This book is a series of meditations based on some homilies first preached to simple and good people. The end result is a number of profound meditations offered to the modern man living in a Church and a world "in decline"; that is, in times which the author describes as the "great apostasy" in a Church of the Catacombs;" an epoch of "ecclesiastical winter," when speculating about the End of Time becomes appropriate and quite natural. At the outset, this presents the author with an apparent conflict: does it make any sense to preach to a world where no one seems to have any intention of listening or where everyone seems ready to promptly reject the message? However, it does not matter that the attempt may seem pointless, because the true Christian preacher knows that he is the recipient of a mission, of a mandate, given to him by the Lord Himself; he is aware of the "devastating" effect of the Word of God Itself, beyond the disposition of the listeners to whom It is addressed.
This is a book of profound meditation. Its content is based on two things: on the one hand, the author is at the crest of his life and can already finally glimpse his arrival at his Homeland; he is filled, therefore, with the authentic wisdom that comes from a long life lived in a serious attempt to love God and faithfully serve His Church. On the other hand, the author bases his reflections, above all, on the courageous proclamation of the Word of God, taking into account both Its ontological and educational nature, and on the Tradition of the Church, without distorting or betraying them, which makes his arguments forceful.
The entire book also relies on the transcendental principles of the theory of love as postulated by its author and which reaches new developments in the book —as can be seen in the chapter dedicated to Pentecost, for example. The central role of the Humanity of Jesus Christ, a key point of the spirituality of the author, is also highlighted in all the chapters.
Thus, we reach the root and ultimate foundation of all the themes dealt with in this book which are, after all, those that really matter: Jesus Christ; the true Priesthood; Christian death; life understood as an invitation to the feast of divine-human love; the reality of the Holy Spirit; suffering and living the Cross; mystic Christian prayer; and more.
If Catholic preaching has always been the presentation of the Joy of the Good News, this book is a true song to that Joy and to the Only Hope that can be given to a World and a Church "in decline" and the true foundation for Christian Hope. This book is a song to that Hope. Very often, Joy, Love, Hope, and Nostalgia cannot be expressed through simple prose; therefore, the author frequently resorts to the aid of poetry, insinuating a world of feelings and realities that can only be intuited, never described. For this reason, Sermons for a World in Decline is also a book of aesthetic beauty.
Sermons for a World in Decline
In order to adapt Father Alfonso's works to new technologies and formats, these second editions have been made, in which the text is the same as the first edition, with the exception of corrected errors.