Sunday, January 8, 2023

Simply listen

Joseph Ratzinger, teacher, understood a truth about a good lecture (or sermon, for that matter):
Before he was a pope, before he was a prefect or a cardinal or an archbishop, Joseph Ratzinger was a professor. In those years, Ratzinger would rivet crowded lecture halls in German universities with his theological acumen, his clarity of expression, and his grasp of the faith’s implications for the modern world. The professor aimed not just to inform the mind but also to warm the heart. His biographer, Peter Seewald, recounts Ratzinger’s words to his friend Alfred L├Ąpple: “When you give a lecture, the students should lay down their pencils and simply listen to you. As long as they keep writing it down, you have not really got to them. But when they put down their pencils and look at you while you are speaking, then perhaps you have touched their hearts.”
And if not their hearts, perhaps their minds.

R. Lukas Stamps, "In Memoriam: Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI," Mere Fidelity, Jan. 2, 2023.

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