3.5 Time Outs: Thinking Catholic

Thanks once again to our host, Larry D. at Acts of the Apostasy, who won’t mind if I’m slow on registering with Mr. Linky due to my temporary change in vices while I’m out here in the desert.  Right Larry?  Maybe?

Click and be amazed.


This afternoon at lunch Dad saw me coveting the editorial page of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, and quick shoved a library book in my hands before a fight broke out:

What the monks already told you. Explained.

I’ve read as far as Chapter 4, and Kahneman has explained several of his and his colleague’s discoveries about human thinking and behavior that are, reportedly, surprising.  I’d read a few of them elsewhere, so I wasn’t surprised when he introduced me to them.  What surprised me was this: It’s all straight from the playbook of any Catholic priest worth his salt.  Practical Tips for Advising the Penitent 101.


Here are some samples.

Revolutionary Scientific Discovery: People can be primed to think and behave a certain way.  For example, seeing images or hearing words related to a particular theme (money, old age, happiness) causes people to embody habits and values related to that theme, without even realizing it.

What Your Priest Told You: Read your Bible, watch EWTN now and again, and throw away that trashy magazine.  We are influenced by what we see and do, so pick your influences wisely.

Revolutionary Scientific Discovery: Willpower takes effort.  It’s hard to resist temptation when you are exhausted from another task.

What Your Priest Told You: Take care of yourself, get a good night’s sleep, and don’t surround yourself with temptations.

Revolutionary Scientific Discovery: You can only concentrate on one task at a time.

What Your Priest Told You: Fill your time with wholesome activities so you aren’t so tempted by sinful ones.  If you feel tempted laying there in bed, get up and go do something else.

There’s more just in the first four chapters, but that’s a start.  Great book so far, I’m going to try to find a copy when I get home.  For those of you who don’t want to read 481 pages of summaries of scientific research, just go talk to your priest.  He already knows what it says.


I have really enjoyed wandering around the World Series of Poker.

Yes, that surprised me too.


. . . paper towels.  They are our new controlled substance.  I have to keep them hidden away in our bedroom, thus harnessing the power of sloth to defeat the temptation to extravagance.  Otherwise we’d go through a roll a day, easy.  Even though we have a basket of perfectly good dish towels right on the counter.  Which each get used once before being tossed in the dirty laundry by certain people I live with . . . I’d lock them* in the bedroom, too, but I can’t tolerate that much sogginess.


Well that’s all for today.  Tuesday is Link Day for all topics, help yourself if you are so inclined.  I’m still out of town so comment moderation is slow, but as long as you limit yourself to one link per comment you’ll escape the spam dragon and your brilliance will eventually see light of day.  Have a great week!


*The towels, not the children.  There is no way I’d store my children in my bedroom.  They’d use up all the paper towels.

5 thoughts on “3.5 Time Outs: Thinking Catholic

  1. 3.5 I wouldn’t last a day in your house… well if I didn’t have to do the laundry that is. If the clean dish towels magically reappeared back in the bin after some time then I would be okay 😉 I used a lot of paper towels in general but not a whole roll in one day… I do have a composter now so they can have a good “home”. I will rinse and reuse if I am cleaning also… but those don’t go in the composter.

    Here is my link to photos I took at the start of my latest work trip to Baltimore: https://picasaweb.google.com/102888817504252516459/BaltimoreWaterfrontSailabration?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCIuO_Kjd2aLqpQE&feat=directlink

    1. K I have to add this. (My) Larry opened the boys up to youtube by making them type/spell things they want to look for (with adult supervision of course) and it didn’t take them long to learn of the wonderful sidebar of possibilities… so far this is the coolest to them http://youtu.be/mBX-OUp_ZF0

  2. Sandra,
    Yes, we have paper-towel-abusing superpowers.

    I think I’ll be back on plan next week. Digging through the inbox here. If it’s any consolation, I failed to link up with the Fulwil-inator, too. So you guys are holding steady in the quest for internet domination.

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