Apologetics and Evangelization: How to write about...?

I have to write a piece on the Paternoster for my church, but I am a bit stuck…

Being “stuck” seems to bring up an interesting question… we certainly do a lot of writing in these forums… and we certainly pray a lot…

But HOW do the pros write prayerfully about pre-established “formulary” prayers, such as the Paternoster?

I’m assuming it is like they start off with some apologetics and then move into an evangelization mode?

But still is there some kind of outline they follow?

Is this for schoolwork or for religious education? You are supposed to write a “piece” but what more specifically? A personal reflection? An explanation? A scriptural exegesis? A research paper? These are all very different things.

For reference, the entire last section of the Catechism is devoted to prayer, and specifically to the Our Father. I suggest you start there.

It’s for a small pamphlet. I have decisive authority over the topic, although I will have to get it all approved.

I wanted something contemplative, yet inspirational. Not sure where that falls on the categories you mentioned. Evangelization seems to be more of a persuasive/supportive thing, which is why I want to get some direction on it before submitting anything - lest I come across just the opposite! So any help much appreciated.

Instead of inspiring it seems to be coming out more like explanatory. I think the inspirational part must come from somehow relating the prayer to our daily lives… but then the problem of relevance comes forward…

Discussing how something is relevant… as if to inspire people… ughh, I am not good at it at all…

I have Aspergers and I seem to come across more Vulcan-like than Catholic-mercy…

I like this assignment, which is good - because I get to “use my words”… rather than just mechanically saying the prayer… or doing an explanatory analysis of it… but… it is kind of hard when I have to think of what to say to people to inspire them with the Glory of God…

St Ambrose meditates on the meaning of ‘daily bread’ in the context of the Holy Eucharist. And St Augustine, saw the Our Father as a beautiful connection of the Holy Eucharist with the forgiveness of sins.

That’s great! :slight_smile: I love both St Ambrose and St Augustine, so I will try to find the sermons you are referring to…

But I’m trying to think of something like how Priests must form their most effective homilies?

Like 1ke said, there’s different ways of writing… so there must be some way they teach Priests to write their homilies… like a form they must generally follow or something…

This piece I am describing is going to go in the pews for people to meditate over at Adoration… so - it’s kind of difficult to think of what to write… They could come to Adoration with any problem, concern, or disposition… so what would really help make for something good to say to them about the prayer, so they get the most out of their Adoration sessions?

I guess they could just look at the writing and set it aside, if they dont like it… but the idea is supposed to be motivational and helpful, not off-putting…

Is this making sense?

Probably the best thing I have found so far… not a Priest here, but this seems to be the way they are trained to write…

https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=homiletics

You need to decide what you want your audience to know. That has to be something you know in the first place. So - what is it? What do you know about the subject of your writing that your audience does not, or does not remember?

Then, and only then, think of HOW you will communicate. There are hundreds of ways. I have just been reading a grammar book so when I looked at your question I wondered about the words used in the prayer and released that apart from pronouns there seem to be only two adjectives: ‘holy’ and ‘daily’. But focussing on on those words you could work your way to what you want to say. Or you could could point out there is only one noun used twice: heaven. Or you could meditate on the apparent redundancy of ‘this day our daily bread’. And so on…

1 Like

Why do you pray the Our Father?
Why should others pray it?
How can you help them?

The Holy Spirit should be your guide if you want people to be inspired. It is the Spirt after all who will be doing the inspiring. This can be daunting, because the Spirit knows you intimately and may call on you to present things you do not want to show.

Cardinal Newman’s motto was cor ad cor loquitor, heart speaks to heart. Take that as a guide. What comes from your heart is what is most likely to go to another person’s heart. It may not affect everyone, but it is likely some in your parish are like you and will respond.

There are some basic techniques, but they are secondary. Simplify. Make 3 points. Etc. They all take a back seat to showing your faith and letting the Spirit guide you.

1 Like
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.