The original volume of Fr. Kraft’s collected sermons, Today We Encounter a Hard Saying: The Lord, the Scripture, and Us, is now available at Village Books. It can be found beside the 2nd volume, Nobody Reads Leviticus. Fr. Kraft’s work has garnered favorable reviews on Amazon, a few of which are shared below:
Fr. Kraft’s sermons are small treasures, and this collected volume is a real joy. I recently had a week to myself — wife out of town, kids grown — and I made a retreat of it, using this small volume as my guide.
The twenty-one sermons come from various spots in the liturgical year, and represent the oldest, and finest, tradition in homiletics. They are commentaries on the scripture, interpretations of the Word of God, rather than essays on success or character building or some new formula for instant closeness with Jesus. Fr. Kraft writes with intelligence and simplicity, and without showing off how clever he can be. The result is a sense of presence and immediacy. One can hear these sermons being preached to listeners who have read a bit and thought a bit, but who are not necessarily theologians or scholars.
A paragraph, from one of my favorites, on Doubting Thomas. “It is better to see then to hear. And this is so because the one who sees, knows — while the one who hears, believes. Put another way, in order for there to be a believer — one who hears — there must be one who has seen — and knows. The one who sees speaks of what he knows, and the one who hears shares — or participates — in what has been seen, by believing what the one who has seen tells him . . . And that is our hope, that we will pass from believing to seeing, from believing to knowing.”
There is so much here. A very challenging sermon on forgiveness, pointing out that nobody can forgive people who won’t admit they did anything wrong . . . another on how our covetousness can poison our gratitude . . . and then a sermon on The Secret, namely that in Jesus there are no secrets, only plain truths. Each of these sermons could have been its own book, but none of them need to be. That’s the critical balance. Like every really good Sunday preacher, Fr. Kraft demonstrates that each sermon must stand on its own, yet all are connected because they are drawn from the same deep well of Wisdom.
‘A gem of a book that will make you a better Christian with a deeper understanding of your faith.’
James D. Stambaugh
I have had the privilege of knowing a handful of profoundly Godly men in my life and Fr. Kraft is one of them. They were all humble, wise, compassion and loving. Fr. Kraft was blessed with the further gifts of a keen intelligence, the ability to articulate God’s truth clearly and is quite possibly is one of the most literate men I know. His work stands easily with the best spiritual writers of our generation. His work is not well known because he was a priest all his life and applied himself to his ministry. That he not see himself as a great spiritual writer is evidenced by the very existence of this book and his previous book. For they came into being because a loving astute parishioner who recognized his genius , transcribed his sermons and conversation and published them himself for Fr Kraft. But in doing so he gave us all a precious gift. The result is that we are drawn to the compelling truth of God’s revelation that transforms our minds, hearts, and souls into the behavior of our lives. Most of us would never see the insights in this book with a lifetime of reading the Bible, going to church, practicing spiritual disciplines , and praying. But we do not have to because Fr. Kraft has freely given them to us in this work. Please do yourself and your loved ones a favor and read this book. Taste and see that God is good all of the time, all of the time God is good.