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Arkansas Catholic
Little Rock, Arkansas
July 5, 1974     Arkansas Catholic
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July 5, 1974
 

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PAGE 6 THE GUARDIAN, JULY 5, 1974 00lPastoral Musings 'Non-Working Women ' Doesn 't Mean" 00Too Many Meetings? Idle Women, Scripture Acknowledges By Msgr. John B. Scheper-- By FaT H Ether Laurence P. Dolan THE BOOK of Proverbs us that "when one findspby, FUNDAMENTAL worthy wife, her value is ort SOME MONTHS ago a prominent church dignitary remarked to a friend after a three-day session, "We are bogged down with too many meetings." His friend applauded the statement, and it is certain that many others would be in full agreement. This does not mean that all meetings should be condemned; on the contrary, there is need of them. VATICAN II urged great communication between bishops, priests,religious, and laymen and laywomen, among themselves and with other groups. Exchanges of ideas are necessary and advantageous, and such can best be ac- complished in meetings. But, are there too many meetings? Are we bogged down by meetings? I am sure that all of us have attended meetings where nothing was ac- complished, and which would be classified by many as a "waste of time." TODAY THERE are meetings everywhere and for everybody which caused someone to remark, "Meetings, meetings, meetings ! Result: more confusions -- no con- clusions." There is no doubt that parish priests are often "bogged down" by gatherings of various groups, at times two, three, or even more on the same day, so that little time remains for visiting the sick, and giving instructions to prospective converts to the faith. Priests and people are not opposed to "necessary" meetings. But one can overdo even a good thing. ANOTHER POINT of reflection might be that everybody seems to be an "expert" on something these days. At many meetings today there is an "expert," and the farther he has to travel, the greater an expert he is. If the gathering is held in the east, it is best that the "expert" come from the west, and vice versa. At times it is good to listen to someone "from the outside," who will be able to present some new ideas. But in many cases there are qualified men and women, clerical and lay, who, perhaps, have a better un- derstanding of the situation than the people who come from great distances. SOMETIME ago a priest made this comment, which was a summation of the meeting he had just attended, "The speaker is surely succeeding in saying nothing about something. If it was heresy, it was harmless -- you couldn't understand it anyway.". Attending a meeting some years ago, I heard the "expert" say that he had not really made up his mind about Original sin. Is it not true that our minds about original sin have been definitely made up by Adam and Eve, and by Our Savior, who did it the hard way, the Council of Trent and many other documents? WHY DO SO many meetings of today question our age-old doctrines and practices rather than confirm them? We are not in need of any more questions. We need a deepening of our faith. We need positive growth in spirituality and doctrine. We need insistence onholinessand more and more holiness. This we need to keep our young men and women in the Church. ,wwwwwwwvwwwwwwvwwwvvww T vvvwwwwwvwwwwwwwv Forest Heights: Shopping Center Heights Toy Center "EXCLUSIVE TOYS" Phone 663-8383 - 5918 "R" Little Rock, Arkansas "For Dependable Service Call" I HILLCREST PLUMBING 5815 Kavanaugh PHONE 666-5474 a subsidary of Pfelfer Plumbing & Heating Co., Inc. Robert E. Wright, Manager WHITFIELD JEWELERS DIAMONDS WATCHES  JEWELRY Watch Repairing Caatrell & Grant - 666-6651 Heights 5hopping Center i KAVANAUGH PHARMACY * FREE DELIVERY * Phone Kavcnaugh 664-3844 CORDERS MODEL MARKET Russell Campbell 1;911 KAVANAUGH 5608 "R" St. - 666-2628 Little Rock, Arkansas LARGE SELECTION OF SILK AND PARCHMENT SHADE$ Large Variety of Quality NAME BRAND LAMPS "Bring Your amp In for a Fitting" [ lnfants and Children's READY-TO-WEAR McCain Mall and 5701 Kavanaugh equality between man and woman was established in the creative design of God. When man found himself alone, God did not alleviate that condition by presenting him with a ser- vant in the form of woman, but with a wife: "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him." (Genesis 2:18) This partnership implied mutuality and coresponsibility because "this one at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh." (Genesis 2:23) The tension that came bet- ween man and woman as a result of the fall was further intensified over the centuries of cultural adaptation which witnessed the lowering of woman's stature relative to man. This same cultural hierarchy was accepted even in the early Church where we hear Paul addressing himself to women, urging them to wear veils on their heads: "Indeed, if a woman will not wear a veil, she ought to cut off her hair." (I Corinthians 11:6) But, in- terestingly enough, while 1Saul is able to insist upon the cultural submission of woman to man, he is quick to point out that in Christ they are equal: "Yet, in the Lord, woman is not in- dependent of man, nor man independent of woman. In the same way that woman was made from man, so man is born of woman; and all is from God." (vv. 11-12) THIS RECOGNITION of equality, yet continued role assignment, had been main- tained until our present era when, at last, the Second Vatican Council has recognized that "women are now employed in almost every area of life. It is appropriate that they should be able to assume their full proper role in accordance with their own nature. Everyone should acknowledge and favor the proper and necessary par- ticipation of women in cultural life." ("Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World," par. 60) This is generally interpreted to refer to women who are pursuing careers or. taking advantage of job opportunities hitherto closed to them. But what about women who wish to assume "their full proper role" as housewives? THE TITLE of this article is somewhat misleading ("non- working") because it can easily conjure up the image of idle women, passing the hours of the day absorbed in the soap operas and taking coffee breaks with other equally indolent ladies. Amos the prophet had less than kind words for the women of his century who fit into that category: "Hear this, women of the mountain of Samaria, you cows of Bashan, you who op- press the weak and abuse the needy; who say to your lords, 'Bring drink for us!' The Lord God has sworn by His holiness: truly the days are coming upon you when they shall drag you away with hooks, the last of you with fishhooks; you shall go out through the breached walls each by the most direct way, and you shall be cast into the mire, says the Lord." (Amos 4: 1-3) Today's housewife, .who acknowledges the almost limitless responsibilities and opportunities for contributing to the growth of her family, would hardly fit into the Samarian cultural whirl of Amos' day. But she is being bombarded by feminist movements which equate her work to drudgery and her life to slavery. Irma Garcia de Mazelis of New York University gives us some in- dications why housewives and housework are coming under such attacks. ("Theological Studies," March 1974, p. 114- 133) She notes that housework is an invisible commodity, im- mediately consumed and never exchanged for money. (p. 123) The productivity that is in- CONSOLING a tearful child is work for a mother, albeit pleasant work. volved is not noticed or ap- preciated because it is a con- stant. The work is done in isolation (p. 125) and is repeated on a day-to-day basis. THE WORK of caring for children, buying provisions, cleaning, preparing meals, etc., has all the pitfalls of the assembly-line labors of the working man or woman. Just as humane working conditions and a restored sense of dignity and worth must be developed for the working classes, they must be enhanced for the "non- working" housewife. In loving communication with her husband, she should expand her awareness of the involvement that she is carrying out for the growth of the Kingdom of God. Her own sense of self-worth will develop if she realizes that she is not just a woman trapped into domesticity because she can't find outside employment, but is a "suitable partner" for her husband, working with him to build up the Kingdom. Sometimes the movements for liberation inadvertently, through different kinds of pressure, diminish the freedom of choice that should be an in- tegral part of the liberation process. Women should have the freedom to work outside the home or within the home. If this freedom is preserved, the dignity of woman will be a reality. beyond pearls." (Provejra P aen 31:10) That value and kte dignity are the subject of Pg iv reflection which follows in be remaining verses of min chapter. It would be profitaUth,, ish for all to meditate on them.er e 1974 NC News Service O I the ra( isy he. nry t SHOPPERS OUID0000; ROY RHEA, Owner Rhea Drug Co. ',. 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