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June 9, 1995     The Message
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June 9, 1995

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Part three: Life in Christ The Dignity of the Human Person: The Image By DAVID M. THOMAS AND MARY JOYCE CALNAN A Moment from Life She got up from the couch and walked to the kitchen again. This was the fifth trip she was making to get him a beer. "Hey girl!" he yelled "While you're out there fix me some of your great pickins! And hurry up! I'm thirsty!" She stood at the sink looking out into the yard. It was filled with the kids' things. Most of those toys were getting rusty; but she couldn't remember to tell the kids every night to bring them in. She couldn't re- member every- thing! She had enough to re- member: She opened the beer and threw some snacks on a tray: He was always wanting snacks with his beer: She almost left the kitchen with- out his three nap- kins but she did remember to take them -- and to wipe the top of the beer can. He didn't even look at her when she handed him the beer and put the tray down. "He didn't even look" she said to herself Suddenly she felt very sad and she went to their room. She had never reacted this way be- fore. "What's wrong with me?" she wondered. "I better get a handle on myself' Sitting on the edge of the bed she lifted her head and opened her eyes. It was then that she saw it. Right there in front of her: The face of a To break through and feel (really feel) a sense of self-worth is a monu- mental life task, one that God is always Wanting to have happen. much older woman. Startled by the reality staring back at her; she asked herself"Do I al- ways look like this?" She tried to smile." It didn't work. Nothing worked. This was her! The eyes got her the most. Such sad, worn eyes. Where was the life she was supposed to have? Where was the love of children and home, and friendship? Where was the love she had once felt? Gone. All gone. As she silently looked deep into her own self; a small voice began to make itself heard. "I've had enough. I've had enough. Enough! ENOUGH!" Suddenly the woman looking back at her looked differ- ent! "My God," she thought, "when was the last time I smiled at me?" A Connec- tion with tbe Catechism Simply look- ing in the mir- ror can become a transforming spiritual exercise. Gazing back at us is our own reflection -- an image of our self, an image of God! If your mirror and eyesight are good, you can be treated to a wonderful experience! God has given each of us a special dignitv. No matter what we may like or dislike about our looks, we possess a dignity, a beauty, and an im- portance that is be.yond mea- "surement in human terms. Yes, each of us is im- mensely worthwhile. But God expects us to act accordingly. Our human dignity forms the foundation for living the Christian moral life. How- ever, we live in a world where this good news has been tar- nished by some bad news about our personal dignity. The good news is being heard more and more in most cultures today. People, including women and children of all races and na- tionalities, are being es- teemed as per- sons. This is the first cen- tury in which the fundamen- tal rights of every type of per- son on this planet are being acknowledged. That's very good news! But the bad news remains. Evil permeates the world community. Social pressures, interpersonal competition, the quest for power, and unre- stricted individualism con- tinue to undermine the value of the human person. The Catholic Church, par- ticularly through the insistent voices of recent popes, has clearly affirmed, over and over again, the value and dig- nity of every persh: Created in the Image of GodX How do we know that every person is worthwhile? How do we grasp the value of each of us, a value that exists simply because we are human? The opening chapters of the Book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible, give us th answer: God, the Creator, is the source of life for every one of us. We come forth from God's love. God fashions each person. God uses a model -- a God always desires our happiness. God always desires what is best for each of us. perfect model -- and always gets it right! The artist is God, and the model is God! Human beings are created in the image and likeness of God. Each person is, in a sense, part of a self-portrait of God. Because God is infinite, God can create trillions of dif- ferent self-im- ages without duplicating any of them. The diversity with which God creates reveals to us the infite beauty, the infinite richness within Godt There is one perfect, com- plete replica of God. His name is Jesus. Invited to Happiness A good test of whether we be- lieve (truly believe!) in God's love is our honest response to this question: Does God really care about my happiness? If we truly believe in God's love, we will affirm wholeheartedly that God wants us happy -- and wants it a lot! The heart of Jesus' teaching is summarized in what we call the "Beati- tudes." (The word beatitude means "happiness.") The Beati- tudes should not be thought of as mere statements of rewards to be given for doing the right thing. They are better under- stood as descriptions of what life is like in God's kingdom. God always desires our happiness. God always de- sires what is best for each of us. If we do not believe this, perhaPS it is because our idea of what is best for us does not always equate with God's. That's where faith and trust Diocesan boundaries exclude St. Meinrad Archabbey located in the Archdiocese of founded in 1854 by Swiss Meinrad School of Theology as By PAUL R. LEINGANG Message editor Saint Meinrad Archabbey is Indianapolis. Harrison Town- ship, in which it is located, was cut from the remainder of Spencer County at the time the boundaries were drawn for the new Diocese of Evansville, in 1944. The rest of Spencer County -- including the parishes at Chrisney, Dale, Mariah Hill, New Boston, Rockport and Santa Claus is in the Diocese of Evansville. Saint Meinrad Archabbey, one of only two archabbeys in the United States, was monks. Currently, the commu- nity consists of 137 monks, both priests and brothers. About a third of the monks are on assignment away from the monastery in such areas as pastoral assistance, education and chaplaincy. Saint Meinrad is the third largest Benedictine monastery in the country; it is the sixth largest in the world. The works of Saint Meinrad Archabbey include the operation of Saint Meinrad College and Saint institutions for the formation of men for diocesan and reli- gious priesthood and the preparation of lay leaders for the Catholic Church, and Abbey Press as a world-wide marketer of inspirational gifts and publications for the Chris- tian family. Information about Saint Meinrad Archabbey was pro- vided by Barbara Crawford, director of communications at the archabbey. Open Houses scheduled at renovated Ferdinand Monastery Two open houses have been scheduled for the public to tour St. Benedict Hall, the reno- vated monastery building of the Sisters of Benedict of Fer- dinand, Ind. The open houses are sched- uled for Sunday, June 18, and Sunday, June 25, from 2 to 4 p.m. Tours of St. Benedict Hall will be given during these times, in both English and Spanish. St. Benedict Hall, built in the 1930s, is a six-floor com- plex, which formerly housed three floors of bedrooms, the sisters' infirmary, a kitchen and dining area, a library, and other work and living areas of the sisters. The renovation done to the building involved upgrading electrical, mechani- cal, and plumbing systems, as well as providing fire safety measures, such as enclosed stairwells and a sprinkler sys- tem. The building now con- tains four floors of bedrooms including the sisters' infir- mary, as well as a kitchen, din- ing room, a meeting room, a reading room, and other living and work areas for the sisters. Funding for the renovation was raised through contribu- tions to Forward in Faith, a $5.1 million campaign of the Sisters of St. Benedict of Ferdi- nand. Streicher Construction, Inc., of Jasper, has handled the general construction for the renovation project; Harrell Me- chanical, Inc., of Bloomington, the plumbing, heating, ventila- tion, air conditioning and fire protection; and Weyer Electric of Ferdinand, the electrical work. come in. We can God will show us full happiness. It is said that life is much a mystery it is a miracle ever, in order to as a miracle, one must cept it as such. Once we learn God always has our ness at heart, we can the wave of the Spirit freedom and abandon have the courage and to say yes to God. We can say yes cause we have being God's image nity God gave us first moment of our The young tPening story has o recognize and own dignity. There people whose image own dignity has been by the horrific bya parent or To break (really feel) a sel self-worth is a task w one that wanting The abused mother in the has had this through. Now cept God's offer to belief in her dignity of being an .1 God. Consider this." Have you ever yourself in looked deep Entering can bring on with a body is in ther somebody is me! The sense of mentary, a dream th one awakes, aad So try ' Catch God in YO a ! Copyright lishing, Allen, with permission" sALES & jll-" Indud =pfri