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October 24, 1997     The Message
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October 24, 1997

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October 24, 1997 The Message m for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 5 A?c00Trq - By BISHOP GERALD A. GETTELFINGER What you see is a foreign word:. It is not an English word. If you transliterate it, it looks like "agape." It does not mean to stand with your mouth open. On the other hand, those of you who have never participated in a "Love Feast" would stand in awe  that is, with your mouth open m at the experience. If you have not guessed it, "Agape" is a Greek ! meaning "love feast." The celebration of the cnanst," is derived from another Greek word, OtptazEtV  Eucharistein, "to give thanks "Togeth- er, the Agape and the Eucharist are combined for you and me in the celebration of the Mass. Our act of wor- ship is that of thanksgiving followed by the feast we casually call Holy Communion. It is good for you and for to ponder the mys- tery of the words themselves, me Love feast. Thanksgiving. This past Saturday, I participated in a sacred moment for our diocese. It was advertised as "Min- istry Day." Oh, how I wish you could all have been there. The setting was simple. It was in the former church of Good Shepherd. We had a marvelous presentation by a gifted lay theologian and teacher. He is Art Zanonni. He gave us an incredible, concise but complete introduction to the reality of the Second Vatican Council. We all had a chance to say aloud its effects in our lives in a very, personal way. It left us "agape." We listened and reacted with "mouths open." Consider for yourself the question or any form of it: "Without the Second Vatican Council, I would .... "or "Because of the Sec- ond Vatican .... " Then we adjourned for a brief time. We were invited to reassemble in Good Shepherd Church for the celebration of Agape. The celebration of the Agape that followed was most inspirational. For those of us who lived and worshipped in Catholic Churches before the Second Vatican Council it took us back to our childhood memories while at the same time demonstrated some delightful outcomes of the Second \\;%tican Council. Music, song, dance, poetry, a commissioning of min- isters bv the diocesan bishop taking place in a churci house built according to the liturgical norms flowing out of the Council. The "Agape" is a form of liturgical prayer which did not include the Eucharist, however, it certainly depicted for each of us the origins of that which we celebrate at every Holy Mass. I wish I could describe it, but I dare not try. Do I leave you with mysteD&apos;? Well and good. If you wonder what this was about, I suggest you ask your parish ministers to describe this special moment. It was at this celebration that I recommis- stoned all ministers to carry out their charge to be ser- vants of all as Jesus was. Oh, how I wish you all could have been partici- pated in this diocesan event. Children and adults, clergy and laity, religious and single people serving in the world were one in celebration, in prayerful song! It was truly wonderful. From J Ps and RDs, Lord, deliver us COMMENTARY By (2. JUSTIN CLEMENTS Director, Office of Stewardship and Development  ;i'> !, :.: ?::v.  . comparatively -- albeit some- what subjectively  "graded" on a Likert scale: musical talent, athletic ability, mechanical propensity, personality types, and many more. St. Paul's oft- quoted passage about "spiritual gifts" in 1 Cor. 12, one of his many analyses of early Christ- ian communities, is a Scriptural precursor of the Likert scale. "Mildly interesting," you say, "but what does this have to do with stewardship?" There are,.in fact, many potential stewardship I'Iave. 0 , . y u seen a Likert Scale applications for the Lik- Lately? Have you ever use Clanc., d one. ert Scale. But, for this = are Our both nu, Y answer to article, we're going to don,:lons is "yes." No, you focus on one particular Self.,nn, a'=P onit to weigh vour- range of personality piano, nnp you play it'ona characteristics that can ur Is it sore do on the t_ , ething you be found in every parish. ;sin lace ota cliff. You usu- At one end of our sample d a Likert scale on a scale are the "Problem Junkies" Unnaire It's famn:_ one of those (JPs); at the opposite extreme -,utar res ons qtlestion sp e devices for a are the "Rosy Dreamers" (RDs). rarlkvon mat requires ou to YouknowtheeroblemJunkies r answer by mY Perhaps you work mark'o--- quite well. ing an a high-low scal Worst, 1 2  - e (best- with one or two of them. Some - " "J-4-5, large-medium- friends or Sraall, etc.). This of your relatives may tionnM., type of ques- be in their ranks. We run into bra'a response was the them everywhere: supermarkets, - '-mct ot a renowned 1960s- restaurants, malls, parishes, 1970s. social scientist named Rensm Likert, hence the name. Alraost eve tells i,, ,_ ry human charac t., trait and talent can be They are generally unhappy people whose life work seems to be to make everyone they encounter equally unhappy. Their principal activity, their "fix," is to identify and proclaim what they consider to be prob- lems, mistakes, things that are wrong with the behavior of oth- ers, their own lives and the world in general. They com- plain, they whine, they self- artdTh rest Would be tax free, s WOuld not t=pon u,-,,__ be taxed th, Q00,00L00awal, if used for cQs, = xucation, inclu ' ,,^ "o for tui^- - , ding 'urtatio- . -u,, oom<s, trans- chase of''tutring or the pur- nOme Computer. r o .gr. thOmas McDade. ''' bish.,..., . the cati P secreta On, pra,a . ry for edu-   the bill for "show. SuPPort for fa ' ent m  rally revolve- s education from People Play" is Berne's sys- tematic analysis of these games and their impact on human relationships. One of the many games described by Dr. Berne is called "Blemish." Blemish players delight in finding another's mis- take and calling it to their atten- tion. They rarely if ever compli- ment or praise  their S.O.P. (Standard Operating Procedure) t one end of our sample scale are the "'Problem Junkies" (]Ps); at the opposite extreme are the "Rosy Dreamers" (RDs). righteously confront, they are the two-legged personification of "obnoxious" and "depressing." Several years ago, noted psy- chiatrist Eric Berne wrote a best seller entitled "Games People Play" which was an expansion of his earlier book: "Transactional Analysis." Dr. Berne's thesis is that many schools anywhere people human behaviors and interac- gather. Problem Junkies are tions are, in fact, conscious or hooked on the "negative stuff" subconscious "games" people they are human "downers.'Y,,: play with one another. "Games ,dllars eafromm -- pae.., 4 ,ho, ,,. --;,a=" the child is born. " At the ,anel dmcusslon" " on tot their , account to be used He said the leeislation should school choice, Coverdell said he ergar t u s eclucation from find support even from those was confident there would be )riw,en to grade 12 in pub- who ovvose vouchers because some type of breakthrough in ol "=' religious or home it "woul'd benefit families no the schoo "I choice quagmire. matter where they educate their children." One of the bill's key sponsors, Sen. Paul Coverdell, R-Ga., is not discouraged by President Clinton's threat to veto "any tax package that would undermine public education by providing tax benefits for private and parochial school expenses." He calls the president's veto threat, "just the beginning of this battle." He stressed that the problem with this country's education system is not at the college level where the federal government provides college tax credit, but at the elementary and high school level. "The momentum against the status quo will prevail," he said. "The American people see the enormous deficiencies in the education system and will demand changes." is to criticize and find fault. Among their other negative pre- occupations, JPs are world-class Blemish players! Employers rue the day they hired JPs. Co-workers-and family members find every excuse to avoid them. JPs can't understand why they get fired, or never get promoted, or don't have many friends. They typically blame all of their own problems on others and say totally irrational things like: "Well, that's just the way I am  take it or leave it." Most people will leave it, thank you! Yes, JPs often identify real problems and actual mistakes. But that's where a true JP's responsibility stops. A JP's job is finished, and his or her life's purpose is completed, as soon as he or she has promulgated the problem. At that moment JPs feel important, fulfilled, vin- dicated, and completely superi- or; their "fix" has produced its desired effect. At the other end of our Likert Scale spectrum are the "Rosy Dreamers" (RDs). RDs almost never see problems or find mis- takes. RDs believe  or say they believe  that everything and everyone are "just wonderful." Rosy Dreamers are rarely hurt- ful; they're just naive. Problem Junkies, on the other hand, are almost always hurtful: to peo- ple, to projects, to progress, to many efforts to create a happi- er, more peaceful world. JPs and RDs are almost never helpful or useful. Most of us fall somewhere between the jP and RD extremes on our Likert Scale continuum. The more we tend toward the middle, the more we are likely to acquire more useful, likable and helpful personality traits. On the Problem Junkie side of the mid- point of our sample Likert Scale we often find Critical Thinkers and Con- structive Critics (CTs and CCs). CTs and JPs and RDs  4 CCs, like JPs, also find problems and mistakes, but they likewise accept responsibility to seek ways to rectify the mistakes or to alleviate the problems. On the Rosy Dreamer side of the middle are Creative Prob- lem solvers and Positive Moti- vators (CPs and PM's). CPs and PM's, like RDs, also tend not to see problems and mistakes. What they see instead are chal- lenges and opportunities. Like CTs and CCs, CPs and PM's are more interested in results and solutions than appearances. Now suppose you are an employer, or pastor of a parish, or the president of an organiza- tion. You are trying to manu- facture a product or provide a service, or you are attempting to build a faith community of good Christian stewards, or you are working to make our world a better place  or all of .the above. Whom wouli you want on your team? JPs and REDs, or CTs, CCs, CPs and PM's? Rank your selections on a Likert scale from I (highest) to 5 (lowest).