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October 10, 1997     The Message
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October 10, 1997
 

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O__ctober 10, 1997 The Message --for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana . 1 3 JIM and ANN CAVERA One night last summer at the neighborhood Big- foot gas station, a scruffy looking man in tom jeans waited beside a battered pickup truck. He had a pair of jumper cables in his hand. After Jim bought our gas, this man approached him and quietly said that he and his family had just returned from vacation, and he had no money left. Would Jim give him something l.te;ables so that he could buy gas for his truck? lUSt spent all he had to pay his bill. He Mercy or Justice? watched with relief as the man approached another customer and traded the cables for a few dollars. Was the person who gave him money foolish? What if this was a con man? There was no way to determine justice in the situation, and it really didn't matter. Justice and mercy are often two sides of the same coin. One of the nicest things about growing older is that we are becoming less concerned about charging a full measure of justice and more comfort- able with spending mercy. Mercy is such a potent antidote that it takes a par- ticular discernment to recognize the moment when it is the better choice. I like to think that the Father and the older brother both loved the Prodigal Son. The older brother had a keen interest in justice, while the Father had the age and wisdom to understand that sometimes an ounce of mercy is worth more than a pound of justice. To understand the value of mercy, you have to be old enough tO be sorry for foolish choices, able to remember ill chosen words, or know how it feels to be stuck without gas money a few times in your life. One of the best things about mercy is that a few drops can often go a long way. In the "Random Acts of Kindness" movement, small gifts of mercy done at random for strangers are like drops of oil that ease the burdens of daily life. The opportunity to ease some- one else's way is worth more than the small cost to us. Sometimes justice is the answer that can change a life. Often it provides only temporary satisfaction for the injured parW. Like a pair of jumper cables, mercy coupled with wisdom provides a spark that can ignite a human heart when justice fails. -- By Ann Cavera Ann and Jim Cavera live and work in Evansville. Their column is a regular feature of the Message. FIRST FEDERAL and Loan Association Washington & Loogootee Dr. Jane A. Hormuth Chiropractic Physician 474-0704 Hormuth Chiropractic Ilc 1111 S Green River Rd., Suite 104 BULK SALES ONLY Beginning at 7:00 a.m. Bring your own containe I or buy them there at small cost St. Joe, Ind. St. Joe Mens Club SUnday, October 19, 1997 Everyoocty Welcome Ed. L. lee MOrtuary North Meridian Street lington, IN 254-3612 Peoples I rUSl[ Company SOUTH MAIN STREET P.O. BOX 191 LINTON, INDIANA 47441 I Funeral Homes -=nient Locations WEST CHAPEL 3033 W. MARYLAND ST. Continued from page 1 The open letter advocates reform that protects human life and human dignit}; strengthens families, encourages and rewards work, and preserves a safety net for the vulnerable. Some of the concerns highlight- ed include: an increase in the poverty rolls, an exclusion of children from receiving benefits, in particular health benefits, the reduction in food stamps, which will affect nearly all households, and an increase in the number of "working poor" with no real opportunity for self-sufficiency. In 1995, Indiana enacted a welfare reform law which was geared toward moving persons off the welfare rolls and into work, according to M. Desmond Ryan, Executive Director of the Indiana Catholic Conference. Then in 1996, the federal gov- ernment enacted a welfare reform law of its own. "Although Indiana got a jump start on reforming wel- fare, it is uncertain how well those who are no longer on wel- fare are doing or if they in fact have jobs," said Ryan. "It is also important that those moving Governor O'Bannon and IfC board member, Bishop Get- telfinger, are pictured in the Governor's Office at their Oct. 3 meeting to discuss the ICC's open letter "Critical Needs of the Poor," and concerns for welfare implementation. -- Photo by Charles Schisla into jobs obtain work that offers an adequate wage with benefits, so that individuals are able to support their families." More than a .half million Hoosiers -- 15.2 percent of them children -- live in poverty according to recent state staffs- tics. The Indiana Catholic Confer- ence, the official public policy voice for the Roman Catholic Church in Indiana, represents over 700,000 Catholic Hoosiers. The Board of Directors for the Indiana Catholic Conference is composed of the six active bish- ops in the state and five lax' board members, one from each diocese, appointed by the bish- op. Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein, Archbishop of Indi- anapolis, serves as the General Chairman of the ICC Board. The open letter, which is also addressed to state legislators, was distributed to the 150 mem- bers of the Indiana General Assembly. To obtain a copy of "Critical Needs of the Poor," contact your ICC Diocesan Coordinator, Judy Neff, at the Catholic Center, p.o. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724- 0169. Telephone (812) 424-5536 or toll-free in Indiana (800) 637-1731. Information about the ICC is available on the lnternet at http://wunv.indianacc.org. Continued from page 1 Sue Mathies, St. John, Loo- gootee; Kent and Kelle Maurer, Sts. Peter and Paul, Haubstadt; Virginia Morris, St. Joan of Arc, Jasonville; Mary Agnes Mudd, St. Mary, Barr Township; Bob and Carol Neisen, St. Agnes, Evansville; Jack and Eileen Nel- son, Sacred Heart, SchneUville; William Christopher O'Brian, St. Peter, Montgomery; Alice Olinger, St. Ferdinand, Ferdi- nand; George and Lynda Provence, St. John, Newburgh; II Alfred and Mary Reising, St. Bernard, Gibson County; Oliver and Mary Ann Schapker, Cor- pus Christi, Evansville; Joseph Schmidt, St. John, Vincennes; Louis and Mary Ann Schmidt, Precious Blood, Jasper; Ambrose and Sally Schmitt, Holy Family, Jasper; Herb and Peggy Schulte, St. Bernard, Rockport; Ron and Martha Seib, Sts. Peter and Paul Haubstadt; Charles and Geral- dine eifert, Holy Farnil); Jasper; Gary and Arlene Smith, St. Benedict, Evansville; Paul and T F S Box 68 Montgomery, Indiana 47558 Donald ]. Traylor President Shetler /00o00mg Storage Evansville, Indiana 812-421-7750 ,,,,,u t L U .t  . _  'a ' Phone: 486-3285 I I I I II IIIII I I I I II I COMPLETE INSURANCE SERVICE Auto! Home! Fire & Life! Your Personal Service Agent James L. Will Ins. Agency Inc. 1925 W. Franklin Street 43187 Rose Stofleth, St. Joseph, Evans- ville; John and Mary Lou Thomas, Sacred Heart, Vin- cennes; Alfred and Elenora Vaal, St. Rupert, Red Brush; Francis and Marilyn Vieck, SL Thomas, Knox County; Bernard and Madonna Vogler, Precious Blood, Jasper; Bernice Wahn- siedler, Sacred Heart, Evansville; Fred Wlker, Jr., St. Simon, Washington; Merritt Weber, St. Martin, Chrisney; Louis and Doris Weinzapfel, St. Philip, Mt. Vernon; James L and Eileen W'dl Sr., Resurrection, Evansville; Charles and Nellie Withrow, Nativi;. Evansville; Sam and Connie Woehler, St. Philip, Mt. Vernon; Greg and Linda Wolf, St. ,Ma D - Evansville. I I [ Illll [ II  I Ir L I I l rill iii iiii ,,,n,,, )