Series 2 Coming Soon!

Get your podcast machines ready, because Series 2 of Encounterpoints is on the way! Check back here on Monday, July 8, 2019 for episodes 1 and 2. We’ll follow with a weekly release schedule for the rest of the series, with new episodes every Monday through September.

We look forward to your feedback!

S1E9 – Peace Be With You!

Episode 9: Peace Be With Youl

Here are links expanding upon Ken’s and Bill’s remarks in episode nine of the EncounterPoints podcast series entitled “GOT JOY?”. This episode: PEACE

     1. It is indeed of practical importance for us to understand peace in its fullest Catholic context. Here is one article addressing the subject, from Catholic Answers:


  1. Notice these references to peace from the Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order. The order’s structure for its ongoing work on peace and justice has been modified, but the Rule and its principles are enduring. Please use the second link here to find a useful analysis of the Peace Prayer that is attributed to St. Francis, who sought to be an instrument of God in bringing peace to the world; he saw there were many components to this work.


  1. Here is a report on “Shalom TV” as “a new power for peace and evangelization” …worth considering this role for a communications medium:



  1. “If you want peace, work for justice.” How does justice interact with the pursuit of peace? Is justice the removal of obstacles to that pursuit? The Catholic tradition of pursuing peace and justice is discussed at the USCCB site through a series of links found here:


  1. From Loyola Press comes a discussion of Jesus’ phrase that He is leaving “my peace” with His apostles. It must be a special, multi-dimensional kind of peace inseparable from mercy and justice and love:


  1. See in this link to Matthew’s Gospel that Jesus calls “blessed” those who are making peace; it is not something that comes about through easy or shallow efforts.


  1. Paul told the Philippians the peace of God surpasses all understanding:


  1. Thucydides wrote that the way for a victor to make sustainable peace is to waive punishment and to show a mercy that creates new bonds.


  1. The Encyclopedia Britannica website provides some context for the term, “scorched earthy policy.”


10. Peace cannot be manipulative. Ken and Bill made this point about beauty and humor and other sources of joy as a modus operandi of the New Evangelization. See earlier episodes of this “EncounterPoints” series on joy. We look forward to sharing more EncounterPoints podcasts with you in the future!

S1E8 – Feasts Fit for a King

Episode 8: Feasts Fit for a King

Here are links expanding upon Ken’s and Bill’s remarks in episode eight of the EncounterPoints podcast series entitled “GOT JOY?”. This episode: FOOD

1. Table fellowship is an excellent way to build encounters and share joy. Even a diet plan is likely to succeed more if the effort is shared. Tracie McMillan is an author and expert on the American WOE (way of eating):


  1. The Mass is a global, universal experience of sharing table fellowship to nurture us for our journey. The Last Supper engaged Jesus and his Disciples in religious tradition, in the Passover story of God’s saving love and the sacrifice of a lamb. This article discusses the connections—and a mystery:


  1. Popular culture helps to focus our attention on food. Here is a link to the “Bizarre Foods” program, plus a link to “The Great British Baking Show.:


  1. Ken’s not making it up about the Soylent brand of products:


  1. Old Testament sacrifices sometimes involved not only an offering to God, but also a sharing in community fellowship. The “My Jewish Life” website offers this reflection on sacrifices:


  1. James Martin, S.J., wrote “Building Bridges” with a focus on inclusion:


  1. Jesus sought his encounter with Zacchaeus through food. Read the story in Luke 19 in the New American Bible as provided by the USCCB online:


  1. The idea that delights of food and drink are best appreciated in moderation is stated well by G.K. Chesterton, who said, “We should thank God for beer and burgundy by not drinking too much of them.” First, see that quote at the AZQuotes site, and then explore more about GKC via the second link:


  1. One way to extend our reflections on the Lord’s use of food metaphors—and of food itself—to enhance our relationships with Him can be found at this blog by Emily Stimpson Chapman:


S1E7 – Then Sings My Soul

Episode 7: Then Sings My Soul

Here are links expanding upon Ken’s and Bill’s remarks in episode seven of the EncounterPoints podcast series entitled “GOT JOY?”. This episode: MUSIC

  1. As Ken pointed out, hearing colors is called synesthesia. Here is a YouTube video on the topic:


  1. Repetition is the mother of all learning—wisdom handed down to us in Latin:


  1. The Divine Mercy Chaplet devotion is described here in this website hosted by the Marians of the Immaculate Conception. EWTN broadcasts the sung and chanted versions of this prayer.


  1. He who sings, prays twice. Here is a collection of comments related to the quote, from the Catholic Answers Forum. The quote is attributed to St. Augustine:


  1. Here is a discussion of the Philosophy of Music, including Plato’s insights, courtesy of Stanford University:


  1. This is the Steve Allen book to which Bill referred:


  1. Here is a book (not reviewed by us) that adds commentary to Tolkien’s Silmarillion:


  1. The AMC Network provides us with this site pulling together the various seasons of “Mad Men.”


  1. Here is the Coca-Cola commercial featuring the song, “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing.”


10. While enjoying accordion jokes, Bill hopes you’ll find out more about accordions in general, with help from this site:

S1E6 – 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.


S1E5 – 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.


S1E4 – 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:)

S1E3 – 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.” 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!”

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S1E2 – 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?