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May 29, 1998     The Message
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May 29, 1998

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1998 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 9 Y: ;!Li:q  ;;!&apos; /}' } 0 i: S '::II than a speeding bullet 74 i ...... : s ,s,,,   <i'i i"  ', 3 ' <:!/t s ay not leap over tall buildings in a single bound, but they offer us of how to follow Christ in daily life," says Father Lawrence ii m CNS photo by Chris Sheridan the Marketplace )n point:. s Your family pray at mealtime? from readers: say grace, give thanks, and make the sign of the cross, and my end, applauds." M Stefanie McAdoo, Chapel Hill, N.C. grandchildren are there, we let them choose whatever prayer they they offer three or four prayers, and one time they sang a song. I are here alone, we say the traditional blessing." Marilyn Brey, Colby, Wis. dinner we take turns offering a spontaneous prayer, beginning We're thankful for that day. Then on Sunday wehave a family tra- ., share. Part of our prayer includes reciting part of a Bible spontaneous prayer of thanks." Annette Turne Louisville, Ky. i% asks: What programs does your monastery conduct for lay possible publication, please write: Faith Alive! 3211 Fourth . 20017'110 ................... By FATHER LAWRENCE E. MICK Catholic News Service Superman is getting old! "l'he comic book hero turns 60 this year. Over his life he has been joined by a number of other super heroes, attesting to the con- stant appeal of the hero in our midst. But Superman is a hero who's hard to imitate. Nobody I know can fly or withstand bullets, or see through walls though in my childhood, I sometimes thought my mother could do the lat- ter). We need heroes we can imitate, who are like us but challenge us to a higher level of thinking and acting. That's a reason why the church has canonized saints from every century. They are heroes and heroines for us to imitate. Parents and teachers can use the example of the saints to help young people learn to follow the Lord. St. Augustine, whose feast day is Aug. 28, witnesses to the possibility of conversion, which means turning your life around even when you have been living contrary to God's will. Though raised by a Christian mother, Augus- tine lived a rather wild life for years, accepting baptism only as an adult. It is good for every young person to know about St. Augustine, for we all need to turn from our sins and toward the Lord. It may be especially helpful for young people who have turned away from the church for a while to recall Augustine's story when God's grace urges them to return. St. Francis of Assisi (Oct. 4) has been named by Pope John Paul lI as the patron saint of ecology. Many children and teens today are sensitive to the need to care for the natural environment. St. Francis' example can remind them that such con- cern reflects faith; it results from recog- nizing that the universe, entrusted to our care, belongs to the Lord. Many parishes have a blessing of pets on the feast of St. Francis, which can be a good starting point for dkscuing his love for all of God's creation. Younger children might be particular- ly attracted to St. Nicholas (Dec. 6), because he is the origin of Santa Claus. It is good for them to learn about St. Nicholas, especially when they discover that Santa Claus is more myth than reali- ty. It is the generosity of Bishop Nicholas of Myra in Turkey that led to the story of Santa bringing gifts. Nicholas might also inspire young peo- ple to see that Christmas has more to do with giving than getting  it is more about sharing than amassing }xions. Saints may not leap over tall buildings in a single bound, but they offer us strong examples of how to follow Christ in daily life. Father Mick is a priest q[ the Archdiocese Home, Continued from page 8 Celebrating the Sunday liturgy and bringing home the good news of God's love and care for us is a lasting way to strengthen our own faith and that of our children. In "Faith and Fest in Family,;" a col- lection of prayer and celebration resources for families produced by the Family Life Office in Omaha, Neb. (3214 N. 60th St., Omaha, NE 68104; telephone, 402-551-9003; $29.95, pho- tocopying permission included), there are dozens of practical suggestions for meal and evening prayer, family fun activities, devotions and projects that bring the liturgy's message into every- day life. Home Word is a little newsletter that gives families creative ways to celebrate themes from the liturgy. (You can inquire about Home Word by writing in care of 1262 N.E. 63rd, Portland, OR 97213; tele- phone, 503-282-9.) Another good user-friendly resource is a book titled "Family Faith and Fun," .by Gary, Boelhower. (Hi Time Publish- ing, Milwaukee, W153222; $18.95). Such materials aim to help busy par- ents continue their parish's Sunday cel- ebration of God's love all week long in the domestic church of the home. Pedersen is coordinator of the Leadership in Family Life Training Program for the Archdiocese of Omaha, NE. , , , , , , ,,,, ,,, ,,,, ,, ,,,,, , , ,,,,,,, .,,, , Food ........................... for thought ..... . .... ..... It seems to me that some people (other people) are particularly good when it comes to offering a spontaneous prayer at mealtime. It strikes me that these people know what they're thankful for. They know a blessing when they see one  and can share that. Perhaps they're thankful that an adult child has arrived home safely to visit; that a teen-ager was accepted into college; that peace is coming to a waPrav- aged nation; that a friend has recovered from illness. Naturally, we're all thankful when something plainly good happens -- and w e all probably could share that at mealtime. But what if nothing out-of-the- ordinary has happened? What axe we thankful for on ordinary days? , Perhaps we're thankful to be together for tl' meal. Also, all the care the household's members give each other is something to give thanks for. We can thank God for the strength to carry out our con-atments; for a child's smile; for our opportunities to serve the poor and  co--on to others who need it. .... We might thank God for being God -- for being present at  very table. Then there is the food before us. Aren't we  for that? : u ,   David n Editor, Faith Alive!