Fr. Philip Neri Powell, OP, PhD
Ok, Father - I figured it out! Your endings are so strong that even if the beginning is a bit rough the way you conclude makes your homilies almost always a homerun. It seems that you sometimes start out a little slow, but once you get going, you git goin'! :-) Use the naturally rhythmic quality of your Southern dialect to enhance your speaking - it almost feels as if you are trying to find your rhythm as you begin your homily, but once you find it the delivery is great. I receive compliments on my speaking/reading voice, and I honestly think it is because I use the musical quality of "southern-speak" to make the words sing - most people assume the Southern accent is all about long i's and dropped g's and multi-syllabic letters (who knew "i" could have three syllables?), but it is actually all about the rhythm. Find that at the beginning, and people's socks'll be flyin' off! Oh, wait...maybe that's not such a good idea ;-)
I used to do this sort of thing Back in the Day, using a more rhythmic structure. It sounded OK, but I was told one then once that what I was saying got lost in the fun of the "music." Maybe I can hit a middle ground?As always, thanks!
Father,It was only when we moved to Utah, where the speech patterns were quite monotone and not in a rhythm I could find, that I truly appreciated the beauty of the southern voice (especially South Alabamian). It's not a "structure" or forced rhythm about which I'm speaking, but more just finding your voice. At some point in the first part you do find your natural rhythm - in this particular homily, I would have left out the first line and just gone right into naming all the foods, because somehow that entire section came out a tad awkward (aurally speaking), and I think it may have been the opening sentence. It must be exceedingly challenging to produce a daily homily that is relevant, interesting and spirit-filled - typically your writing is superb and contains its own wonderful rhythm. It is easy to read, and tells the observant reader the correct pacing needed, the correct places for emphasis, pauses, etc. Maybe all I'm saying is to honor the rhythm that is already inherent in the words you have written - to find it, or maybe just let it flow, from the beginning; for you do pick it up after a couple of minutes. Does that make more sense?