June 16, 2021

1955 Encyclical of Saint Luke of Crimea (To Encourage Priests To Always Preach the Gospel Even Though They May Not Be Theologically Educated)

By St. Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and Crimea
(1955 Encyclical) 

To Encourage Priests To Always Preach the Gospel 
Even Though They May Not Be Theologically Educated
If the priest seeks for the grace of God, if the mind and heart of the priest are filled with the words of God, then his mouth will speak from the heart.

The Holy Spirit who dwells in the heart of the priest, He will preach through the humble mouth of the priest…

There are so many subjects for sermons in Holy Scripture that one can easily find them if one reads them. But few read them…

Remember, brethren, also Saint Seraphim of Sarov, who read the whole of the New Testament every week.

But some do have a hard time preaching… What about them?

I will remind them that on the back of the cross they wear above their cassock are written the words of the Apostle Paul: "Be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity" (1 Tim. 4:12).

If you cannot preach with the word, preach with other things.

Be fragrant in front of people with your life, your personality, with your love for Christ, with the spirit of Christian love, purity and deep faith.

If you do not have this fragrance, nor the gift of speech, then you will not be a shepherd, you will be an employee. And then what will be your defense before the terrible judgment seat of Christ?

The heart of a priest is a special heart, which must always shine from its faith in Jesus Christ.

The heart of the priest must be fire, shining from the light of the Gospel, shining from the love of the Cross of Jesus Christ.

The priest must understand that the Apostle Paul said these great words about him: "But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world" (Gal. 6:14).

And we must be crucified for the world and leave aside all our cares. There is only one care we should have: The preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Source:  Αρχιμανδρίτης Νεκτάριος Αντωνόπουλος, Αρχιεπίσκοπος Λουκάς – Αρχιεπίσκοπος Λουκάς Βόινο – Γιασενέτσκι, ένας άγιος ποιμένας και γιατρός χειρουργός 1877- 1961, έκδ. 1η, Ακρίτας, Αθήνα, 1999. Translation by John Sanidopoulos.