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June 21, 1996     The Message
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June 21, 1996

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21, 1996 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Reflecting on lifetime priorities when people are es it is helpful reflect on their life- This enables to de.cide which their life are the most to them. To deter- current priorities, a ask: Where do I my time, how do I spend and what do I think most of the time? ,, GRAHAM JR. .... atholic Charities :ting marriage workshops I some- !ask the group what they the top priorities in person's life. As I make a list and it )les the follow- Job, first; TV, second; third; spouse, fourth, ca: Children, first; b, second; spouse, fourth; God fifth. is very consis- reflects the findings of COnducted national I ask the same they think the es Should be, they re- ;hat the priorities the same for men and should be the spouse, second; job, fourth; fifth. ties after the e,Sometimes differs, but the great majority of people in the workshops seem to agree on these first five lifetime pri- orities. One conclusion from this exercise might be that as a group we have an idea of what is wrong with society and most importantly we know how to fix it. Imagine for a moment what our communities would be like if everyone reordered their priorities to reflect those listed as the ideal. When our priorities are in proper order harmony reigns, right relation- ships are formed and there is peace, happiness and justice. It is most important to put God first and make Him the center of our lives. Everything we do and think about can be expressed in the following way: Does this action or thought bring me closer to God, farther away from God, or have no bearing on my relationship with God? Some people might argue that there is no such thing as a neutral act in our relationship with God, but it could be that the effect is so small that an- other of our priorities is af- fected more. For example, playing golf on Sunday instead of attending church might af- fect our priorities more than playing on Saturday. The most important reason for putting God first in our lives is the acknowledgment that He is superior to us, He knows what is best for us, and He will lead us to our heavenly home through the power of His Holy Spirit. In many ways, the world tells us that we don't need God any more. The world makes us think that if we just fine-tune the government, save a little more and make a few more medical breakthroughs then everything will be fine. These are hollow promises and if we believe what the world says it will take us farther from our Maker. For married people, it is most important to put our spouse second on our list of pri- orities. When we were married, we gave ourselves to our spouse unconditionally, and we promised to care for our spouse's needs as we do for own. Part of our commitment is to accept our spouses as they are and not try to change them to fit our preconceived notion of what a wife or husband should be. By. doing this we put "my happiness" and "my fulfill- ment" in a secondary place. It is in giving of ourselves to someone else that we really find our life. In blended families, it is es- pecially important to put our spouse higher in priority than our own natural children. If children are allowed to become a wedge between a married couple then inconsistent disci- pline and divisiveness will re- sult. After our spouses, our chil- dren are next in line on our list of priorities. This is especially true when spending time with them. Despite the current ad- vice, the most important thing is quantity time, not quality. The biggest compliment you can pay a person is if you like to "hang out with them." And this is especially true with our children. It is important to go to their school and sports events to let them know that their activities are important. Spending time with children often interferes with our own work time or leisure time, but it is essential. Spending this time is a temporary situation because once they get older they will have their own sepa- rate interests which won't in- clude their parents. A person's job can be num- ber four on the list after God, spouse and children. Even though most people will say that they "work for their fam- ily," there comes a time when the time spent with the family far outweighs the extra money brought in by overtime or a promotion. It is often easier to work in- stead of going home. At work, there is a controlled environ- ment where a person can feel productive and appreciated while sometimes at home none of these feelings are present. In the end, however, time spent at home will produce many more dividends than the extra effort expended at work. Fifth on the list should be money, hobbies and leisure time. This puts "things" and "my time" in their proper per- spective. It is important to have a sense of self and be a whole person, but putting oth- ers before self is the finest ex- ample of loving your neighbor. It is also important to put relationships before things. Things cannot bring us happi- .hess and, once acquired, quickly shrink in their ability to satisfy us. Meaningful rela- tionships, however, can bring us great joy and a sense of meaning to our lives. By being aware of our life- time priorities, we have a benchmark to use in making decisions when our choices are difficult, Having priorities adds balance to our life and helps to bring us happiness. For more than anything else, happiness cannot be gained if sought after but is a residue of leading a well-balanced, right- eous life. No Bishop's Forum this Week - There is no "Bishop's Forum" in the Message this week. Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger's column will return to this page following the bishop's return from the June meeting of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. l in heaven will fidelity as he did Indeed, Jesus is )f obedience, for it is obedient suffering that we are able to : fhis one. life-giving  lnder the appearances Wine (cf. Heb. 5:7- 14:17-20). there is the basic in the filith- for our Eucharis- stand for many re, but kneeling is  I ngton 4 exactly wrong People who we want Party," he said. finishing his Congress, said it's to be part of viewpoint to the party's Ire 35 to 40 of us in e Who vote pretty Hall ex- I think in the -ral the percent- much higher hers of Congress Party leaders on a total change plank on lid be out of the Barcia. Will feel better as if the plat- can follow our d. could ever tion plank in distinctively prayerful pos> tion. whether for praise or penance. A 1994 New York Times poll revealed that most adult Catholics (70 percent of those aged 18-44 and 58 per- cent of those aged 45-64} do not believe that Jesus is really present in the Holy Eucharist. Rather. they responded that the consecrated and therefore transubstantiated, bread and wine are merely "symbolic re- minders" of Jesus: the figure tbr Catholics 65 and older was -I5 percent And 51 percent of the platfi)rm." he said. "But it's very important that we get an acknowledgment that we have a place that we can campaign as pro-life Democrats." Like Barcia, many of the pro-life Democrats working for the platform change are Catholics. They include Reps. Bart Stupak of Michigan, Harold Volkmer of Missouri, Marcy Kaptur of Ohio and Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania. Barcia said losing control of both houses of Congress to Re- publicans in 1994 was a great wake-up call to the Democratic Party, particularly when it comes to regaining some of its traditional supporters, who voted GOP over issues includ- ing abortion and homosexual- ity. Polls in Michigan showed voters felt "the Democratic Party had become captive to small special interest groups, so the people turned their backs on it." all adult Catholics who said they go to Mass weekly or al- most weekly view the Eu- charistic species, again, as merely "symbolic reminders." These findings do not reflect well on the catechetical and liturgical practices in some places during the last 30 vears. With the aid of God's grace, following the norm for kneeling and encouraging preaching on the Real Pres- ence would do much to pro-- mote a renewal of Eucharistic belief and piety. May God abundantly bless Father Deering and the other priests of the Diocese of Evansville for all they do in en- abling us to encottnter Christ in tle Eucharist and the other i ii sacramentst And may we all strive to d everything we can via both our liturgical partic- ipation and everyday day lives to bring Christ to the whole world, United in the Faith. Thomas J. Nash Director of Public Relations and Information Services Catholics United for the Faith Standing is an option Father William Deet'ina,. diocesan dircct,r ,,/" w,,'ship. respo!uts to the letter about .toshu'e at Mass. Thomas Nash. Director of Public relations for Catholics United tbr the Faith, has in- deed written respectfully con- cerning a response made to Ms. Schlachter concerning standing during the Eucharis- tic Prayer. Unfortunately he works from a false premise when he states that the issue is "kneeling vs. standing dur- ing the consecration of the Holy Eucharist." My response was not one versus the other. It was merely a response to point out that standing during the eucharistic prayer can be a reverent pos- ture as indicated by the docu- ments cited and as indicated by our earlier tradition. My re- sponse was not an argument to change a policy established by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. After 40 years in the priesthood it is not this writer's intent to suggest disobedience or irreverence. l'm giad to see the concecn for accepting the bishop statements al)out the titurf.-,,. Again. let me make it per- fettle clear, my response was not to argue against kneeling during the Eucharistic prayer. It was merely to say that when the entire assembly stands for the Eucharistic prayer, the people are not being irrever- ent. After all, we priests stand during Eucharist prayer all the time, and my suspicion is that most, if not all of us, work hard at promoting a very. reverent Eucharistic pie. As for the results of the quoted 1994 New York Times poll: Many who responded that the bread and wine are "sym- bolic reminders" of the Body and Blood of Jesus, do not have the technical language or the sacramental language at their command. Hence their re- sponse. It is also possible that the pollsters themselves didn't use the right language in ask- ing the question. Concerning the examples from scripture: it should be noted that the examples given both from Phitippians and Rev- elations are metaphorical. If we look furl.her into scripture we see that on Palm Sunday the people stood and shouted to prmse the savmr, and we read in Matthew 27:29): "Then they began to mock him by dropping to their knees before him. saying, 'All hail, king of the aewst"' Notice how scrip- ture can be misused! Reverence for the Eucharist must begin with reverence tbr the presence of Jesus in each one of us. tt is only then that the Lord is present in the as- sembly "where two or three are gathered" in his name. And it is when this assembly presided over by its ordained priest in- vokes the Spirit and remem- bers the saving acts of Jesus that once more the sacrifice of Jesus is made present on our altar. "May all of us who share in the body and blood of Christ be brought together in unity by the Holy Spirit." (Eucharistic Prayer II) Father William Deering Director of Worship