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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
January 15, 1988     The Message
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January 15, 1988

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4 Faith Today Supplement, The Message, Catholic Diocese of Evansville, January 15, 1988 ..... Page 4 Faith Today I I II When adults take a new turn toward faith, they often have a question on their minds... There are times when anagging inner ' question becomes a moving force. At certain points in life, such a question propels;a per- son with new passion lnt6a life of faitli. ' One's question ay explicitly cOnCern some aspect of falthl just as oftenihowever, the nagging question is about oneself.'"What should I do when I feel unrewarded in a career that most people would consider arding? .... Is there hope for our homelife, which so often is chaotic -- even frustrating? .... Where did we go wrong, that ] we experience so much stress?" [ Dissatisfactions and disappointments; emo- I tional needs: It is not unusual that these are [ ithe background when people feel a renewed desire to delve into faithl There is a sense -- a suspicion -- that rediscovering faith is tied to rediscovering oneself. The kind of questions that propel people into faith need not grow out of life's frustra- tions, however. An encounter with another :person whos6 faith seems particularly attrac- tive -- compelling -- can stir new inner questions about faith. Consider this true-life scenari0:,i : You have been invited to attend a parish Scripture group which is meeting in the home of an acquaintance, and have accepted the invitation more from a sense of obliga- tion than real enthusiasm. During the first meeting, a,friend you have long known leads the Opening prayer in a way that surprises you -- not because of startling words she uses, but because of tier calm manner and the genuine maturity she brings to prayer. Knowing this to be a person who also spends time serving the poor and who is a patient listener and friend to many, you are quietly amazed. The woman's faith becomes the source of a nagging question for you. Driving home that evening -- and in the days ahead you ask something like, "How can this be?" "Why is faith the force it is in her life?" "What is faith?" Still other events can become the source of a question that leads into faith. A good outcome of events -- of an illness, of a job change -- may leave one feeling particularly thankful. A person may then begin to ask repeatedly about the mystery of Gotl's role in the world: "Does God play any role in the events or:the pattern of our lives .... Again it may be the wonder of the liturgy tha t suddenly strikes home one Sunday, leav- ing behind the nagging question, ',What is this really all about?" In any event, when adults take a new turn toward faith, they often have a question on their minds. 'Six foot of genius' By Janaan Manternach NC News Service ilbert grew up in a com- fortable home in Kens- ington, England, a little more than 100 years ago. Some of his earliest memories were of his mother and father reading to him and his younger brother, Cecil. Gilbert especially liked fairy tales. Young Gilbert loved to draw. He could sketch almost anything. In St. Paul's School, Gilbert discovered be loved to write too. He became editor of the school journal. And during his school years he found he was good at public speaking. As a teen-ager Gilbert was very tall and thin. His classmates sometimes laughed at him, saying he looked like a scarecrow. But he was good-natured and laughed with them. Gilbert was unusually bright, in- terested in everything and always asking questions. One of his teachers told Gilbert's mother that her son was "six foot of genius." Gilbert's parents sent him to art school in 1891 when he was 16. After graduation he got a job as an illustrator and was very successful. In 1901 Gilbert Keith Chesterton married Frances Blogg. Up until then he had not been much involv- ed with religion or the church. He once said that when he was 12 he was a pagan, not believing in God; by age 16 he was an agnostic, not sure whether there was a God or not. His constant questioning slowly led him to become a Christian. His marriage to Frances drew him into the Anglican Church in his late 2Os. During the first year of his mar- riage Gilbert began writing a newspaper column in London's Daily News. He wrote about the most important issues of his day and soon became famous. He also had become heavy, easily recognized on the streets of Lon- don with his cape, cane and som- brero. Everyone knew him as G.K. When G.K. was 341  he wrote a book, Orthodoxy. He showed PLACE .o...... how Christian faith helped him make sense of life. His book did the same for thousands By 1922, when he was 48 years old, he wanted to join the Roman Catholic Church. He was baptized by a Father O'Connor, who became known to the world as Father Brown in G.K.'s popular detective stories. His writings of all kinds reflected his deep faith in Christ and the Gospels. So did his many lectures and radio commentaries. Even those who disagreed with Chesterton could not deny his brilliant mind, his fine writing, his obvious sincerity and deep faith, and his captivating sense of humor. G.K. Chesterton continues to in- fluence people through his pro- found, delightful books, stories and poems. (Ms. Manternach is the author of catechetical works, Scripture stories and original stories for children.) What do you think? [] For a few minutes, imagine that you are a writer like G.K. Chester- ton. In the space provided (left) tell something that you think Chris- tians should do to make the world a better place. From the bookshelf Sometimes children experience bewilderment when a turn of events creates big changes in their lives. Sometimes, too, the changes are so great that it is difficult to accept them. In Fitchett's Folly, a story by Colby Rodowsky, many things change for Sarey. Hardest of all is the sudden death of her beloved father. Then Faith Wilkinson, an or- phan, moves into their home and Sarey resents her, refusing to ac- cept her. It turns out to be a long, hard summer. Only when something tragic nearly happens does Sarey face the truth and change her outlook. (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 19 Unlon Square, New York, N.Y. 10003. 1987. Hardback, $11.95.) ii'i.  ,: ii :' .