Newspaper Archive of
Arkansas Catholic
Little Rock, Arkansas
July 5, 1974     Arkansas Catholic
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July 5, 1974
 

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KNOW YOUR FAITH K Sponsored By c__111 Arkansas State Council Knights of Columbus THIS FARM WOMAN personifies Gerard Pot- tebaum's idea that "the person who works without Pay constantly reminds us that neither the work nor the product of one's effort describes the value of the Person. Non-Working Wives Can Help Liberate Their Husbands By Gerard A. Pottebaum ONE THING is clear: The non-working wife is respectable in our society. The non-working husband isn't. The wife may choose to work or not to work outside the home. The husband doesn't enjoy this choice. He has to work, or he's thought to be a bum. In this sense, the husband, not the wife, needs to be liberated. So the focus of this article on the non-working wife will be: How can she liberate her husband? For one thing, she can take the pressure of consumerism off of him which makes him work harder in order to make more money so that they can buy more things for themselves and their children. She doesn't relieve this pressure automatically by taking on a job. Although this may be an alternative, it could backfire. Her working could make him feel even more pressured. Also, by taking on a job, she runs the risk of becoming herself enslaved. There are other, and less risky ways, of liberating husbands than by taking on a job. WIVES CAN help to liberate their husbands by expanding their husband's interests beyond his job. This can be done by developing one's own interests and sharing these with the husband. Some wives take on volunteer work with the very young, the handicapped, the elderly, and children in schools. Such activity both provides needed services for others and enriches the wife by broadening her exposure to people she might not otherwise meet. Other wives develop talents they may have in arts and crafts, dance, and other creative expressions. They expand their avenue of self-expression and their con- :;00ai!se Values on Non- Working Mothers dare p , By Eugene S, Geissler unison that they had never met of the finest people on earth. anybody like that. The first Still, it is understandable why 'llE TWO MOTHERS in the point is: There is no such thing in a society in which babies chen to whom I happened to as a non-working mother, and have a bad press, mothers ,'1 Lion this subject of the non- the whole idea and its ira- would too. It follows that where , # g mther protested in plications are resented by some there is no respect for babies, , there is no respect for sheer ' motherhood either, for that kind of motherhood whose oc- cupation is merely mothering. " RETREATS. 1974 :: The Abbey Retreat, Cou00 House, ' Subi , aco, Arkansas 72865 day f = ':' MEN AUgust 16 - 18 Promoted or the men of the Diocese WOMEN : Iw ,,., rUly 5 - 7 Women of the Diocese mv t bber 4 - 6 Womens Retreat #l s COUPLES July 2{;. 28 Couples Retreat MIXED August 2 - 4 Family Retreat October 18 - 20 Parents Week-end. Subiaco Academy vNvember I - 3 Cursillistas of Memphis, TN SPECIAL GROUPS July 12 - 14 Christian Women of Ark. (A.C.W.F.) IJ September 6- 8 First Presbyterian. Fort Smith NOVember 8- 10 Christian Church Marriage Comm. ) Lab. Talequah. Okla. RELIGIOUS 8, PRIESTS AUgust 6 - 12 Sisters (Open to all Sisters) CJ PARISH Christ the King Parish, Little Rock Parishes of Fort Smith Good Counsel Parish, Little Rock St. Peter's Parish, Mountain Home Parishes of ilot Springs St. Joseph's Parish, Fayetteville September -15 September 2 - 29 'k' Septembe r 27 - 22 ()etober 8 - 10  })Ctober 11-13 t! Ctober 25 - 27 YOUTH ,,M rie July 19 - 21 ) tNvemb r b0 " 15 - 17 2 THE WHOLE ambiguous notion of the non-working mother can also be explained from another point of view. The basically false and insidious value we place on money in our society naturally demeans the work of the non-working mother. Everybody knows that ours is a money economy, and what is anything worth that cannot qualify for so much an hour, that cannot be measured in dollars and cents, that cannot lay claim to having been bought and sold in the marketplace and reported on the income tax return? How low can you go? The IRS isn't even interested. My poor, poor wife. She has never worked a day in her life. She wouldn't be so poor if she had - nor so rich. She read through the whole Encyclopedia Brittanica, for instance, while she was nursing her babies. (Well, not the math part, she says.) Nor does she have any intention as far as I can tell of starting to work as soon as the last child has been raised. I can think of a hundred jobs she would be good at, really qualified for, but it is no go I am sure because she will always have too many things of her own to do -- to give up her freedom to a job. She just happens to be an unreconstructed, non-working mother, her own kind of liberated free woman. SOMETIMES when I read that this or that young thing is bored being "just a wife and mother," rthink of my wife and wonder what the boredom is all about, where it's really at. Is it perhaps a condition predating motherhood, a symptom of a materialistic, ad-oriented, consumer-educated culture that can only fight boredom with more acquisition? Does it reflect on being "wife and mother" or on being unwilling or unable to face the sheer reality of self and in the Christian sense, giving of oneself? Still, the question of non- working mothers raises two basic considerations: 1) Some mothers really have to work outside the home, to be gain- fully employed, that is, to have a job for the sake of supporting or helping to support the family, or even for the sake of their own sanity. It is hard to argue with any of that. 2) Some mothers and a segment of women generally feel that a job is necessary in order to be equal to men, to be liberated, to be in- dependent, to escape socond- class citizenship. Women's lib is a complex issue, as we all know, and it is necessary to sift it out carefully in order to talk about it at all. WHO IS THERE with soul so dead who would not want women liberated if they are enslaved? Who would not want his daughter to be able to be a lawyer or doctor if she wants to, just as much as a son? Still, being wives and mothers, husbands and fathers is so essential to being human. Isn't the word "liberated" from motherhood -- and, yes, fatherhood too -- mutilating? What we need to do most of all is restore towoman' -- wife and mother -- the dignity which Scripture from the beginning to end accords to her, often with nuances of pre-eminence over man: Adam is merely "of the earth," but Eve is the "mother of all living." The valiant woman comes to us as a very industrious, ingenious, capable, self-sufficient, non-working wife and mother, while her husband merely sits among the senators in the gates. WHEN THE SACRED writer wanted to draw us a picture of God's concern and love, it was in comparison to mothers: a mother eagle teaching her young to fly, or a mother never forgetting the child of her womb, or in Jesus' own words a mother hen "gathering her chicks under her wings." True, Jesus spoke of God as his Father, which He really was, but Mary was His real mother. The human mother was much more important to "the economy of the incarnation" than the human father. IT IS TRUE that Jesus was a man, SOn of God, who revealed God to us as "our Father," but there is no sex in God and GOd is Mother too: "This, then, is what I pray, kneeling before the Father, from whom every family, whether spiritual or natural, takes its name." (Eph 3:14-15) 1974 NC News Service Uly 23 - 25 CYO, Texarkana lust 30 - Sept. 1 CYO. St. Peter's Parish, Mountain Home MARRIAGE ENCOUNTER Marriage Encounter, Subiaco No. 3 Marriage Encounter, Subiaeo No. 4 OPEN DATES November 22 - 24 December 6 - 8 December 13 - 15 PRIVATE RETREATS ENCOURAGED  Ietreats begin Friday evening and continue until about 3:00 p.m. Sunday. Cost of Retreat is not fixed although a F mimum o$22.00 ($40.00 for couples) is suggested as an i fering for meals, lodging and Retreat. Retreats for eligious and Priests are arranged for the particular vi# group. . all or write for reservations to: The Abbey Retreat. Coury :uss, Subiaco, Arkansas 72865. Phone: 501-934-2081. t Director: The Rev. Herbert Vogetpohl, O.S.B. [ sciousness of life beyond the reaches of their vacuum cleaner. The non-working wife who does not exploit her chances of developing herself as a person eventually creates for herself and her husband a household full of boredom. Such a place is not very exciting to come home to. Eventually the husband realizes the narrowness of his life at work, that the meaning of his life is deeper than his productivity. If he turns to his spouse for meaning, and finds there an even narrower life, he is doubly enslaved, and soonbegins to seek a way out.., if not out of work, out of marriage.,A husband can survive a dull job. He has little chance of surviving a dull wife. ALL OF THIS does not mean to place the entire responsibility of giving life meaning on the wife. The intention is to point out that the wife who does not work for pay is in the enviable position of sustaining in the human community a spirit that cannot be bought. This is not a variation on the stupid ob- servation one often hears expressed: that a husband could never afford to pay his wife for the work she does. That is demeaning. It is typical of the mentality that values a person for what he produces, and his product for what it brings in the marketplace. The person who does not work for pay sustains in the community a spirit without which we could not survive: the spirit of celebration. It is this spirit people follow when they take a holiday from work that is income producing. That is the character of celebration: People entering into non- productive activity in the sense that an income-producing or tangible commodity is its outcome and its purpose. In celebration, people set aside the business of making deals, of assuring oneself a return for services rendered. People who are in touch with this spirit invest themselves with no strings at- tached. Celebration has no goals to achieve. It enjoys its own worth, as does the person enjoy his own worth. THE PERSON who works without pay constantly reminds us that neither the work nor the product of one's effort describe the value of the person. Rather, the treasure valued is the person and the people served, human life itself. In celebration, we articulate our belief in life. We detach ourselves from gainful activities. Such detachment can be a liberating influence on those who cling to the style of work which demands full pay for services performed. A prime source of this liberating spirit is the non-working wife. 1974 NC News Service COMPLETE TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS FOR INDIVIDUALS - BUSINESS AND GROUPS * Tickets * Reservations * Hotels * Car Rentals * Tours -- AT REGULAR RATES -- 2813 Kavanaugh, Little Rock, Ark., Ph. 666-0PA2 ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm :TUTORING: | n : that's real_.___!y effective! 1111,- ,,o.. 664-2880 : : Lear.i.g Foundations : m The Tutoring Center l I L 1 ll lm ml llll I lll llllmlmmll Saturday, July 6, 1974 ST. MAR Y'S PARISH-ST' I00NCENT Highway No. 95 North, 10 miles north of Morrilton HOLY MASS at 4:00 -Rev. John J. Kettler PICNIC COUNTR Y STYLE CHICKEN DINNER with ALL THE TRIMMINGS Served from 5" 00 until 8- 30 P.M. GAMES and ENTERTAINMENT for EVERYONE TEEN DANCE from 9:O0 to midnight