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September 18, 1987     The Message
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September 18, 1987

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4 Faith Today Supplement, The Message, Catholic Diocese of Evansville, September 18, 1987 '"I wish to heal, not. accuse,' St. Augustine said, referring to the exercise of the pastoral activity regarding pen- ance, and it is thanks to the medicine of confession that the experience of sin does not degenerate into despair." (Pope John Paul II in his 1984 apostolic exhortation on reconciliation and penance.) Good health is of more than casual interest to people today. Take the expanding number of joggers, walkers and aerobic exer- cisers for example. They testify that good health is not just something to read and talk about, ON PILGRIMAGE but something to pursue actively. "Exercise is the best medicine," might be their motto. Not uncommonly these people see exercise as a medicine or heal- ing agent with far-reaching effects. Perhaps they hope it will help control the stress in their lives. By reducing stress, their exercise regimens would ultimately help them achieve healthier attitudes, a healthier ability to relate to others, a healthier approach to work. Actually, the lofty goals of some exercise buffs are nothing short of a sense of well-being and a new lease on life. In any event, you can see that "healing," "medicine" and "health" are ideas that interest people greatly today and in which they find profound meaning. When Pope John Paul II discuss- ed the sacrament of reconciliation in a 1984 message to the church, he observed that people today seem to have a special sensitivity to the healing aspect of the sacrament. The pope first pointed out that according to an "ancient tradi- tional idea, the sacrament is a kind of judicial action." As such, it takes place before a tribunal m but a tribunal of mercy, he stressed. Over and above the sacrament's judicial character, however, it needs to be recognized that the sacrament promotes "a heal- ing of a medicinal character," the pope said. He reminded readers that in the Gospels Jesus Christ frequently is seen as a healer. From the church's early days, Christ's redemptive work was called the medicine of salvation. This is the Christ who is encountered in the sacrament of reconciliation, he emphasized. The rite for the sacrament of reconciliation alludes to a healing aspect, the pope observed. People are perhaps more sensitive to this aspect today, seeing in sin "the element of error, but even more the element of weakness and human frailty," he said. How far reaching are the heal- ing effects of the sacrament of reconciliation? ,.......o.o.......o............... CHILDREN'S On the road with Dominic By Janaan Manternach NC News Service ' he priest and the inn- keeper started arguing just after dinner and argued all night long. As the sun lit up the morn- ing, the innkeeper finally admitted that the young Spanish priest was right. The man gave up his false beliefs. That story is often told about Father Dominic Guzman. It gives us a glimpse of his passion for truth. He spent all his energy helping people understand and live their faith as Catholic Christians. When Dominic was 7, his rich and noble parents had sent him to live with his uncle, a parish priest. The young Dominic had studied hard for years. When he was about 25, he was ordained a priest. Dominic lived a happy life, sheltered from the world around him. But this all changed when he was sent on a long journey to Rome. Along the way he learned firsthand that many people knew little about their Catholic faith. And it was on this journey that he is said to have argued all night with the innkeeper. The innkeeper and thousands of former Catholics believed in what is known as Albigensianism. They believed the world and the human body were bad, that there were no sacraments and that God's Son could never have become one of us. When Dominic reached Rome, he met Pope Innocent III. They talked about the Albigensians. Then the pope sent Dominic to southern France to preach the truth. About 1207 Dominic and a few companions began to teach and preach, walking barefoot from town to town. They lived in poverty, eating whatever people gave to them. They' studied and prayed together. They went to the inns and marketplaces to teach and preach to anyone who would listen. They became very popular. 00CE.o...o Then in 1216 the pope agreed that Dominic's community could become a new religious order. Dominic chose the name Order of Preachers for his new order. But many people called them Dominicans because he was their leader. Unlike the older religious orders whose members stayed in monasteries, Dominic and his companions went out to people wherever they were. Dominic traveled and preached all over Spain, Italy and parts of France. He set up many new Dominican houses. He also started an order of Dominican nuns. Finally, worn out by work, Dominic died in Italy in 1221. He was 52. In 1234 Pope Gregory IX declared Dominic a saint. Today thousands of Dominicans, men and women, continue his work all over the world. The church honors St. Dominic each Aug. 8. (Ms. Manterach is the author of catechetical works, scripture stories and original stories for children.) Hidden Words Flnd the words hid- den in the puzzle. They may be ver- tical, horizontal or diagonal. All the words are found in this week's sto.: R C S N I M O I C P S R R E X E N I F Y E 'B E T S N N C E H M U N I O I S N C I H V S C M E R A C T L B E O T U E W I T U N D T O R S A I N T J T J P N F I A N S SAINT. PREACHERS. INNOCENT, JOURNEY, FAITH, DOMINIC What do you think? [] What does the word forgiveness mean? How can you be a forgiving person? From the bookshelf The act of making up, of reconciling, happens over and over again in each of our lives. It is a process through which we can grow more accepting and more forgiving of ourselves and of others. In Every Living Thing, by Cynthia Rylant, there are 12 short stories. Each story reveals what redemption is like in dally life, how a new fullness of life develops in our actual lives. Three stories, "Slower Than the Rest," "Papa's Parrot" and "Shells," are unusually good because of what each main character needs and receives. This in turn deepens each character humanly and spiritually. (Bradbury Press, 866 Third Ave., New York, N.Y. 10022. 1985. Hardback, $9.g5.) ....