The growing awareness of the importance of preaching is a sign of our times. In the past decades, conscious that a renewal of preaching is essential for a renewed evangelization, many seminaries have implemented homiletic courses. However, there is still a real limitation of good and systematic resources in order to learn the theological depth and practical elements of the art of preaching.
The Art of Preaching: A Theological and Practical Primer aims to fill that gap. It explores the theological understanding of the homily, lessons from classical and contemporary rhetoric, the relevance of preaching for the life of the Church, highlighting recent teachings of the Magisterium, and it presents the incarnation as the foundation for preaching, understood as an essential aspect of the priestly life and mission.
This primer also offers a simple and effective method for the preparation and delivery of homilies, illustrating this by the example of brilliant preachers and exploring the idea of preaching as locus theologicus, i.e., the privileged place for the exercise of theology today. It is in deepening in the value and importance of preaching that theology can be renewed as a living and essential part of the daily life of priests. Seeing the homily not as a burden but as an occasion to fulfill the priestly identity will offer the opportunity to embrace the preparation for preaching as a key for unity among the many tasks and demands of pastoral life. In the homily prayer, study, and work come together.
The Art of Preaching will also provide a selection of homilies from the great preachers of the Church, organized chronologically, with brief introductions and commentaries that highlight what those homilies teach us for our preaching today. Only learning from the best preachers can we hope to preach effectively in our times.
"Approaches to homiletic preaching are far too often governed by private theories about what a homily ought to be and do, so Rev. Cardo's approach brings welcome objectivity to this conversation without abandoning that subjectivity which is a necessary element of the preaching ministry."~Rev. Charles Fox, Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit, MI
"It is refreshing to find a book on preaching that draws upon the heritage of great preachers in the Church, that discourages moralism and favors instead promoting an encounter with the mysteries of the faith in all of their beauty and depth, and that draws on the experience of those of us who listen to homilies Sunday after Sunday. The anthology of great homilies from the Tradition is an added boon!"~John C. Cavadini, McGrath Institute for Church Life, University of Notre Dame
"Many of us who are deacons, priests or bishops find preaching to be a great joy; others of us find it to be a heavy burden. All of us who preach will find this book by Father Daniel Cardó to be helpful and encouraging. Because of that the Laity who listen to us will also be grateful for this book. The Art of Preaching will be a wonderful gift for all of your clergy friends"~Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap., Emeritus Archbishop of Philadelphia
"The homily is an amazing opportunity to evangelize, form, educate, and inspire, but the preacher who truly desires to be effective must embrace the fact that doing so requires effort. Fr. Cardó has done a great service for those who preach by gathering sound advice on the key factors that contribute to effective preaching. The Art of Preaching is highly recommended."~Rev. Andrew W. Menke, Executive Director, USCCB Secretariat for Divine Worship
"Fr. Daniel Cardó has produced a unique volume showing the reciprocal effects of preaching and priestly life. He shows how well prepared and delivered preaching enlivens and deepens priestly spiritual and apostolic life which in turn deepens the spiritual and humane quality of preaching. More importantly, he explains how to achieve this spirit-filled life-giving quality of preaching through multiple illustrations of his practical advice, and concludes with fourteen of the best homilies ever delivered in Christian history. As someone involved in priestly development and ongoing formation, I highly recommend this book to priests and deacons and above all to seminarians seeking to raise the quality of both their preaching and priestly vocation."~Robert J. Spitzer, SJ, President of the Spitzer Center and The Magis Center of Reason and Faith
"As a professor of homiletics, [Cardó] has experience teaching seminarians studying for the priesthood the art of preaching, which he neatly organizes in this book, aiming to provide the theoretical and theological foundations of preaching, along with very practical advice and examples."~Catholic News Agency/EWTN News
" The Art of Preaching: A Theological and Practical Primer demonstrates the wisdom and skill of someone with much experience of preaching and of teaching preaching. The book is clear in structure and layout, balanced in approach, incisive in judgment, and extraordinarily helpful."~Adoremus Bulletin
"Preaching is vitally important, and priests (and deacons and seminarians) need all the support and encouragement they can get. The Art of Preaching certainly communicates the significance of preaching, and thus will certainly enthuse the reader…this is a good exhortation for academically minded priests, showing them how to be genuinely theological and reflective, but doing so in the context of parochial preaching."~Faith
"An important and useful study, greatly enhanced as it is by a series of well formulated "Questions for Reflection" at the end of each section or homily—a feature that is certainly attractive if this text is used, as intended, as a seminary course book. A real strength of the author's approach is what we might call the view from both sides of the pulpit. How important it is to consider preaching not only in its delivery but also in its reception. This book goes a long way in achieving this. The teaching of homiletics, and preparation for preaching more widely, will greatly benefit from the timely publication of this book."~Antiphon