Did Your Sunday Mass Preaching Sound Like a “ChatGPT” sermon?
I get the impression that this ChatGPT do-dad is little better than an electronic Ouija Board, and, therefore, something Catholics should avoid.
I’ll admit, however, that I haven’t tried it (and do not intend to do so). Nevertheless, according to Fr. Z’s blog, one of his followers got this Chat Critter to compose a sermon, which you can find here (the 2nd comment). Here is the full text (a paltry 453 words; don’t read while operating heavy machinery):
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this Third Sunday of Easter, we gather together to reflect on the Word of God as we continue our journey through this Easter season. Today’s readings offer us valuable lessons on faith, repentance, and discipleship. Let us open our hearts to receive the teachings of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
In the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles (3:13-15, 17-19), we hear the powerful testimony of Peter, who boldly proclaims the resurrection of Jesus Christ to a crowd in Jerusalem. He reminds them that they had denied Jesus and called for His crucifixion, but God had raised Him from the dead. Peter urges them to repent of their sins and turn to God, so that their sins may be wiped away.
This message of repentance and conversion is as relevant today as it was in Peter’s time. We are all sinners, and we all need God’s mercy and forgiveness. Let us follow Peter’s example and turn to God with contrite hearts, asking for His grace and guidance as we strive to live a life of holiness.
As St. Augustine reminds us, “God has promised forgiveness to your repentance, but He has not promised tomorrow to your procrastination.” Let us not delay in turning to God, but rather seek Him earnestly and without delay.
In the Gospel reading (Luke 24:35-48), we hear the beautiful account of Jesus appearing to His disciples after His resurrection. At first, they were frightened and thought they were seeing a ghost. But Jesus reassured them that He was not a spirit, but rather had risen from the dead. He then opened their minds to understand the Scriptures and the prophecies that foretold His suffering, death, and resurrection.
Just as Jesus revealed Himself to His disciples, He reveals Himself to us in many ways, especially in the Holy Eucharist. As St. Thomas Aquinas teaches us in the Catena aurea, “In the Eucharist, the same Christ is present that suffered for us, and rose again; the same that ascended into heaven, and will come again at the last day.” Let us approach the Eucharist with reverence and faith, knowing that we are receiving the very body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.
As we continue our Easter journey, let us remember that our faith is not based on human wisdom or cleverness, but on the power of God’s Word and the reality of Christ’s resurrection. Let us be witnesses to His love and mercy, and let us seek to live out His commandments in our daily lives.
May the grace of God be with us all, and may the Holy Spirit guide us on our journey of faith. Amen.
If You’re Still Awake . . .
You’ll notice that the fabricated sermon has decent syntax, coherence, and even amalgamates various Church sources (St. Peter’s epistle, St. Augustine, etc.). Then again, if you possess a discerning taste for writing quality, you may also notice the Chat Critter’s sermon . . . IS BORING AS ALL GET OUT!
It’s so lame I just had to end a sentence with a preposition to underscore the point.
As one of Fr. Z’s other commenters noted, the “sermon” is abundantly cautious and offers nothing substantive to the specific spiritual concerns of any given parish (or individual). It’s polite, semi-astute, scholarly, and . . . a flaccid snooze fest.
Though, I must admit, those prose seem vaguely familiar. Where else have I heard sermons like these?
Does Your Priest’s Preaching Sound Like ChatGPT?
Perhaps you’ve been getting a Chat Critter sermon all along without realizing it. That’s rather remarkable since the computer nerds invented it just a few months ago, but many priests seem to have had extensive training in Critter prose.
One quick side note: it would also seem as if today’s homilists perform their duties the same way our horrible medical professionals operate. Physicians once knew how to diagnose, treat, and even cure their patients. Now, our jolly clinicians just interview patients, type a few “symptoms” into their computers (DoctorGPT?), which then feeds them instructions. It often yields results such as – “Uh, sorry bro, muh computer says you have the AIDS. Here’s a COVID vaccine. Get well soon.”
You may find that critique a little harsh, but this is what passes for fiduciary care and leadership these days, something I was compelled to expose when I wrote Caesar Vacantism. The Caesars and fiduciaries of our world, including medical professionals, priests, and “thought leaders” (God, help us), are either vicious, incompetent, lazy, predatory, or a combination thereof.
The priestly incompetency manifests in poor preaching and their own ignorance of the faith or either an intentional antagonism towards it. Behold a small sample of things I’ve heard from modern Catholic clergy:
- During a Sermon – a Jesuit priest pointed at the tabernacle and told the congregation, “The Eucharist isn’t in there. It’s in your heart.”
- After a Baptism – a parish pastor told the baptized baby’s family to “just focus on the two great commandments. After all, I have a Master’s in Divinity and can’t even remember the 10 Commandments.”
- Antipope Bergoglio’s Easter Sermon – “Each of us knows the place of his or her interior resurrection, that beginning and foundation, the place where things changed. We cannot leave this in the past; the Risen Lord invites us to return there to celebrate Easter. … Remember your Galilee. Remind yourself.”
- In this sermon, he used the word “remember” 14 times (out of 1,328 words). While this isn’t one of his spectacularly heretical messages, it’s one of countless examples of bizarre word sprawl. Most of the sermon is vapid, trite, vague, and I must admit that the Italian Chat Critter would probably boost Bergoglio’s readability a few notches.
“Are you sleeping while I’m preaching?”
If these examples are any indication, then we must conclude that ChatGPT’s homiletic solutions would be an improvement over the modern standards. We shouldn’t be surprised over what we’ll get from today’s pastors, graduates of the illustrious Seminary of Bob; unable to recite the 10 Commandments. They’ll certainly consult the effective luminary, Chat Critter, to compose sermons on tough topics like transubstantiation or the hypostatic union (assuming those even cross their mind).
Where to Find Good Sermons Amid All the Garbage?
Many times, nowadays, you’ll find folks who love to dwell on problems or deficiencies without proposing a solution. This is not allowed at the Catholics Aren’t Zombies blog!
While you may not know of a gifted preacher (even among orthodox clergy) within 200 miles, nolite timere, because technology actually CAN solve this problem. Instead of trying to find edification and teaching from a computer application, you can use these helpful resources, at least until the worldwide communists scrub them from the web.
- Sensus Fidelium – This is Steve Cunningham’s YouTube channel, which allows you to absorb thousands of sermons taken from traditional priests. You can use the search feature to locate ones for every feast day, including the more obscure martyrs commemorated only in the old calendar.
- Other Stuff Posted by Fr. Z – I link to his site from my home page for a reason. He’ll post his own preaching and solicit sermon comments from his readers every Sunday (edifying preaching heard elsewhere). It’s remarkable how you can find a better Gospel message from comment threads than you can from the lion’s share of modern Catholic parishes.
- Sunday Sermons from St. Alphonsus Liguori – Wikipedia, of all places, has a nice section where you can read some of the best preaching from St. Alphonsus Liguori. You can also indulge in these meditations and readings for rewarding spiritual exercises on most days of the year from this fantastic Church doctor.
- Over 100 pages of St. Jean Vianney Sermons – St. Jean Vianney didn’t attract tens of thousands of people to his confessional by downloading his sermons from a robot. He told folks things they didn’t wish to hear – that they should amend their lives and cease offending God. What a joy it is to have access to some of his terrific messages in 2023.
- Anything from St. John Chrysostom – You can also search through numerous online (free and purchasable) resources featuring the preaching or scriptural commentary by St. John Chrysostom. All the original eastern Church Doctors were marvelous speakers, but the illustrious “golden-mouthed” saint arguably tops them all. Besides scripture analysis, many engaged couples would benefit from perusing through his magnificent and practical wisdom on matrimony. It’s light years ahead of the hollow gibberish about “compromising” that you would get from modern marriage counselors.
Concluding Thoughts on ChatGPT & Sermons
I’m sure you can find other effective options if you look around a while. You should never limit yourself to the “plastic-fantastic” “self-help” poppycock you’d hear in most places. God commanded St. Peter to feed his sheep, including with great teaching and formation. I suspect that hearing a ChatGPT sermon is the evil regime’s catechetical equivalent of “let them eat bugs,” which has become so figuratively and literally prevalent nowadays.
At any rate . . .
Don’t eat bugs.
Don’t play with the Chat Critter.
Don’t listen to cacophonous antipope sermons.
Pray 15 decades of the Rosary.
Go to Eucharistic adoration every day.
Don’t be a zombie or pawn for the modernist anti-Church.