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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
May 13, 1988     The Message
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May 13, 1988

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I II I i FIdth Today Supplement, The Message, Catholic Diocese of Evansville, May 13, 1988 *3" w low the church and the sacraments aelp to form people in quite basic vays in a pamphlet called "Under- t,mding Confirmation Today" (Litur- gical Press, Collegeville, Minn.). It, the sacraments, the church ce "rates what God is doing in the ires of its members," Father Mick ;aid. Sacraments are a reminder that xe are called to "a life of continual :onversion, gradually rooting out sin and selfishness and giving our lives more and more completely to God" and to others. He points out that conversion is a lifetime process which occurs within a community setting and with the support and prayers of other com- munity members. (Ms. Bird is associate editor of Faith Today.) FOOD FOR THOUGHT I I I Attitudes are important forces in people's daily lives. They affect the way people look at life and how they relate to God, to themselves and to others. The church's sacraments have a powerful effect in shaping the attitudes that guide people and the choices they make. As described by Laura Mcaghcr, what sorts of attitudes does the Eucharist help people to develop? What effect does Jane Wolford Hughes think that the sacrament for the sick has in changing people's outlook on their lives? What does it mean to say that the sacraments reach outside tile walls of churches to enter into people's daily lives? How important is the community aspect of the sacraments in shaping people's attitudes? Second Helpings. The sacraments summon Christians "to celebrate and to confront tensions and contradictions which they might otherwise forget or cover up," says Jesuit Father Gerard Fourez in Sacraments and Passages: Celebrating the Tensions of Modern Life. Celebrating the Eucharist, for instance, draws community members to consider such ques- tions as why Jesus had to die, and why they have to die. It also encourages people to ask why they struggle in daily life. Another example Father Fourez uses is the baptism of an infant. In this sacrament Christians are invited to confront questions about what kind of community the newly baptized is joining. Will it love the newcomer unconditionally? Or will the child feel overwhelmed by the oppression of others? Father Fourez also points out that people receive strength for their daily lives from the communal sacramental celebrations. He mentions a family participating at a Eucharist together in a hospital room before a dangerous operation. Such services join people with Jesus who, on the eve of his suffering and death, shared a paschal celebration with his friends. In the Eucharist "Christians commemorate this passage lived by Jesus," Father Fourez says, And living tile Eucharist means living the decisions and tasks taken in life "in conjunction with Jesus' deci- sion to give his life." (Ave MariaPress, Notre Dame, Ind. 46556. 1983. Paper- back, $4.95.) I I II [ 00xrt. ion EXTENSION Bring home a Catholic tradition with free EXTENSION Magazine [] Please send me a FREE trial subscription to EXTENSION Magazine. Rev./Mr./Mrs./Miss/Ms. Address State Zip The Iathohc (Church EXTENSION soow 3 EesL Wacker E)r'tve2 Chicago, IIho 60601 FT 0919 For 80 years, EXTENSION lic Faith to poor and remote mission areas of the United States. It describes what it means to be a missionary today. To learn how you can be part of the missionary church, send for a free trial sub- scription to EXTENSION Magazine today. Magazine has been a part of Catholic families. Over the years, the magazine's appear- ance has changed, but its essential message remains the same. EXTENSION tells the story of priests, nuns and lay people struggling to bring the Catho- City III I III I I I i Ig I ii II i _ , ...... ., ....' ....  .', .... ,: , ....