Episode 6: Beauty for the Beholder

Episode 6: Beauty for the Beholder

Quick editor’s note: in the intro, we tease the previous episode being about music. That’s an error on our part, and you didn’t miss anything – that episode is coming soon!

  1. Philosophers have discussed different lists of the so-called transcendentals. This source, citing Aristotle, Plato and Aquinas along the way, sees beauty as closely related to the good and the true.



  1. The work of Rev. Robert Spitzer, SJ, can be found at the Magis Center website. His work is a wonderful combination of philosophical, theological and pastoral approaches to God and humanity.



  1. Augustine wrote in Book One of his Confessions: “Our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”



  1. The Catechism of the Catholic Church draws connections between truth, beauty and goodness in its discussion of the Eighth Commandment, starting at paragraph 2500.



  1. The statement that beauty is truth and truth is beauty comes from poet John Keats in his “Ode on a Grecian Urn.”



  1. Bill believes he heard that there are Franciscan roots to the maxim loosely translated, “To know the name of the rose is not the same as to know the rose.” So often we may know the name of a truth but not fully know or understand the truth through experience. Wikipedia gives some explanations of the phrase and its application.



  1. “New Advent” provides a Catholic Encyclopedia discussion of the group of Franciscans known as “Spirituals.”



  1. Chapter 6 of the Book of Wisdom makes a connection between wisdom and beauty. You must be open to beauty in order to reflect upon the wisdom of the Creator, Ken points out.



  1. Thank you, John Denver, for the beauty and loveliness of the song, “Sunshine on My Shoulders.”



10. Explore everything about Chesterton at the Chesterton Society site. Somewhere, in one collection of Chesterton quotes, he says beauty is closely related to a sense of proportion. He was an artist as well as author.



  1. The Guggenheim Museum posts this profile of controversial artist Robert Mapplethorpe.



12. Neither Ken nor Bill knew that “alt-beauty” was a “thing,” as described in this newspaper piece.



13. Psalm 95 begins its warning against the hardening of one’s heart in the seventh verse.



14.Whatever is true, whatever is beautiful, think on these things, St. Paul tells the Philippians. This is indeed a good prescription against hardened hearts.



Episode 5: The New Mercy Turnpike


Episode 5: “The New Mercy Turnpike”
  1. Going through the constituent parts of joy guides our approach to the New Evangelization. A major US meeting in 2017 sought to clarify the approach.



  1. The Church is an abundant source of mercy. We must request, receive and proclaim it. Reconciliation is crucial for joy. God’s mercy endures forever.



  1. Ken pointed out that Instructing the ignorant is a spiritual work of mercy.



  1. Pope Francis spread the Church’s message of mercy with the Special Jubilee of Mercy and the appointment of priests as missionaries of mercy.



  1. How do we show mercy to a world that desperately needs it? The Eucharist is central, re-presenting the sacrifice of Calvary, says Dives in Misericordia.



  1. Divine Mercy ties many themes of evangelization together. We need to embrace Christ’s perfect sacrifice and join together in gratitude for it.



  1. We need “forgiving” situations and conditions. Forgiving is not just a response but is a proactive pursuit. Bill mentioned “forgiving highways.”

google document/forgiving driving


  1. Exchanges of mercy are moments of hope. The Church sends us forth to seek out such encounters with the missioning “ite misa est” as Mass ends.



Episode 4: In God We Trust?


Episode 4: “In God We Trust?


  1. Bill and Ken are exploring different aspects of joy. We need to share truth because people want to trust each other. Billy Joel’s song “Honesty” says it.



  1. Descartes made himself the center of all things, eroding our ties to truth.



  1. Trust is crucial in relationships. Relativism leads to dictatorial relationships, as posited by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. National Catholic Register



  1. Can we construct trust quantitatively? Ken referred to this in USA Today:



  1. People generally trust only themselves today, says The Death of Expertise by Thomas Nichols, a new book cited by Bill.



  1. We must trust others in the community and those who pass it along to us. The gift of faith is given by God, but we must receive it. Job’s trust in 13:15.



  1. God has proven Himself trustworthy through his gift of the Divine Mercy, and the Marians of the Immaculate Conception promote devotion to this.



  1. Ken and Bill are discussing components of joy with an eye toward Pope Francis’s emphasis on joy for missionary discipleship, as seen in his writing.



  1. God wants all people to be saved and come to a knowledge of Himself. Pope Francis makes this point in his Apostolic Exhortation, The Joy of Love.



(Science causes some people to lose trust in God. But Blessed John Henry Newman says a thousand questions still do not add up to one doubt:)


Episode 3: We Can Handle the Truth!


Episode 3: “We Can Handle the Truth!”
  1. What is truth? Pilate asked this question, and people still ask it today.



  1. Truth is called one of the transcendentals along with beauty and goodness. The Magis Center and Rev. Robert Spitzer S.J. provide an explanation.



  1. Aquinas wrote about reason among angels and humans. He wrote extensively about angels.



  1. The Church encourages the use of human reason. It was used in Scriptures.



  1. Pope John Paul II wrote about the splendor of truth in Veritatis Splendor:



  1. We encounter the way, the truth and the life in Jesus. The Word of God was made flesh. The Spirit of Truth guides us as He did on the Road to Emmaus.



  1. We desire to experience truth and joy at ever-higher levels. Chesterton saw truth as a living thing: “a fact that can talk, a fact that can explain itself.”

https://www.chesterton.org/quotations-of-g-k-chesterton/#Morality and Truth


  1. The Catechism shows the interconnectedness of truth. Reason can help us discover the truth, but we must combine it with love through faith.



  1. Dominic’s Order of Preachers has “Veritas” as its motto and is dedicated to the truth.



  1. Dominicans are called Hounds of the Lord; Ken referred to God’s Dogs.



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Navin Johnson and the Phone Book

“The new phone book’s here! The new phone book’s here! This is the kind of spontaneous publicity I need! My name in print. That really makes somebody. Things are gonna start happening to me now!”

Just like Navin Johnson, things are really gonna start happening to us now: EncounterPoints is now listed in all of the finest podcast directories: iTunes, Google Play, ListenNotes, Overcast, Stitcher. Subscribe today!

Episode 2: A Laugh A Minute, Guaranteed*


Episode 2: “A Laugh A Minute, Guaranteed*”
  1.  Ken and Bill start out being a bit random and ribald in their expressions of theology and humor. We know well (from John 3:16) that God sent exactly the Christ we needed, showing unlimited—and undeserved—mercy.



  1.  Ken’s study in the area of humor and cognitive dissonance promotes a hopeful perspective. Steve Allen’s How to Be Funny may encourage you.



  1.  The word “humus,” describing the organic matter of the earth’s soil, is a common root for words including human, humility and humor.



  1.  Did Jesus have a sense of humor? See Matthew Chapter 15 for the dialogue Ken refers to. See Discovering Humor in the Bible for one scholar’s views.



  1.  Discovering Humor in the Bible by Howard R. Macy offers comments cited by Ken in his reference to Jesus’ dialogue with the Canaanite woman.



  1.  Chesterton speculated that Jesus experienced mirth born of his relationship of divine love with God the Father.



  1.  Chesterton also said that, if the whole world were suddenly stricken with a sense of humor, it would find itself fulfilling the sermon on the Mount.



  1.  Philosopher Friedrich Schiller said we laugh so our passions will not master us, so we can see reality with neither blind optimism nor a hopeless spirit.



  1.  Humor recognizes life’s tough times and happy times. Hugo Rahner, quoted in a recent book by David Fagerberg, says humor must be rooted in reality.




10. Pieper talks about festivity as a release from the work we do. We work so that we can be at leisure; we need to set aside time for festivity and joy.



11. How can humor be used to draw people into relationship with the Lord? Bishop Sheen and Mother Angelica mixed wisdom, wit and tough love.



  1. Bob Hope was able to bring humor and joy to places of war and suffering, as with his comedy shows in Vietnam. He donated funds for the Our Lady of Hope Chapel in the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Washington.



13.  Why did St. Paul use italics in writing parts of his Epistles? For Ephesus.



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*No guarantee actually implied. If you don’t laugh, perhaps you didn’t get the joke?

Episode 1: Joys R Us


Episode 1: “Joys R Us”
  1. The idea of joy is everywhere in Catholicism, including many Church documents on spreading the faith, such as:

Evangelii Gaudium:  http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20131124_evangelii-gaudium.html

Amoris Laetetia: http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20160319_amoris-laetitia.html

Gaudium et Spes: http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19651207_gaudium-et-spes_en.html


  1. How would you define joy? As mentioned in the podcast, here’s what Webster’s 1828 Dictionary of the English Language says:



  1. Rejoice! I say it again, rejoice! From Philippians:



  1. Thomas Aquinas speaks of love springing forth from joy. “They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love” – Sing along with Good News Music Radio:



  1. Thoughts about the four levels of happiness people can pursue in life, as presented at the Healing the Culture evangelization website:



  1. Philosophy professor Peter Kreeft wrote this essay on joy, distinguishing it from happiness and pleasure:



  1. Paragraph 301 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church speaks of the joy that comes from recognizing God as our creator and trusting in Him. This is the first mention of joy in the Catechism:



  1. Bless the Lord! In Chapter 3 of the Book of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego sing a joyful song glorifying the Lord after they have been thrown into a fiery furnace for their faith in the one true God.



  1. Paragraph 523 in the Catechism speaks of John the Baptist recognition of the Savior’s coming. Even before his birth, he leaped for joy in his mother’s womb:



  1. As referenced in this episode, Pope Francis concludes the encyclical “Light of Faith” with a joyful prayer for Mary’s intercession to help us carry our joyful faith out to all the world:



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We’ve Started ‘Casting’ Our Nets

Welcome to EncounterPoints. Our first series of episodes–“Got Joy?”–launches on March 5, right here on this site! Add this address to your podcast app to subscribe: http://www.encounterpoints.com/feed/podcast

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This podcast, with Ken Hallenius (co-host of the syndicated Catholic radio program “Living Stones“) and Bill Schmitt (communications consultant and independent journalist), takes a serious and sprightly look at Pope Francis’s call to pursue authentic “encounters” with people. Tapping into faith and reason, informed minds and joyful hearts, these encounters could make a difference in the world. That’s the point!