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Evansville, Indiana
April 17, 1998     The Message
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April 17, 1998

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 5 Easter time is renewal time By BISHOP GERALD A. GETTELFINGER Life has burst forth from the tomb. Jesus is risen! Life is I visited my birthplace. My my brother Tony, had saved from one of their best to say, I was delighted with their s can be very elusive for the unprac- out into the woods for about an a few little ones. I mused again !grow. Do they "pop up?" Do they or when one's back is turned? In are a certain sign of the in the woods for for mushrooms he told me that Fritz had helped a young truck farmer set out 10,000 cabbage plants. Before that they had spent eight hours "cutting potatoes" in preparation for planting. As we continued our search for mushrooms we could hear the tractor of the young truck farmer in our fields on the home place. He was planting 10 acres of sweet corn. The livelihood of that young farmer depends not only on his best efforts but also on the blessings of God. His efforts will be fruitless unless the weather provides rain and sun in proper measures. Yet, filled with hope of a good crop and a market, he goes about his work. Spring is a time of planting. A time of renewal of life. A time of renewed hope in things of this earth Jesus' resurrection renews our hope in eternal life. The rhythms of human life, the cycles of our cli- mate provide regular reminders that our future is not here on this earth. What we do and how we live are direct preparations for the moment we leave this earth in death to enter the life of eternal happiness prepared for us by our Risen Savior. With renewed hope, however, we must never become careless or complacent. We remain weak and prone to personal failure. For this reason our hope is sustained by practicing self-control. We are fragile. Our bodies can be broken. Death can come in an instant. We must be careful in our everyday activities. This week we celebrated Rogation Day at St. Fer- dinand. We prayed for good weather. There was a special blessing for the earth and the seeds to be planted, and young plants to be set-out. In my remarks, I urged all farmers to be careful. It is not uncommon for farmers to push human limits by long days and even nights in the fields during this time of year. Weariness and exhaustion can lead to taking "short-cuts" violating rules of safety in doing so. All too often that is a formula for tragedy. Such tragedies affect not only the farmer but his family and community. We ask for God's blessings on all who produce food for our tables. May God grant them good health, joy in their work and a worthy livelihood! Against Violence Advocacy offers a pledge for your family and those families who !together to say: violence! We include all a variety and cultur- are families who because of our we are fami- . We rep- of political per- our dif- as ating for behavior violence pre- prevalence of violence in our culture. Increasing violence touches every community and practically every family. We live in a culture of violence in which families, and especially children, are the victims as expressed so poignantly in this reflection from the Children's Defense Fund: Violence romps through our chil- dren's playgrounds, invades their bedroom slumber parties, terrorizes their [day care] centers and schools .... attacks their front porches and neighborhoods, abuses them or a parent at home, tanta- lizes them across the television screen .... It nags and pricks at their minds and spirits .... snuff- ing out the promise and joy of childhood and of the future. in the face of widespread vio- lence, many people are fright- ened, confused, frustrated, angry, and perhaps worst, feel- ing powerless. We, however, claim both a power and respon- sibility to respond. We join together in this Advocacy Net- work to express a moral voice, a voice of outrage, that calls all families and our whole culture to reject violence and violent 'solutions' to problems. We will break the cycle of violence by creating a circle of families who can be strong and bold because we stand together. We say "NO!" to violence in our homes, and 'YES!" to countering vio- lence and promoting alterna- tives to violence in our commu- - nities and world ! ! !3: : ! by the you have been saved through faith and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one can boast." Maybe we Catholics should let these ministers and other persons know that we do accept Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior and seek a per- sonal relationship with Jesus. We know these things already, maybe we just need to express our feelings a little more when it comes to this crucial area of our walk with the Lord. We know these things because, they are in the Bible and the Bible is our connection to God. 1 Corinthi- ans 10:11. Ed Wagner Vincennes 4 died for our n comes grace seem to think do not know in John 14:6, truth and the to the Father rile." do not realize know for a 4:12 tells Vs, that Salvatioi through is there any given by which we also know, or re of, "for by Grace NFp items are valued to see the arti- FIoffman and and children. I is work- Secret,s Out" is faith, but when the Lord wants you to do something, he gives you the means to accomplish it. Of course, I'm speaking of [the doctor's] decision not to pre- scribe contraceptives. I firmly believe he is correct. Doris Head Evansville Family Pledge of Nonviolence Making peace nmst start with- in ourselves and in our family. Each of us, members of the family, commit ourselves as best we can to become nonvi- olent and peaceable people: To Respect Self and Others To respect myself, to affirm others and to avoid uncaring criticism, hateful words, physi- cal attacks and self-destructive behavior. To Communicate Better To share my feelings honest- ly, to look for safe ways to express my anger, and to work at solving problems peacefully. To Listen To listen carefully to one another, especially those who disagree with me, and to con- sider others' feelings and needs rather than insist on having my own way. To Forgive To apo!ogize and make amends when 1 have hurt another, to for- give others, and to keep from holding grudges. To Respect Nature To treat the environment and all living things, including our pets, with respect and care. out in To Play Creatively To select entertainment and toys that support our family's values and to avoid entertain- ment that makes violence look exciting, funny or acceptable. To Be Courageous To challenge violence in all its forms whenever I encounter it, whether at home, at school, at work, or in the community; and to stand with others who are treated unfairly. This is our pledge, These are our goals. We will check our- selves on what we have pledged once a month on  for the next 12 months so that we can help each other become more peaceable people. For more itwmation on creat- ing a circle of peace, contact the Families Against Violence Advoca- cy Network, 4144 Lindell Blvd., Suite 408, St. Louis, MO 63108. Telephone (314) 533-4445. E'mail ' Continued from page 4 prevailing view that middle-class morality had become "a bad thing," characterized by finger- pointing and a "highly judg- mental" attitude toward others. To find the answers, Wolfe conducted short surveys and in- depth interviews with 200 resi- dents of eight suburban com- munities  Brookline, Mass.; Medford, Mass.; DeKalb Coun- ty, Ga.; Cobb County, Ga.; Bro- ken Arrow, Okla.; Sand Springs, Okla.; Easflake, Calif., and Ran- cho Bernardo, Calif. The typical respondent was between 40 and 60 years-old, Catholic or Baptist, had a family income between $50,000 and $75,000 a year, worked in a pro- fessional capacity, v,,s equally likely to be a Democrat, a Repub- lican or an independent, and was about 10 percent more like- ly to be a woman than a man. Wolfe said' his research showed that those in the middle class today "believe very deeply in right and wrong" but are "extremely reluctant to tell oth- ers that their behavior is fight or wrong." The only major exception is in the middle-class attitude toward homosexuals. Wolfe attributes the middle class" greater willingness to condemn homosexual behavior to sever- harm to their children if homo- sexual behavior were fully accepted in society. "How do they reconcile their rejectio of homosexuality with their otherwi strong support for moral inclividualism?" Wolfe asks in his book. "Because homosexuality is viewed by its opponents as a choice, it is, some of them believe, possible to reject the choice without reject- ing the person who made it." Wolfe believes that the trend toward moral individualism has at least some of its roots in post- World War II decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court on separa- tion of church and state. The court promulgated a view "that the American belief in belief was essentially pri- vate," Wolfe wrote. "In your home, with your co-religionis, and in matters involving your own children, you were free to believe anything you wanted, but once you entered into pub- lic institutions, you accepted that such institutions would be neutral in matters of religion." For middle-class Americans, "the things they think are important  G-ocl, country, fam- ily -- can't be discussed in polit- ical language," Wolfe said. Groups like the Christian Coalition ?8or it wrong," he said, whenthey tried to make al factors, including a distaste Goda key player in the political for overtly sexual behavior of process. "People love God and any kind and a fear of possible they hate politics."