100% of Your RDA of Ken

The musings of Ken Hallenius, a Roman Catholic lay catechist and university administrator living in Portland, Oregon.
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According to a report on NPR, doctors buy generic laxatives and name-brand butt paste.

Trivia: the “Olympic Theme”, a rather Pavlovian ditty, was commissioned from French-American composer Noel “Leo” Arnaud, for a 1958 album by the Hollywood Bowl orchestra. The actual title of the track is “Bugler’s Dream” (alt: “Bugler’s Holiday”), and it was first associated with the Olympics when ABC used it for their coverage of the 1968 Mexico City games.

H/T: "Composer’s Datebook", July 24th episode.

…executions are, in fact, brutal, savage events, and nothing the state tries to do can mask that reality. Nor should we. If we as a society want to carry out executions, we should be willing to face the fact that the state is committing a horrendous brutality on our behalf.

U.S. 9th Circuit Court Chief Judge Alex Kozinski

We’re a First World country, we can safely keep violent offenders from perpetrating further crimes without having to kill them. Vengeance doesn’t accomplish anything, and the risk of murdering an innocent is too high. Stop the madness.

This world is a place of business. What an infinite bustle! I am awaked almost every night by the panting of the locomotive. It interrupts my dreams. There is no Sabbath. It would be glorious to see mankind at leisure for once. It is nothing but work, work, work.
Henry David Thoreau, quoted in The Writer’s Almanac.
Trivia: Today (July 23rd) is the feast of St. John Cassian, whose Conferences (Latin: “Collationes”), which used to be read to monks during lunch, gives us the word collation, “a light meal”.
St. John Cassian, Catholic Online.
Do you want life to be good? Then you must see it. Do you want to be wise? You must see reality as it is, not distorted by self, ideals, or sins. Do you want to love? You must learn to see those around you, deeply.

With the red hair of one she-urchin in the gutter I will set fire to all modern civilization.

Because a girl should have long hair, she should have clean hair; because she should have clean hair, she should not have an unclean home; because she should not have an unclean home, she should have a free and leisured mother; because she should have a free mother, she should not have an usurious landlord; because there should not be an usurious landlord, there should be a redistribution of property; because there should be a redistribution of property, there shall be a revolution.

G. K. Chesterton, quoted by Mark Shea, in If We Oppose Abortion and Social Safety-Nets
Wherever we go, we are called as Christians to proclaim the liberating news that forgiveness for sins committed is possible, that God is greater than our sinfulness, that he freely loves us at all times and that we were made for communion and eternal life.
Pope Francis, Message for Lent 2014, n. 2.
It has been said that the only real regret lies in not being a saint (L. Bloy); we could also say that there is only one real kind of poverty: not living as children of God and brothers and sisters of Christ.
Pope Francis, Message for Lent 2014, n. 1.

It is my belief that the Mysteries of the Rosary can provide a starting point for a comprehensive, if not necessarily systematic, presentation of the Catholic faith. This has rich possibilities for the preacher and catechist. For example, at my home parish of Holy Rosary Church in Portland, we could present a 5-week series exploring one of the sets of mysteries, each week’s presentation consisting of the praying of a decade of the Rosary and then using that mystery to explore a facet of the faith.

In this post, I will take each of the Joyful Mysteries and explore some potential topics that are contained within them - many of these topics have come from my own contemplation of the mysteries over my years of praying the Rosary. The next step will be to research the relevant magisterial and theological resources that explicate each topic, as a reference for the preacher and catechist, or indeed for anyone who wishes to reflect on how popular piety can lead one to a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ and the Church.

The Annunciation

  • the incarnation
  • angels
  • virtue of docility
  • contemplation/contemplative prayer
  • human and divine natures of Jesus Christ
  • God’s intervention in history
  • genealogy of Jesus Christ
  • Angelus prayer

The Visitation

  • John the Baptist
  • King David and the Ark of the Covenant
  • prophecy
  • meaning of motherhood
  • sanctity of life in the womb
  • Magnificat

The Nativity

  • the Virgin Birth
  • angels
  • poverty
  • the Magi
  • prophecy
  • Christmas traditions

The Presentation

  • consecrated life/religious life
  • prophecy
  • Jewish religious practices
  • the Temple
  • Compline (Nunc Dimittis)
  • Flight into Egypt

The Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple

  • the Holy Family
  • Jewish religious practices
  • Mosaic Law
  • human knowledge of Jesus
  • hidden years of Jesus’ life
The thing about rabbit holes is they sometimes lead to a place where it seems nothing is true anymore. Friedrich Nietzsche said that—“nothing is true”—more than a century ago, arguing that the only way we might begin to get at a capital-T truth would be to first doubt everything.

From “We Fact-Checked Snapple’s ‘Real Facts’”, The Atlantic, Oct. 11, 2013.

Nietzsche wasn’t the guy who came up with the idea of skepticism, nor even the most famous skeptic. Rene Descartes posited the concept that you had to start by doubting everything more than 200 years before Nietzsche did, in Part IV of his Discourse on the Method (1637). He started with the fact of his self-awareness (the famous “I think, therefore, I am”), and worked up from there. Interestingly, his entire project was an attempt to scientifically prove the existence of God.

The professor who teaches Classical Chinese Ethical and Political Theory claims, “This course will change your life.”

Many of the ideas presented herein have parallels in Western philosophical and theological thought. I see the ideas of Virtue, Habit, and Custom all touched upon here - ideas that I studied in the Great Books of the Western World.

An example of the parallelism. First, as described in The Atlantic:

In the same way that one deliberately practices the piano in order to eventually play it effortlessly, through our everyday activities we train ourselves to become more open to experiences and phenomena so that eventually the right responses and decisions come spontaneously, without angst, from the heart-mind.

Here is William James in his “Psychology” (1892):

In action grown habitual, what instigates each new muscular contraction to take place in its appointed order is not a thought or a perception, but the sensation occasioned by the muscular contraction just finished. A strictly voluntary act has to be guided by idea, perception, and volition, throughout its whole course. In an habitual action, mere sensation is a sufficient guide, and the upper regions of brain and mind are set comparatively free.

There is nothing new under the sun.

"It is quite reasonable to believe that God does exist."