Ephphatha: The Power of Knowledge

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Listening with the Heart

What is it that you are not hearing properly? What is it God has been saying to you for a long time that you refuse to hear? What is it you have allowed yourself to become deaf to? Once that happens, Jesus will also help you speak His words of truth and love. Reflect, today, upon how open you are to hearing the voice of God.

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We all struggle at times with listening, and we especially may struggle listening to God. Spend some time alone with our Lord and let Him heal you so that you can hear and understand all that He is saying to you. Lord, I do not always listen to You. Please speak Your words of healing to me so that I can hear You more clearly.


In hearing You, may I listen to all that You have to say. Jesus, I trust in You. Series My Catholic Faith! My Catholic Worship! The human body, however, is especially relevant to sacramental meaning. In Doctrina Christiana , Augustine divides signs into natural and made signs. Natural signs, apart from any intention to use them as signs, still lead to the knowledge of something else— for example, smoke indicating fire, the footprint of an animal, or the countenance of an angry man.

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Conventional signs, on the other hand, are signs that people use to show, as well as they can, their feelings, perceptions, or thoughts. As Augustine points out, a human being is also a sign, a sign in the image of God.

In the Mass, signs formed with the human body are at one and the same time natural signs and conventional signs, telling the stories of Scripture and performing the rituals of the Church in human-constructed language. This is true for spoken words in a Mass as well, but seeing sign language as the body in action epitomizes the truth of this explanation. In 20 th century rhetorical theory, much is made of the sign and its forms in human communication. Kenneth Burke, arguably the most influential 20 th century rhetorical scholar, defined rhetoric as symbolic communication that induces identification in humans, making them consubstantial with each other.

When an audience receives religious communication in visual language through a deaf signer, that audience identifies with the deaf body as human in the most complete sense. For Burke, the definition of form in communication is: the evoking and fulfillment of desire.

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When a deaf audience receives the stories of Scripture in the form of a signing lector, or the sacraments from a deaf priest, that audience more naturally desires union with what the Church represents. On the second Sunday of Lent, Fr. Joe Bruce, a deaf Jesuit currently at St. His homilies contain few long stretches of monologue and much interactive dialog. For example, he will call a teenager up and sign-and-speak a one-on-one Socratic dialog, or he will call parishioners by name, asking questions and including them as co-participants in the sermon.

This form of homily, requiring immediate engagement from the audience, stands in sharp contrast to a homily at a non-deaf parish; even a spoken homily interpreted in ASL not particularly engaging, because it is second hand. Joe usually begins with a story from his own life, a sure way for his audience to identify with him as someone who also grew up with deaf experiences.

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However, in this homily Fr. Joe focused on a sign that might stand out for the deaf audience: listen. One of the ASL signs places a hand next to the ear, as if to hear better. It is bound to strike some of the people as ironic.

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He asks the congregation if any of them have decided to do something for Lent — not many raise their hands. Why not take time, he asks, to listen? It is the person you listen to, not just the words. He gives examples of people who were good listeners: Mary, who listened to angels; Hellen Keller, who could neither hear nor see but listened through touch to her teacher Annie Sullivan; and St.

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John Vianney, who spent 12 hours a day listening to broken hearts in the confessional. Each time Fr. Joe perceives that his audience knows something about his examples, he asks them for information and confirmation, drawing out their part in the rhetorical reasoning, and giving them a vested interest in the meaning of the homily.

kick-cocoa.info/components/nivybusuz/nil-miglior-programma.php When he can tell that the audience feels united in agreement—you might say in belief, for belief is what rhetoric aims to secure—Fr. Joe proceeds with his conclusion: an exhortation to attend to God by listening not just to his words, but to the person who is present to us in the signed readings and to human beings who are the body of Christ in the church. This is how form in persuasion works.

Ephphatha: The Power of Knowledge Ephphatha: The Power of Knowledge
Ephphatha: The Power of Knowledge Ephphatha: The Power of Knowledge
Ephphatha: The Power of Knowledge Ephphatha: The Power of Knowledge
Ephphatha: The Power of Knowledge Ephphatha: The Power of Knowledge
Ephphatha: The Power of Knowledge Ephphatha: The Power of Knowledge
Ephphatha: The Power of Knowledge Ephphatha: The Power of Knowledge

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