I remember when I was very small—maybe four or five, sitting on a cushioned chapel bench and staring up into Mama’s face during the Sacrament prayer. Her face looked very serious, and her lips moved in sync with the words the priest spoke. Always. I asked her why she did that. She told me it helped her think about the words that were being spoken. As she sat with her head bowed and eyes closed throughout the passing of the bread and water, I thought about the words she had spoken.
(It has been a long time. I started writing this post well over a year ago, and then I took a hiatus from the ‘Nacle. I guess finishing this is as good a way as any to return).
[One meta note: If you have made arguments similar to the ones I use in the examples here, realize I am not singling you out – others have made similar arguments. Also, in the end, I’m trying to help you, not attack you.]
Wikipedia defines “enthymeme” as
“an informally stated syllogism (a three-part deductive argument) with an unstated assumption that must be true for the premises to lead to the conclusion. In an enthymeme, part of the argument is missing because it is assumed. In a broader usage, the term “enthymeme” is sometimes used to describe an incomplete argument of forms other than the syllogism. For Aristotle, who defined it in his Rhetoric, an enthymeme was a “rhetorical syllogism” which was based on probable opinions, thus distinguishing it from a scientific syllogism.”
The Oxford English Dictionary says and enthymeme is “An argument based on merely probable grounds; a rhetorical argument as distinguished from a demonstrative one.” or “A syllogism in which one premise is suppressed.” (If you don’t know what a syllogism is, go read up on it at Wikipedia).
The following guest post comes from Michelle, a long-time Bloggernacle participant. Michelle was kind enough to accept our invitation to submit a guest post on this topic, one which she has reflected on for quite some time.
I couldn’t think of much else all day. Relieved when 11:00 p.m. finally arrived, I knocked on Ben’s* door; he was finally home from work. He let me in, and we sat. We chatted about simple things at first — his current work and school activities, mostly. But then I jumped into the reason for my late-night visit.
The prayer in my heart didn’t keep me from fumbling and stumbling, trying to put words to all that I was feeling. I only hoped that the clumsy flow of emotion and fractured thoughts could be understood. I know. I care. I’m sorry it’s so hard. Continue reading
I wipe the sweat from my brow on the sleeve of the white jumpsuit. The red smear left behind on the sleeve is unexpected. Leaving the hammer drill on the partially-tiled floor, I stand up to look in the large mirror on a nearby wall. Sure enough, there’s a tiny nick on my forehead. I step around another brother dressed in white to reach the box of tissues concealed beneath a cover of white yarn on a matrix of plastic. Satisfied that the bleeding has stopped, I adjust my earplugs, grab the Hilti, and continue tearing up the tiles of the baptistry.
The evening hasn’t gone quite as I anticipated.