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May 1, 1998     The Message
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May 1, 1998

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4 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 17 Today's burdens... By PAUL R. LEINGANG Editor Some stories seem to live a life of their own. I heard a great story recently, and I clearly recall the point that was made by it. The details, though, have slipped away from my memory. The story was attributed to Mohandas Mohatma Gandhi, according to my memory. That significant detail, though -- the authorship of the story -- is not certain in my memory. Nonetheless, the story is strong enough to sur- vive -- point intact -- with or without even some sig- nificant circumstances. As I recall, a messenger from the heavens came to a small group of nomadic people. The messenger gave the people a command. Everybody in the small group was instructed to take a sack and to fill it with stones. As anyone might imagine, a sack of stones can be quite heavy. And for a nomadic people, the burden is even more difficult, because the sacks full of stones have to be carried along wherever they go. So it comes as no surprise that many of the peo- ple choose to put only a few small stones in their sacks. The command may have come from the heav- ens, but the response was only human. The next morning, as the people prepared for a new day, they were surprised to discover that the common stones, the ones they had picked up and car- ried the day before, had turned to gold.  . There may be no need to draw a moral from this story. But there may be some applications that a Christian family might want to make. In Matthew's gospel, chapter 11, Jesus invites all who labor and who are burdened to come to him, "and I will give you rest." I don't think the promise includes anything about taking away the burden completely. Jesus also states that his yoke is easy and his bur- den is light. The law of love is a lighter burden than the complicated interpretations of Mosaic law. But it is still a burden, it seems, as light and easy as it may be. - =$ =t Talk with your friends or members of your family about the burdens you carry with you. Have any of the burdens of one day turned into something valu- able on the next? Many families have stories about times of strug- gling to make ends meet -- and in later reflection, some may find that "those were happy times." Other families have stories about a difficult rela- tionship, perhaps between a child and between two children. Some times, always, the most difficult relationship the closest and the strongest. In some examples, the stones of today tomorrow, too -- heavy and hard to -  . Take the time to help another den. Be available, be aware, be a who struggles with some heav Examine the burdens carried by neighborhood, or in your church way for the group to help to ease Perhaps that means Visiting the someone who has suffered a loss. Perhaps that means sharing expertise in a particular area those who have not yet learned the best their share of the weight. ing, consumer education -- these are ble Take the time to help witness to the faith of a Christian family' around you. It will make a difference. Comments about this column are or the Christian Family Box 272, Ames, Iowa 50010. Does marriage matter? Panelists debate what Congress By NANCY FRAZIER O'BRIEN Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A declaration on the importance and value of marriage would get little argument on Capitol Hill. As a concept, it's up there with the American flag and apple pie. But in reality, Congress and other branches of government have been whittling away at the value of marriage over the past three decades, according to a pane[ of experts on family life and economic policy recently convened by the Heritage Foundation to discuss the topic, "Marriage Matters: What Con- gress Can Do to Strengthen Marriage in America." "It may seem strange that one would have to reaffirm the importance of marriage," said Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., who moderated the three-hour 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47711  Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville fJb/L.he weekty except last week in Oqember by the Catholic Press of Evansville Punisher ........ : shop Ge A. GetteaQ Production Techran ............... J Dietrich Advertising ........................... :....Paul Nee/and Staff Writer ............................ Mary Ann Hughes Address all cornrnun;ations to P.O. Box 4169, Evanswlle, IN 47724-0169 Subscription rate: $18.50 per year Single Copy Price: $50 Entered as  rnaer al the t:x offxm in Ev'ar, s. IN 47701. PutYication  843800. tnaste: Redo POD brrns 3579 to Off of Pubcali round-table discussion at the U.S. Capitol. But, after citing what he called "an unfortunate set of really bad statistical trends" on violence against women and children, Brownback concluded that "where we're going with children and families is clearly the wrong direction." The nine panelists over- whelmingly agreed, although they offered a wide range of solutions. Patrick Fagan, a senior policy analyst at Heritage, a Washing- ton-based public policy insti- tute, said the key reason behind the rising rate of divorce and out-of-wedlock births is the "alienation between the sexes," a problem that cannot be solved by Congress. "Adult men and women today can't stand each other enough to stay together and raise the chil- dren," he said. "It would be a fundamental mistake to look to Congress as the leader on this." What is needed, Fagan said, is a deep-seated change in "how we look at marriage, the sexual act and its effect on intimacy between men and women." Others had more easily attain- able suggestions. Maggie Gal- lagher, a scholar with the New York-based Institute for Ameri- can Values and author of the 1996 book, "The Abolition of Mar- riage: How We Destroy Lasting Love," said Congress must reject "any form of legislation which structures aid to families only toward single mothers or work- ing mothers." Proposals like the child-care legislation currently before Con- gress interfere in a family's fight to decide who cares for their children by giving benefits only to one choice, said Gallagher. Contending that mothers who choose to quit their jobs to remain home with their chil- dren pay a much greater price in terms of lost current and future earnings than mothers who continue to work, she urged child-care benefits that would allow "all women in all families to choose the way they want to organize their families." Gallagher also proposed that any children born to a drug- addicted mother or to a mother under 16 years old not be eligi- ble for welfare benefits and be put up for adoption by a two- parent household. Charles Murray of the Ameri- can Enterprise Institute in Wash- ington said Americans "have to decide whether they think hav- ing a child out of wedlock or abusing that child is just unfortu- nate, or fundamentally immoral." To term such behavior as immoral is "not just a Judeo- Christian value," Murray said, "but something that is funda- mental to our roles as human beings." Among the other government policies cited by the panelists as discouraging intact families are the limits on welfare assistance to married give priority to intact sion of elists said is only by the that will Allan Howard Center gion and Ill., said efforts lems caused government reached a "There is people said. Brownback that "If of the build See Political advertising accepted Political advertising is accepted at the Message from all bona fide candidates on an equal basis. Political advertising will be prepaid. Political advertising will be clearly identified as such, by the words, "paid political advertisement." The source of payment for political advertising will be clear- ly identified. Acceptance of advertising does not indicate endorsement or opposition to a candidate, political party or a matter brought before the people in a referendum. The Message retains the fight to veto or edit advertising based on neutral criteria such as general editorial standards or con- siderations of good taste. Such criteria will not relate to the agreement or disagreement of the candidate with the position of the Message on the issues. This policy was established and has been followed since Sep- tember l, 1988. Bishop's sche Confirmation at Sacred Heart, 2, 6 p.m. Confirmation at St. Nicholas, Santa 10 a.m. Confirmation at St. John, Daylig Peer Mentor Recognition Dinner, CathO day, May 3, 6 p.m. Newburgh Deanery Assembly, St ......... Monday, May 4, 7 p.m. Confirmation at Christ the King, ..... 5, 7p.m. Catholic Foundation of ing at the Catholic Center, Wednesday, Evansville East Deanery Assentbly, Evansville, Wednesday, May 6, 7 p.m. National Prayer Day, Four Freedoms ville, Thursday, May 7, 11:45 a.m. Confirmation for St. JOhn, Sacred dral in Vincennes, at St. John the Baptist Thursday, May 7, 7 p.m. 25th Anniversary of Ordination o, op Wilton D. Gregory, Belleville, II., Friday,