Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Homily of Archbishop-elect Carlson on eve of his installation at Vespers

Archbishop-elect, Carlson (of Saginaw, MI) delivers a homily on the eve of his installation at Vespers - June 9, 2009 (Archdiocese of St. Louis).

Homily of Abp Carlson on the eve of his installation:

"In a special way I would like to welcome the members of my family, my brother bishops and archbishops, my brother priests and deacons, seminarians, women and men in consecrated life and invited guests from the civic and ecumenical community.

We celebrate this evening prayer on the occasion of the feast of St. Ephrem, a deacon and a doctor of the Church. St. Ephrem was known especially for writing songs to instruct the faithful, and for delivering homilies in verse. Rest assured, I will not attempt to imitate him on those counts!

There is, however, one point on which I would like to imitate him: he showed himself able to adapt to new circumstances. St. Ephrem spent much of his life as a hermit and monk. But near the end of his life left the quiet of the monastery to organize relief efforts for those who were sick and starving during a great famine.

As I now begin my ministry in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, the fourth diocese in which I have been blessed to serve, it is this sense of openness to new challenges and growth in holiness that I ask God to bless me. I ask for your prayers, and promise to pray for all of you as well!

Our reading this evening is taken from the third chapter of the Letter of James. The focus is on speaking and preaching. In the verses before the two we have this evening we are warned to guard our tongue and be aware of human weakness especially in speech. "If we can control what we say, we can control our whole body, James declares... the control of our tongue is the control of our very selves." (The Letter of James, Chapter 3)

As someone who is called to preach, along with my brother priests and deacons, I understand it as both a great privilege and a grave responsibility, which demands prayerful preparation and a sense of my own unworthiness. At the same time, we can never forget, as James states so well, as preachers and teachers the community calls us to a higher standard.

Or, to put it in modern language our actions speak louder than our words. I remember preaching at a youth Mass several years ago and after the service was finished a young man came up and told me what a "hard message I had shared." At first I was rather proud, but later in prayer realized it was a "hard word" and not a loving word because I wasn't living it myself.

...continue reading Abp Carlson's Vesper's Homily at St. Louis Catholic

Tomorrow is the installation. Follow these sources:

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!