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January 30, 1998     The Message
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January 30, 1998

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1997 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 9 " to synthesize life and faith By FATHER PAUL J. SCHMIDT Catholic News Service  whatyou preach. That's a rule homilists. It's one COmes alive in us. had harsh words about live an authentic Christian t the question is not "How 'do' I?" challenging, even But I've COme up with a list actions, that tell us some- : Our role _ what we can a meeting ground I exam- 10: '. It is eSSential to exercise sense _ to observe a clear, open mind; to eyes of faith. Then, in a way, I see that around me are grandeur of God." is necessary. to think about Scripture is aid to fruitful reflection, me. others is the way we matches our faith. - duties of my state in God and neigh- to others of those I live also Ways that love On a list of 10 actions to synthesize life and faith, Father Paul J. Schmidt notes the importance of exercising one's own "contemplative sense m to observe. It is essential to myself. Proper diet, are important in this with time and of my priori- even when is a particularly diffi- faith. I usually that I have missed forgiveness made it part of the Our Father. Daily human contacts pro- vide 70 times seven occasions to forgive. 5. Pray. Living a life of faith is really impossible, humanly speaking. Fortu- nately, God does not expect me to do this alone. If I pray, good things happen. If I forget to rely on God, things get very dif- ficult, and I become frightened. Over and over I've learned that "there's a divinity that shapes our ends." 4. Evaluate. I have to be honest with myself and take inventory. I can't just coast along. The sacrament of reconciliation is a great help in continuing my growth. So is regularly meeting with a spiritual director. .DiScussion Point: know your parents believe in God? St. Wendel Church, St. Wendel they would pray and talk to God everyday asking With a child. As I became older, I realized I was the little baby for time and time again. m Megan Martin around telling people what happened to him [in an accident]. him through it. Adam Koester, Grade 6 I have Witnessed my parents' faith in God through their m Jamie Bruggeman, Grade 8 Can remember my parents come into my room at night and Rayne M. Bitter, Grade 6 my Dad with having leukemia .... The doctors were able marrow] transplant operation. I experienced God's strength through my family and do? m Austin Lipking, Grade 7 eir way they ask themselves an important Kimberly Will, Grade 8 :from St. Wendel Church on page 5. .. see that the people and the world around me are 'charged with the grandeur of God,'" he says. -- CNS photo by Les Fetchko 3. Adjust. When I sense that something is not what it should be, [have to be will- ing to change. I have to resist the temp- tation to try to change other people to suit myself. I must be open to new demands, new conditions in life beyond my control. I've had the opportunity to do many things I never expected or planned, but they have been avenues of growth. 2. Laugh. A sense of humor is neces- sary in dealing with others. It also is indispensable in dealing with myself. Laughter means that we have the ability 1. Thank. St. Paul says to be thankful always. The spirit of thanksgiving reminds me that everything I have is gift and that I am blessed. If I remember to be thankful, I avoid taking things for granted. Then I can also rejoice in what I have, rather than grieve over what I do not have. Father Schmidt is director of Priests Per- sonnel for the Diocese of Oakland, Calif. Food fnr.... ...... :: ....... ........... Whenever we speak to each other, we have the opportunity to suck the life outof each other and to cause hurt; the opportunity is there to leave another person feeling diminished. But is that what we want to do? It is commonplace to say that faith is meant to make an impact on real life. But how? Where will faith show up in ordinary life? Precisely in its ordinary events and the extraordinary events too. Thus, faith can make itself known in the way people speak to each other their tone; the thoughtfulness in what they say and the respect it shows. Faith also makes itself known when: We resist the temptation  given birth by haste, fatigue or foqulness to act as if someone else wasn't created in God's image or lacked dignity. We refuse to exploit others and remember that no one else is our tool to manipulate for our own gain. We trust that God can act in a troubled situation to heal whatever is pushing people apart. We remember that we can make the choice to love and express love yet again. David Gibson Editor, Faith Alive!