily. She wrote of the life long guilt and damage a women endures after having an abortion. It’s an honest letter and one that deserves to be read.
“Seventeen years later, there has not been a single day go by that I haven’t wondered about the baby whose life was cut short because of a choice. I look at my children now with the knowledge of having robbed them the chance to have an older sibling that they have never even heard about. Knowing I took the only opportunity for the father of the baby to have a child of his own. Living with such mental and emotional distress that not only I, but my husband now has to deal with, and finally, wondering each day if I am truly forgiven and if I will be allowed into heaven after I die.
I can say with 100% conviction that absolutely nothing positive came from my abortion.”
Just imagine, if this women’s priest had given a stand-up homily we would be robbed of her powerful testimony on the soul destroying effects of abortion.