Ars Praedicandi: Homily from the First Sunday of Lent

Pope Francis has stressed the importance of good preaching throughout his papacy. He has also initiated extensive discussions on good preaching practices through the promulgation of Evangelii Gaudium and the new Homiletic Directory. It is becoming apparent that there is a concerted effort to start a renewal of preaching within the Catholic Church. In order to call attention to this renewal and provide practical guidance for communities and pastors seeking to better their preaching, Pray Tell is introducing a new series titled: Ars Praedicandi – the art of preaching.

The goal of this series is to consistently post good sermons, homiletic tips and tricks, and other resources that can help preachers and their communities prepare their homilies. It is our hope that this series will be a place for dialogue on good and bad preaching practices. Keeping this in mind, if you feel that you have written a good homily, or if you have a video or transcript of a homily you found particularly good, please send them our way, and we will consider re-post them for others in this series. As always you can find our contact information under the “Contact Us” tab. Additionally, you may send any material to us through the “Non Solum Question Box” on the right-hand side of the home screen.

To begin this series we have a video recording of the homily Fr. Anthony Ruff delivered at the abbey church for the First Sunday of Lent. Fr. Anthony’s homily can be found on the Saint John’s Abbey webpage. Click on the link “02/22/2015” on that page to view the homily. His homily begins at 19:35 and concludes at 28:20.




  1. What seems different about this series, as opposed to existing “homily helps” sites, is that this one looks backward at already-given homilies, rather than providing resources, themes and “canned” homilies for upcoming Sundays.

    I look forward to some fruitful learning and dialogue.

  2. Wow, a homily under ten minutes! So it is possible? And Saint John’s doesn’t have the excuse that they need to clear everyone out for the next Mass. Looking forward to this series as well.

  3. Fr. Anthony, I really liked your homily – it provoked some reflection on my part.

    Thanks, too, for making the video available; I sometimes find that reading a homily text without experiencing it preached is like reading a song’s lyrics without hearing them sung.

  4. It would be helpful if the people posting homilies would give a brief description of their intended audience. A message intended for a seminary, university, or monastery crowd may or may not connect with people in a less academic setting. A detailed exegetical analysis or theological exposition may be of great interest in some places or to certain people, while other people during that same homily would be checking Facebook on their phones and waiting for Father to wrap it up already.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.