Okay, yes, Aristotle was a pagan — but you can't blame the guy for living centuries before the birth of Christ. You can, however, give him credit for laying out the basics of a good speech. Basics, Father Damian Ference argues, that every good priest ought to keep in mind — and in practice.
Aristotle was a pagan. He died more than three hundred years before the Incarnation, and so Dante put him in the first circle of hell along with his great teacher, Plato. Yet St. Thomas Aquinas consistently referred to Aristotle as “The Philosopher,” and the Catholic intellectual tradition is steeped in Aristotelian thought. Although Aristotle never once heard a homily, he offers an excellent study of public speaking in his treatise titled Rhetoric, which can tell us a lot about what makes a homily good, or not so good.
According to Aristotle, a good speech – and in our case, a good homily – is built on three pillars:ethos, pathos and logos. So let’s examine each pillar to see what Aristotle is up to.
ETHOS: This first pillar deals with the credibility and the character of the preacher. Do you believe what the preacher is saying? Is he trustworthy? Is he worth listening to? Does he practice what he preaches? Does he have integrity and virtuous character? In other words, is he holy?...
Today, Ellyn von Huben reviews The Pope's Maestro, an account of the deep friendship of Blessed John Paul II and Jewish musician, Sir Gilbert Levine, a friendship forged by a shared love of music.
We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 28:5-6)
Some people say that there are no such things as coincidences. And "coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous," is an aphorism attributed to Albert Einstein. Far be it from me to quibble with Einstein. But I would think that it is not so much God’s anonymity as our lack of attentiveness. God is always there. (I won’t bore you with the odd series of so-called coincidental events - fascinating as I may find them to be - that have led to me here, to the opportunity to be a contributor to the Word on Fire blog.)...
Father Barron arrived in Rome this week to prepare for the Beatification Mass of Pope John Paul II. Fr. Barron will be serving as a commentator for NBC News for this sacred event.
Read the press release here
, and watch a portion of the CATHOLICISM
series on the soon-to-be "Blessed" John Paul II on the blog.
Coverage of the Beatification Mass begins at 4 am ET on NBC.