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Mindless Work: The Formation of Habits

With Advent around the corner I thought we might begin to look at how the human person is fallen and redeemed. We will begin by reflecting upon how the human person interacts with the world — his senses and internal powers that allow for knowledge to be extracted from things. At the same time we shall talk about habituation and the human learning process. All of which will lead into discussion about good and evil, virtue and vice, and a practical guide to making a good confession. I hope to illustrate how the spiritual and theological reality of confession makes psychological and neuropsychological sense.

To begin with we will look at habituation. When we are first born we have some basic reflexes, but no knowledge of the world. The child therefore looks to its parents to learn the “rules” of its new existence. When a human accomplishes a desired end …

A Summary of Words

I heard a good summary of our last two posts while listening to the CatholicPsych Institute Being Human podcast. In episode 32 “The Endless Mystery of the Human Person” Dr. Greg Bottaro is being interviewed with his friend Fr. Louis Merosne of Haiti by the Lumen Vitae for their Power of Personhood podcast. The conversation turns to the differences in the Church’s and the World’s understandings of freedom. Fr. Merosne gives a clear example of the difference in definition and then Dr. Bottaro connects it to some of the points we have looked at. I am going to summarize what they said and offer further commentary.


To speak of freedom, equality, and discrimination regarding the person, requires that we first understand the nature of man. The theologian and Catholic publisher Frank Sheed puts this succinctly saying, 


“You do not truly know what anything is until you know what it is for. Knowing what …

More Words – part II

If equality means sameness then any experience that testifies to real differences between persons would be an attack upon whichever person is more inclined to victimization. In this context meaning of discrimination to differentiate, becomes a prejudicial act of condemnation on the other person. The neutral act of recognizing a distinction between persons becomes a violent attack of the other person in all instances. 
– to recognize a distinction or differentiate between things or persons. 
– to make an unjust or prejudicial distinction in the treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of race, sex, age, or disability. The second definition naturally flows from the first.
To illustrate my point I would like to begin with the assumption that, we live in a world with an overabundance entitled individuals. For much of their lives many have been told that they are special or that they are better than others. …