Newspaper Archive of
Arkansas Catholic
Litlte Rock, Arkansas
August 19, 1990     Arkansas Catholic
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August 19, 1990

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PAGE 2 ARKANSAS CATHOLIC AUGUST 19 Iraq, El Salvador, Guatemala, Atlanta, New York, Lebanon, Arkansas. War, financed murder, drugs and street kids, scandal, investigations, con- tinuing civil war, home. It's easy to become lost in the news of our world today. If you read the newspaper, you might feel as though we're on a collision course for de- struction; or, ydu might simply be overwhelmed by the sheer violence and feel insignificant and powerless to do anything about it. It is easy to fall prey to the notion of "praying for" the world and its prob- We must move from aching hearts to laboring hands. lems as a panacea to make all of our problems go away. If our hearts are torn by the news we read, then we must do more than pray about it. We must move from aching hearts to laboring hands weary from building, from angry hearts to blessing hands and from divided hearts to hands clasped in oneness. To enter fully into the world to make a difference we must first enter our own hearts and reconvert them. In doing this, we can indeed make a difference instead of becoming indif- ferent. JMS ARKANSAS CATHOLIC is published 48 times a year. for $12 per year, by the C=tholic Diocese of Little Rock, Arkansas Catholic, Inc., 2500 N. Tyler St., Little Rock, AR 72207 (501) 664-0340 [FAX (501) 664-g075]. PUBUSHER: Moat Re~. Andrew& McDor~Id, Bl=hop MANAGING EDITOR: Rev. Albert J. Schnetd4w EDITOfl : I~d~xad~ Higi~n:l ADVERTI~gNG / MARKETING DIRECTOR : Ron M. Hall PROOUCTION MANAGER: Rev. Jim Schr=tz CIRCULATION MANAGER : Agne= Knittlg Third class postage paid at Little Rock. AR. POSTMASTER : Send change of eddm~s to: ARKANSAS CATHOUC, PO BOX 7417, LITTLE ROCK. AR 72217. Busi- nets hours ate 8:30 to 4, Mor,day- Friday. Closed on weefumd$, Holy Days, and National Holidays. Office~ =fie located in Morris Hall, St. John's Center, 2500 N. Tyler, L~le Rock, AR, 72207. "1 To subscribe, send coupon with -- II check for $12 to the above address. I I I I Name I I I II Address I I I t t 1'~ othing's sacred," says a disillu- sioned public whenever scandals break, idols fall, or innocence or integrity are violated. Yet a lot of things are sacred, we know. We let ourselves and our nation down by failing to identify those sacred things. Simply listing them - privately and personally, or publicly for others to review - is one small step toward the personal and public recommitment required for all things sacred. Every such list will be partial. Most lists will be highly personal and quite particu- lar. But anyone's list can serve as a model, a do-it-yourself kit, for others willing to pause and take inventory of the things they would never trifle with or trade away. Our world with all its private and public parts is quite imperfect. It could be better. It would be better, I believe, if it were less littered with broken promises. So "prom- ises" are high on my list of sacred things - marriage vows, religious covenants, and faith commitments are the promises I would want to protect. Life is sacred, human life first and fore- most. At every stage of growth, decline and demise on the way to eternal life, human Unattractive persons, un- pleasant persons, hostile and unforgiving persons - all, because they are per- sons, are sacred. life is sacred. The widespread disregard for the dignity of human life and the wanton destruction of human life on our planet IIIIWI ()IIIW Rev. William 1. Byron, Sl are shockingly evident to those who really believe that human life is sacred. The ab- sence of shock signals the presence of in- sensitivity to the sa- credness of life, particularly to life embodied in less than perfect forms. Something sacred is inextrica- bly present in per- sons who are poor, homeless, diseased, aged. Unattractive persons, unpleas- ant persons, hostile and unforgiving persons - all, because they are persons, are sacred. So, "promises" first, "persons" second in this particular cata- logue, although the primacy always belongs to person, the producer and protector of promises. Once "life," embodied in persons, and "promises," specified by the persons who make them, are on the list, it becomes evident that all other things sacred are ex- tensions or expressions of these two basic and especially sacred realities. "Home" is sacred, of course, because it shelters another sacred reality, "family." Both home and family serve life. Both follow upon the prom- ise that made the marriage that produced the family that setded in the dwelling place called home. Sex is sacred because life is as both literature and life attest, out the promise gives the lie to love, another sacred reality. sex on the list of sacred things remind us that not everything necessarily solemn. Freedom is sacred cannot enjoy full expression. land can be considered sacred and defending because life has taken shape there, culture ha.5 developed security of person and family are there. Professional responsibilities sacred, especially when they flow promises and relate to life-sustainin protecting, and life-enhancing Space, when set aside for religious r sons, becomes sacred. Church, mosque, temple, shrine; the space is because it is dedicated to a purpose recalls a promise "- God's promise forever faithful, God's promise Trusts are sacred. When entrusted to someone, it becomes trust" if so regarded by those and receiving the trust. Here become quite personal. Where public I or private, a promise is always is a determination to keep "so help me God," Failure to reflect from time to tirrle~ all things sacred will guarantee of a day when "Nothing's sacred The sacred things will have been trifled away. (Rtv. William J. Byron, SJ, is The Catholic University of America and of Quadrangle Considerations, Loyo/a L varsity Press.) Dolores Oxrran It" did they make it?" a man asked in disbelief as ten couples mar- ried over 50 years renewed their vows in a church ceremony honor- ing them. Well, we now have some informa- tion on how long-term mar- riages make it. Back in the 1920s, some re searchers at the Institute of Human Development at Berkeley decided to follow a group of marriages through life so they could study what happens in marriages that last. Now, over a haft-century later, the 17 surviving couples offer us some inter- esting insights into marriage. These couples shared three common charac- teristics: a commitment to the marriage, acceptance of each other, and a combi- nation of shared and separate interests. Dissimilarities were evident as well. Five couples were consistently satis- fied through the ups and downs of married life because of their deep love for one another. Seven couples began happily, then declined in happiness (some sharply) during the child-rear- ing years, and regained satisfaction and love when they were a couple alone again. The five remaining couples "stuck it out" in marriages that were either apathetic or downright unhappy. Their marriages remained had other stronger interests in their marriages weren't their emotional support. So there we have it: a third' the time, a third happy and over time, and a third time. I suspect that's how most See "Curran," qhis imperial is one of the from a series ern-day icons trating the Bulgaria and il Christian " " painted by " based artist W lh 9 jkolova Bittau.