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Pride makes the preacher preach new things that it may not repeat those things which were of old. It is not important to the haughty man to impart the truth nor for him to seek after things too deep. He removes the truth from things revealed. 

St. Ephraim




Blessed are those who truly wish to know the commands of Christ. This remarkable hunger and thirst is sincere if we are willing to hear the word of God with patience and love.

Action is better than mere knowledge; but it is necessary to know before acting. One must know exactly what he wishes. We must first learn so that afterwards we may fulfill.

If you truly thirst and hunger, you will not be content just to listen during homilies. You must seek it every moment as something rightly due you.

Preachers are told to preach ceaselessly: "Show my people their sins. If you do not, I will require his blood at thy hand." The apostle says "For 3 days and 3 nights, I did not cease to admonish everyone of you."

The apostle was so fearful of this obligation that he preached day and night. "Preach the word...in season and out of season; reprove, entreat, rebuke. "In season..." i.e. when people are willing to listen and "Out of season..." even when they are not willing.

The word of God must be offered to those who are willing to listen; it must be forced upon those who are averse to it. "You must double with good deeds what you have received in word."

You must feel it when your dosage of God's words is delayed. The body is fed three times a day; and the soul is fed once a week?

There must be a desirable restlessness for the words of Scriptures. For when God sees that the hearers are slothful because of worldly distraction and the preachers are equally slothful in preaching the word of God, God "...sends a famine on hearing the word of God."

So preachers must preach well, and you, the hearers, be gentle in your obedience and persevere in good works.

St. Caesarius of Arles Sermo



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