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Arkansas Catholic
Litlte Rock, Arkansas
September 13, 1974     Arkansas Catholic
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September 13, 1974
 

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THE GUARDIAN, SEPT. 13, 1974 i How 2 )o You View Your Church ? PAGE 5 KNOW YOUR FAITH Sponsored By Arkansas State Council Knights of Columbus I IT.FORGIVING FATHER is reconciled with s returning son in Bartolome Esteban urillo,s "The Return of the Prodigal Son." ! The scene amplifies Father Burghardt's remark, "To reconcile is to reunite, to bring back to harmony." By Father Joseph M. Champlin TIlE ('IIURCII, in the words of Scripture. is a mystery. A parish or worshiping com- munity, existing like it does as a miniature of the universal Church, thus shares in that mystical quality. We can never adequately describe or fully understand either. Our Lord used many illustrations or images to communicate this concept of the Church to his listeners and, ultimately, to us. We think immediately of such familiar expressions as the vine and the branches or the shepherd with his flock of sheep. One theologian listed 96 similar images which can be found in the New Testament. JESUIT FATHER Aver.y Dulles, in his heavy, but clear, readable and highly recom- mended new book, "Models of the Church," examines the five images most commonly em- ployed by scholars today as focal points in their analyses of 4 Major Ruptures (:;dl For Reconciliation By Father Walter J. Burghardt, S. J. TIlE AUTUMN of 57, St. Paul penned these enraptured to the Christians of Corinth, "If anyone is in Christ, he is a the old has passed away; behold, the new has this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to ave us the ministry of reconciliation. That is, God Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message So we are ambassadors for Christ, God His appeal through us. We beseech you on behalf of reconciled to God." (2 Cot 5:17-20) 9 of 1973, Pope Paul proclaimed a Holy Year for 1975. firation, the Holy Year of Catholicism reaches back to Year of the Jews: The land rested, property was slaves were freed. The distinctive theme for 1975, as was frightfully urgent. He summed it up in St. call: reCtlneiliation. IECONCILE is to reunite, to bring back to harmony. implies, therefore, that division has taken place, Two realities, two persons, two peoples are do not relate as they should. North Vietnamese and Christian and Jew, black and white, wife and -- the examples are legion. There is discord, disunity, oneness has been ruptured. ajor ruptures call for reconciliation. These ruptures I at fair length; but first I shall set the stage for the to come, sketch the problem as one fairly fallible sees it. I begin where we are, leap back to the move forward to the mid-point of history, return to , one word that sums up the 1970s, I suggest it If there is any one characteristic that marks our it is cleavage, conflict, division, disharmony. This of unity, of oneness -- ultimately, of love -- confronts us between man and nature; within man himself; man and man; between man and God. there is disunity, rupture, between man and "nature" I mean all that is not man or God. The is complex, but it has come to a focus, has come to in ecology. The land we have plowed and plundered, the that feed our life and heal us, the air we breathe and walk, the very wealth of our world threatens to us. In consequence, it is more and more difficult to God in His creation, hard to touch God through the of God. It is as though the things we see and hear and and taste and smell were divorced from the God who them -- and, more frightening still; hostile to the men -t COULD A MONK'S THING BE YOUR THING? Those of us who are Monks at Sublaco Abbey, a Benedictine center of activity tl ,, t feel we are doing our thing for God and 1/ HIS people We all have gifts of talent and ability which God has gwen us The way we use them *s in a communal hfe of prayer and work and all other I shared activities We would like for you to consider the possibility that our way of life might be your thing too why not write us for information so that when you choose 1o do you r thing Sublaco will i be considered It COuld be that a monk s thng is also your thing THE VOCATION DIRECTOR SUBtAC0 ABBEY SUBIACO, ARKANSAS 72865 of Saint Benedict "That in aft things God may he g/onfled" and women who use them. To survive this earth, we must subdue this earth. SECOND, THIS disunity between man and nature is a symbol, and to some extent an effect, of the disunity that exists within man himself. I am one person, yet I am so often at war with myself. That deep-rooted conflict was described with rare in- sight by St. Paul in his letter to the Christians of Rome: "My own actions bewilder me. What I do is not what I want to do; I do the very thing I hate . . . it is not the good my will prefers, but the evil my will disapproves that I find myself doing. In my inmost self I delight in God's law; but I see in my lower self another law at war with the law of my conscience, enslaving me to the law of sin which my lower self contains." (Rom 7:15-23) Even apart from sin, apart from the gentle Dr. Jekyll and the brutal Mr. Hyde, I am so often two persons, confused and confounded, tormented and distracted, unglued and unhinged. Third, this disunity within man himself is a symbol, and to some extent a cause, of the disunity that prevails between man and man. Half the human race is at war with the other half. It is not simply a war between nations -- Southeast Asia and the Middle East. A cold war rages between those who have and those who have not, between the powerful and the powerless, between employer and employee, between white and black, between atheist and believer, between Protestant and Catholic, even at times between a man and the woman who is one flesh with him. A terrifying feature of our times, from the.human ashes in Dachau through the living corpses in Calcutta to the whispered words of hate in suburban New York, is "man's inhumanity to man." Like the pagans of St. Paul's day, men and women whose law of life should be love have turned "ruthless, faithless, pitiless." (Rom 1:31) FOURTH, ALL these disunities -- man and nature, man himself, man and man -- are but a symptom, and.in great measure an effect of the most tragic disunity of all: The rupture between man and God. At this instant, there are literally millions of men and women who say in their hearts "There is no God." There are millions more who say in their hearts "There is a God," yet exile Him effectively from their everyday living. And there are the uncounted millions whose experience of God is an experience of absence: God does not seem to be there. They simply do not find Him in crib or creation, on a cross or in His human images, in the proclaimed Word or "where two or three are gathered" in His name. He does not seem to be there. (The text for Father Walter J. Burghardt's article is taken from his booklet entitled "Towards Reconciliation" published by the United States Catholic Conference, 1974. This publication may be ordered by writing to U.S.C.C., 1312 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, 20005.) @ 1974 NC News Service THERE'S ONE NEAR YOU the ('hurch's nature. He notes that )1o one model totally con- veys what the Church is and any (/t these images, taken alone and isolated from the others, will present a distorted picture of the Church. I would now ask you to reflect on your own parish or wor- shiping community in terms of these contemporary images or models. DO YOU SEE it as an In- stitution? Does your first thought about the parish turn to the physical plant, the church building, the rectory, the school, the convent? Is your initial impulse to identify Church with priests, bishops, pope? Would you see the parish's primary interest centering around rules to be observed, beliefs to be professed and worship services to be attended? Do you see. it as a Mystical Community? Is the main effort in your parish to develop community? Are parishioners aware that as the People of God and members of Christ's Mystical Body they form a unique communion? Do they see themselves fundamentally as persons linked by an inner, invisible bond, but one ex- pressed in an external way by worship, a profession of faith and special fellowship? DO YOU SEE it as a Sacrament? Are you conscious that the parish is a sign, a symbol of Jesus' presence in our midst? Is it clear that this external sacrament or sign of an invisible reality can always be improved, constantly needs to he renewed, reformed and updated? Would you say that the parish's main thrust )-evolves around the Sunday Eucharist and the liturgical celebrations for such events as Baptism. marriage and Christian burial? Do you see it as a Herald? Is your parish's great concern the proclamation of God's Word to men? Would you say preaching during the liturgy and religious education programs outside of worship are given the highest priorities with regard to budget, personnel and time? DO YOU SEE it as a Servant? Is it the task of the parish to make the world a better place in which to live? Are activities which occur during the week and outside church the really important work of your wor- shiping community? Is loving others the entire Christian message? How critical to the nature of your parish and common is a Thanksgiving food collection, the support of boycotts, a homily on world hunger and a program for the elderly? A living parish should, of course, be all of these -- in- stitution, community, sacrament, herald, servant -- even though a particular worshiping community will tend to stress one or two models over the others. 1974 NC News Service I I RETREA T$ . 1974 The Abbey Retreat, Coury House, Subiaco, Arkansas 72865 WOMEN October I - I; Womeus Retreat MIXED October 18 - 20 November I - 3 November 22-24 December 6-8 Parents Week-end, Subiaco Academy ('nrsillistas of Memphis, TN Immaculate Conception High School Faculty, Memphis, Tenn. Oblates of St. Benedict SPECIAL GROUPS November 8- 10 ('hristian ("hurch Marriage Comm. Lab. Taleqnah, Okla. PARISH September 13- 15 September 20 - 22 September 27 - 29 ()etoher S - I0 ()ctohcr It - 13 ()ctober 25 - 27 ('hrisl the King Parish, Little Rock Parishes of Fort Smith Good ('ouusel Parish. Little Rock Si. Peter's Parish. Mountain Home Parishes of Hot Springs St. Joseph's Parish, Fayetteville YOUTH Dec. 13-15 - Immaculate Conception High School, Memphis, Tenn. MARRIAGE ENCOUNTER Novcmhcr 15 - 17 Marriage Encounter, Subiaco No. 4 I'nllx :t ! r, rr, liEATS ENCOURAGED I{eh'eats begin Friday evening and continue until about 3:00 p.m. Sunday. Cost of Retreat is not fixed although a tninimnnl of $22.00 ($40.00 for couples) is suggested as an offering for meals, h)dging and Retreat. Retreats for I{eligious anti Priests are arranged for the particular l'Otll). ('all for rcserv3tions to: The Abbey Retreat. Coury or'rite | llo-ue. Suhiaco. Arkansas 72865. Phone: 501-934-2081. I Retreat i)irector: The Rev. Ilerbert Vogelpohl, O.S.B. i-