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January 3, 1992     The Message
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January 3, 1992

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The Message --for tholi. s of Southweste m Ipl!.at,  Entertainment On the Record By CHARLIE MARTIN Catholic News Service Columnist What did you think of the past year's music? What songs were new and exciting to you? What messages in the music of 1991 especially caught your attention? Those questions came to mind as I looked back over another year of music and another year of writing this column. I paid special attention to what the year's music stated about the values that guide ou lives What in 1991's music combined with Christian beliefs in such a way as to guide and support our lives? A primary example comes from the song with which I started my 1991 columns: Bette Midl'er's ballad of hope, "From a Distance," Soon after that review, our world fell once more into the violence and suffering of war. Midler's message about the need for world The Scorpions' "Wind Of Change" docu- mented the triumph of hope within the newly lib- erated nations of Eastern Europe. Paula Abdul brought this theme down to our individual lives in the "Promise of a New Day." Other songs challenged us to open our hearts more to our hurting brothers and sisters through- out the world. My favorite in this vein was Tracie Spencer's "This House." The song's message chal- lenged us to reach out personally to the needs of the homeless, "State of the World," by Janet Jackson, spoke clearly about the troubled lives of teen mothers and homeless children. Jackson asked us to work together to change the state of the world for these young people. "Voices Who Care," by a group of musicians calling themselves by this name, reached out to plea for God's help and guidance, Although different from all of these s Poison's "Something to Believe In" was erful statement on the need for God's prE and healing in our lives In speaking about the need for God's ing, I am brought to m3 year, In 15 years of writing never have received more letters on one c( than for the review I The Escape Club. {?':i{ The song spoke eloquently of how love s ,', rives physical death. Readers of all ages wrotei(!]-;-r" someone they ':/:| and shared their pain of losing search for h*0!(  loved. They also spoke of their op as they go on with their lives. uent colunm: I*4 harmony and about the senselessness of war con- support the soldiers caught in the tragedy of the mentioned at the end of a subseq tinues to challenge us. May God's love help all of Persian Gulf War. The Peace Choir remade the send each of you my love and nravers for God s,: us to change ourhearts anal better live Jesus' teach- John Lennon classic "Give Peace a Chance," a healino in your life  '-  ' ::4 ings on non-violence, timely plea to a world torn by violence .. ', .. .' ........ L.ii!| . ' AS 1 lOOK OaCK Oil :191 S nlUSlC, 1 see ulat ", Several songs reaffirmed the sacredness of hfe Several 1991 releases were spiritual m nature ..... ....  ^I-, :!| orougm us messages or cnaLlenge, no e anu uo and the natural resilience within the human snirit, yet did well on the charts. My favorite was . P :!i: Music fans everywhere welcomed Gloria Esten Markita's haunting ballad, "Love, Thy Will Be ebratmn, May God help us to find these sam0, : ,, spmtual quahtms during 1992 back from her accident with her hymn to human Done, one of her personal prayers set to music by .... i . :@! courage, "Coming Out, of, the Dark, . Prince, ": : i| : YVhitn/'y Houston s' Mffacle" was an invita- Gospel recording artist Michael Smith crossed (Your comments are always welcome.. ';! i!!i[ tion to see the sacredness in all of life, particularly over to the pop charts with Place in My World. Please address them to: CharlieMartin, R,R,,3, :'ii'[ in the miracle of the unborn. : " And Styx s Show Me the Way was a powerful Box 182, Rockport, IN 47635). " i':i 'Last Wish' offers 'emotional emptiness' By HENRY HERX Catholic News Service NEW YORK (CNS) -- Help- ing one's mother commit sui- cide is the cheerless conclu- sion of "Last Wish," airing Sunday, Jan. 12, 9-11 p.m. EST on ABC. Based on journalist Betty Rollin's 1985 autobiographi- cal book, the drama is about 74-year-old Ida, a wonder- fully vibrant woman who en- joys life fully until stricken with ovarian cancer. As Ida's condition worsens and becomes terminal, she begs her daughter Betty to help her find "a way out" of her pain. Up until this point, the story of a mother's terminal illness has been told with compassion and dignity, spending much of its time on the mother-daughter relation- ship and the loving warmth of close family ties. In the role of Ida, Maureen Stapleton gives another of her marvelously human perfor- mances, completely earning the viewer's empathy. As Betty, Patty Duke easily wins the audience at the start, but becomes increasingly un- sympathetic after she decides to go along with her mother's wish to die. As directed by Jeff Bleck- ner, the script by Jerome Kass realistically yet sensitively details Ida's long travail with doctors and chemotherapy. ii German American Bank We Make Friends For Life JASPER, INDIANA Moreover, the pain Ida's suffering causes her daughter and the rest of the family is conveyed with real feeling and genuine emotion. While all of this pathos touches the heart, one's sym- pathy is lost at the daughter's decision to assist her mother to commit suicide. From this point on the drama falters emotionally and logically in trying to justify Betty's active part in her mother's death. Little sympathy is gained by showing Betty's doubts and anguish as she asks peo- ple whom she respects for their views on what she should do. This is a critical poin! in the story because most of them advise Betty not to do it either on legal, medical or moral grounds. "That's what she says but does she mean it," comments one of the t'am- ily members. Betty listens but decides otherwise as she sets about the abhorrent task of finding the least painful way for her mother to end her life. This is a rather chilling en- terprise and in the process professional reporter Betty turns cold and impersonal, exactly the traits she disliked so much in the doctor who had operated on Ida. By the time Ida takes the poison pills, her condition seems to be in remission as she is full-of-life and much It t |1 il ii I like her old self. This makes her suicide seem even more inhumane, a terrible waste of whatever good days Ida had left to live. The program begins With Betty doing a TV report on the hospice movement in helping the terminally ill to die at home with as much comfort and as little pain as possible. One would have thought that of all the options Betty mother's suffering, a hospice would have been among the first. But the hospice alternative is never mentioned and one can only speculate on why it is never considered by the daughter. What started out as a com- pelling, universal family story degenerates into a thinly disguised advocacy piece. Yes, the alternatives are seriously considered. ;' The result is one of thOSe mixed bags that raises rn0r0 questions than it answerS. , Euthanasia advocates Y see this as a step towar 01" public acceptance of th views. It is more likely, hoW.ev:[ that the emotional empt]., of the drama's conclUSl will i.mpress viewers with t, senselessness of this 0 deavor to justify a mother suicide as the act of a daUg" had in trying to alleviate her mentioned. No, they are not  ' tcr s love. Book on prayer e!!a00wo00r - reviewed [ A line from no l THE AWAKENED HEART, vate practit:e to be conY} , that we all have a deep-seat; need to love. And, furth' more, the psychiatrist argue! if we surrender to that low much healing will come it By Gerald G. May. Harper (San Francisco, I991). 254 pp., $I6.95. Reviewed by Father James Gilhooley, Catholic News Service If you like your prayer life directed by a psychiatrist, "The Awakened Heart" is the book for you. If nothing else, this volume will disabuse those who feel that head doc- tors have no time for the spirit. Nor is this Dr. Gerald G. May's first time out of the starting gate on this subject. He is also the author of "Ad- diction & Grace: Love and Spirituality in the Healing of Addictions" along with sev- eral other works of the same genre. li I l AUTO TOPS* SEAT CVERS , BOAT COVERS STEREO SALES & INST&LATI0t 254-3943 H, WY 50 EAST, BEHIND UPS CENTE'R EUGENE WELP, OWNER I thy than Gregory of Nyssa himself inspired the title of the present volume: "I sleep, yet my heart is awake." May has the good sense to travel with heavy hitters. Strewn throughout his pages like so many heirloom dia- monds are the well- honed insights of William Blake, Jean-Pierre de Causade, Fran- cis de Sales, Julian of Nor- wich, the always-required St. Augustine, and scads of oth- ers. He will even introduce you to Thich Nhat Hanh, de- scribed as "the modern Viet- namese Zen master and peacemaker." The good doc- tor is a name-dropper of the first order. May wants his readers and no doubt his clients in pri- SCHNELLVILLE ' FOR COMPLETE ELECTRICAL SERVICE FISCHER ELECTRIC INC. RT. 1 ST. ANTHONY our wounded lives. .,1 ii The prose style is graCe!,iii:i:' : But be not misled. YoU w',ii not want to read the volur :i! at one sitting. t I  The only bad news is th found a certain amount 0r repetition of thoughts. Father Gilhooley is car" rently working on a life of a fictitious New York priest. Buehlers I.G.A. "THE THRIFTY HOUSEWIFE'S SOURCE OF SAVINGSS QUALITY FOODS and MEATS Also Huntingburg and Oakland City Compliments of Nass & Son Inc. FUNERAL HOME Huntingburg, Ind. m,,