Posted by: Thomas Richard | September 26, 2014

At HPR: “Lest They Receive It in Vain”

I wrote an article for Homiletic & Pastoral Review on-line magazine a while back, which now is published on their site, titled “Lest They Receive It in Vain.”  My hope and intention was to speak to an audience that included priests, deacons and bishops – clerical leadership in our Church – men who can effect change in things in the Church that need change.

Here is a little bit about the magazine:  Homiletic & Pastoral Review is an on-line magazine with the following self-description,

Founded over one hundred years ago, Homiletic & Pastoral Review is one of the most well-respected pastoral magazines in the world. Priests and laymen alike have relied on HPR for decades.
HPR is edited by Father David Vincent Meconi, S.J., professor of patristic theology at St. Louis University. Kenneth Baker, S.J., author of the best-selling Fundamentals of Catholicism and of the popular introduction to the Scriptures, Inside the Bible, served as editor of HPR for almost forty years and is now the magazine’s editor emeritus. His powerful monthly editorials will inform and inspire you. HPR features solid articles on every aspect of pastoral life and eloquent weekly sermons that illuminate through exposition of Scripture.
Faithful to the teachings and tradition of the Church for over a century, our readers know what to expect in each issue. Here are just some of the features of HPR:
~ First-rate articles by great Catholic writers on doctrine, spiritual guidance, morality and authentic pastoral practice
~ Deep insights into pressing pastoral issues of the Church’s life and mission
~ Stimulating homilies for Sundays and Holy Days by today’s outstanding preachers
~ Wise and practical answers to your questions from respected theologian and author Brian T. Mullady, O.P.

My article for HPR points, I hope clearly and strongly, to our need for radical improvement in adult faith formation in our churches.  I hope priests, deacons and bishops will read it!  I hope it will help them see clearly that formation in the Faith is necessary to a ministry that they do rightly consider crucially important: the sacraments and especially Holy Eucharist.

Please read the article – this is the link on HPR directly to the article: Lest They Receive It in Vain. HPR provides a way to leave comments – and of course comments can be left here on the blog as well.


  1. Dear Thomas,

    Thanks for the excellent article in HPR. I read it along with the first comment by a laywoman in the U.K. who also appreciated your article. Hopefully, some clergy will respond. I wonder sometimes if clergy realize the deeper needs of people. I wonder sometimes if people realize their own spiritual needs.

    As you pointed out, it’s a mystery more emphasis is not on “Adult” Faith Formation in every parish at this time in history. Parents are the primary educators and many do not know the Catholic Faith to be able to pass it on to their children. Many families are in crisis, when they could be examples of holiness to a world in crisis.

    How can we live holy lives if we neglect so much, our share in Divine Life received in Baptism?

    Come, Holy Spirit, kindle in us the Fire of Your Love. Enlighten our minds and strengthen our wills — clergy and laity — to do what we need to do, so we no longer receive the Grace of the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist, in vain. Our Lady of Light, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, pray for us.

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