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October 9, 1987     The Message
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October 9, 1987
 

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"We have prayed, each in his own way, have fasted, we have marched together. In this way we have tried to open our hearts to the' divine reality beyond us and to our fellow men and women. Yes, while we have tasted we have kept in mind the sufferings which senseless wars brought about and are still about on humanity. Thereby we have tried to be spiritually close to the millions who are the victims of hunger throughout the world." (Pope John Paul II, Oct. 27, 1986, during the day of prayer for peace in Assisi, Italy) -O-.O--O- ON PILGRIMAGE Fasting is no stranger t o modern .times. News reports from the past two years show that individuals and groups deprived themselves of some portion of their daily bread for the sake of obtaining an end to youth violence; for the passage of anti-abortion legislation; for the cessation of aid to the Nicaraguan contras; for Soviet Jews seeking to emigrate; and for God's help in holding back the waters of the Great Salt Lake. But despite its fairly common use, many people wonder about the practice of fasting. They may regard fasting as self-inflicted suffer. ing in a world that already yields sufficient suffering. They may regard fasting as a mere test of will power or a negative practice that places attention on what is not done -- what is not eaten. Or it sometimes is said that fasting focuses one's attention so much on oneself- on the activity of fasting itself -- that God's presence and others' needs are forgotten. If there is a risk that people will turn fasting into a largely external and mechanical action, it also has the potential to redirect their atten- tion toward life's purpose and out- ward to others. Generally the word fasting is used in connection with eating less. But it sometimes is recommended that people fast by giving up ex- cessive TV viewing, consumerism or any activity that tends to enslave them. This suggests that fasting is a step toward a simpler lifestyle, greater freedom and maturity. What's more, by giving something up through fasting, one indicates an intention to be more of a giver than a taker in life. So fasting shows one's willingness to share the world's goods -- an at- titude Pope John Paul II- frequently says is indispensable for world peace. It is interesting to note how, over the centuries, fasting always seems to have found a place in Christian life. People have turned to it almost instinctively as a way to express their faith  a sign of what they truly believe. --.'".'"'"'"'"'"'"'"'"'"'""'"'""" CHILDREN'S PLACE'"'""'"'""'"'""'"'""'""'"'"'"--" By Janaan Manternach NC News Service nthony Claret's family was poor and he had to L. begin working in a tex- k tile factry as a youngster. His father was a weaver there. By the time Anthony was a young man he was a skilled weaver like his father. Anthony also designed clothes for friends and customers close to Barcelona, Spain. When he was about 20, Anthony became very sick. His slow recovery gave him much time to think about his life. He decidea to give his life to God as a monk or a missionary. His bishop urged him to become a parish priest instead. Anthony followed his bishop's advice and in 1835 was ordained. He went to a small parish tn a mountain village. The people liked their young priest. They felt he understood them and loved them. His sermons spoke to their hearts and helped them live happier lives. His sermons were so good that people all over Spain invited him to preach in their churches. Soon Cuba's spiritual father he was one of the most popular preachers in Spain. He decided to invite others to share his preaching ministry and, in 1849, founded a religious com- munity called "Sons of the Im- maculate Heart of Mary." Its members are known as Clare- tians after Father Anthony's fami- ly name, Claret. Soon afterward the pope surpris- ed everyone by making Father An- thony archbishop of Santiago, Cuba, far from Spain. It had been without a bishop for many years. Many priests and political leaders liked not having a bishop. So the new archbishop met many problems. He began by helping the priests change their lives and live up to their vocations. He set up a seminary to train new priests. He preached all over the island. Then he worked hard to change the situations that kept so many Cubans poor. He encouraged bet- ter methods of farming. He urged the people to form credit unions. Not everyone was happy with the archbishop's eflk)rts at reform. People even tried to kill him. Once he was stabbed and seriously wounded. But he refuged to give up. A few years later Queen lsabella II called Archbishop Anthony back to Spain to be her personal preacher and confessor. His official duties for the queen did not take all his time, so he turned to writing and publishing books and pamphlets. These writings helped thousands of people. He also set Up a science laboratory, a music school, a language school and a natural history museum. People loved and respected Archbishop Anthony,  especially because of-the prayerful, under- standing, caring person he was. He died in a French monastery in 1870. Pope Pius XII canonized him in 1950. His feast is Oct. 24. (Ms. Mantemach is the author of catechetical wdrks, scripture stories and original stories for children.) Word Scramble What do you think? Unscramble the words below All the words are in this week's children's story. Example: RLATEC 1. REEVAW 2. NOTHANY 3. GOSITANA 4. GINMARF [] Archbishop Anthony Claret found many ways to help peo- ple, by preaching, by opening a music school and a science laboratory, and by writing books. If you could go back In time and join the archbishop, in which of these activities might you join him? Draw a picture showing you at work with the archbishop. From the bookshelf Living for generations In one place can create a special way of life. In the story Goodbye, My/s/and, by Jean Rogers, 12-year-old Esther" Atoollk describes what life Is like during her people's last winter on King Island, a small rocky Island In the Bering Sea. Their community Is Icebound all winter. There Is one school, one church, one tiny com- munity store. Supplies and medicine come by airplane. Esther loves everything about her way of life, its simple pleasures and the closeness of the families. She tries to keep at bay the realization that her people will have to leave the Island and never return. This Is a 5. SUUMEM moving story of the King Island Eskimos. (GreenwlUow Books, 105 I b umosnm g ',mmj 1, 'o,m,ure8 'it ',{uoqluv "g 'ae^ge 1 :saesuv Madison Ave., New York, N.Y. 10016. 1983. Hardback, $8.59.) I I I tl /,