Mariological Society of America

I just attended the annual meeting of the MSA at Mount Angel Abbey in Portland, Oregon. The long travel there and back was a bit tiring, but it was a beautiful place to have such a meeting, and there were a number of good talks. I particularly liked Fr. Andrew Apostoli’s presentation on the Mariology of Servant of God Fulton J. Sheen.

The MSA has gone through various phases since it began in 1949. Some people may have been turned off by some of the studies that came out in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, but I can assure you that there is definitely a focus on orthodoxy at the MSA these days.

You can listen to a radio program about the MSA at the following link: MSA show on Radio Maria

Karate Kid and Not Succeeding

Kevin O’Brien at his blog, Theater of the Word Incorporated referenced an article called “How The Karate Kid Ruined the Modern World” by David Wong.

The article talks about how becoming the best is not all that easy, and sometimes people think they will become the best and bet on it by buying lots of stuff on credit. Actually, that’s sort of the reason the Great Depression happened. It isn’t a new problem.

Generally, I think the whole “loser guy ends up winning in something against the odds (and some mean dudes) and gets the girl because he goes through a whole music video sequence of practice” idea is not realistic, and we know that.

But, we can feel good about a fictional story that portrays this, and Hollywood bets we will pay to see it.

Strangely enough, though, it seems like we can also feel good about not succeeding, despite good efforts. There is occasionally a movie like this, where the main character doesn’t win the event but wins the “virtue” award.

That’s very telling. In the end, virtue trumps a temporal win. There is something unsatisfying about temporal wins because they are just that: temporal. Ok, you won that game, but what about this one?

And bad music during the music video training sequence can hurt that win too.