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Arkansas Catholic
Little Rock, Arkansas
October 3, 1998     Arkansas Catholic
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October 3, 1998

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ARKANSAS CATHOLIC ;e_.ed o/c October 3, 1998 Page 7 Gq'ncrease our faitl ," Jesus' apostles &betided i. ., Haydn ,. , e you ever addressed the same plea Cod? Most of us have. Usuallywe do this during a time of pei'sonal crisis or turmoil when we feel tested beyond our limits. This is how tile prophet Habakkuk Seems to have felt "How long, 0 Lord? I cry for help but you do not listen! I cry out to you but you do not intervene." , Cod s response is very comforting and holds out tremendous hope: 'q'he rash ean has no integrity; but the jt st man, cause of his faith, shall live. Some- how faith and God are present in a good person's life even when it does not feel as though they are. Jesus' reaction to His disciples seems, on the other hand, to be cold .ants us in TOOAY Habakkuk 1:2-3, 2:2-4 2 Timothy 1:6-8, 13-14 Luke 17:5-10 Fr. William Gould and almost condemning: "If you had faith the size of a mustard seed you could say to this sycamore. 'Be up- rooted and transplanted into tile sea' and it would obey you." They ask for an increase of faith and He tells them that if they had even the tiniest bit they could work wonders. Is this really what .Jesus meant? It hardly seems likely. The example He chose -- that of the smallest seed His people knew -- is very important. Seeds have within themselves life and the capacity for growth. If a mustard seed is planted in tile right soil, it will grow into a bush of ahnost tree- like proportions. The mere presence of faith is enough. But what is the right soil? This is probably where the rest of the gospel comes in. Seemingly disconnected from and unrelated to the opening ex- change, it nonetheless answers this ques- tion. If we are good servants who simply do our duty, that is, who live as our Lord expects, then we have furnished the proper soil in which our faith will take root and grow. Faith not only is the source of good deeds, but our good deeds themselves help our faith grow and develop. This is one of the so-called "secrets" of success- ful Christian life. St. Paul's advice to his disciple Timo- thy fits in here. "I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God bestowed when my hands were laid on you." Why? So that the Spirit can increase our faith and make it what we want it to be. 'q'he Spirit God has given us is no cowardly spirit, but rather one that makes us strong, loving and wise." It's amazing what can grow from some- thing as tiny as a mustard seed! Or is it? Father William Gould's weekly column is sponsored by Little Rock Scripture Study. Catholic policies less than 20 years old make priesthood available to married converts ~ak~ordlng to recent news the system; they ar- standing of these Anglican clergy applies Thus, their choice to in the reports, marry atholic Church seems to have no gued, and em- also to the many Lutherans who consider Church assumes the choice of the sacra- prOblem letting Episcopalian converts into the Church to serve as priests, still married and with families. Yet, it holds the position that allowing olic priests to marry and minister to - ,the people as priests is not possible. i4.t nese policies seem to be contradictory. can they be held at the same thne?. Catholic nolicies nermittin~ married nVerts to become candidates for the , esthood are less than 20 years old and re,,...still developing. Some basic criteria, %w eVer, seem to be emerging. Xhe largest number of married Roman tholic priests in our country are former PiSCOpal priests. Their situation is some- ,nat, but not entirely, unique. the Oxford Movement during the 1800s, the present of Episcopal priests who toward Roman Catholicism gen- felt they should remain within the tradition and work toward cor- reunion with Rome. many of these decided to apply as man-led candidates for or- in the Roman Catholic Church. were formed within the Catholic braced Catholic tradition and teaching. Some of the group, espe- cially among those who longed for the larger reunion of the churches, even accepted the primacy of the bishop of Rome. Their position Fr. John Dietzen was that both in marrying and in their movement to the Roman Catholic Church with hopes of ordination they acted in good faith. The Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith accepted this rea- soning, it seems. It recognized these Epis- copal priests and their families as acting in good faith, and approved their recep- tion into the Roman Catholic Church and eventual ordination as married men. They were, in other words, dispensed from the promise and commitment of celibacy. A well-known former Lutheran minis- ter, now a Catholic priest, has pointed out to me that the Catholic sell:under- atechism ' tinued from page 5 'q'he decalogue forms a coherent Each word refers to each of the and to all of them, they recipro- Condition one another. The two shed light on one another; they form an organic unity. To transgress one commandment is to infringe all the oth- ers. One cannot honor another person without blessing God, his creator. One cannot adore God without loving all men, His creatures. The decalogue brings man's religious and social life into unity."(CC #2069) Join fellow Catholics._. on a 4 Day Motorcoach Trip January 26 - 29, 1999 During Pope John Paul II's Visit to St. Louis! Trips sponsored by St. Edward and St. John Schools Endowment Funds ! Call Janet Borchert for a brochure (501) 224-1622 " 1-800-341-3005 10310 W. Markham Little Rock, AR 72205 (501) 224-1622 1-800-341-3005 themselves as "evangelical Catholics." Such Lutherans, he said, see themselves as temporarily separated from Rome and working for reunion. With this understanding, which is grounded in the Lutheran Augsburg Con- fession of 1530, he believes I,utherans could be received on the same basis as Episcopa- lians, with married men having the same possibility of ordination to the priesthood. On the other hand, people who are raised Roman Catholic are presumed to know and be committed to the Catholic discipline of a celibate priesthood. ment of marriage rather than priesthood. And ordination to the priesthood by one raised in and aware of the Ronmn Catholic tradition indicates a choice of this sacrament rather than marriage. Obviously, it appears that the Roman Catholic policy for ordaining married converts to our faith still needs time to develop, and many factors, perhaps some yet unforeseen, will enter the discussion. The effort to work all this out with fidel- ity to both Catholic tradition and the Gos- pel will require extraordinary wisdom and prayer. of Pulaski, Pope, Craighead, Washington, Garland & Jefferson Counties!! Make Your COMBINED FEDERAL CAMPAIGN Pledge Work for Our Diocese Catholic Diocese of Little Rock (Youth & Campus Ministries) Pulaski County - 9028 Pope County - F149 Craighea ounty - 5019Washington County - 8000 Garland County - 0021 Jefferson County - 9004 (501) 664-0340, ext. 333 or 337 Fosters personal and spiritual growth and leadership development for youth / adults and conferences for 87 Catholic parishes in the state of Arkansas, Catholic Social Services Pulaski County - 9008Pope County - FI50 Craighead County - 5018 Washington County - 7000 Garland County - 0022Jefferson County- 9005 (501) 664-0340, ext. 352 or 355 Assists people in need through emergency assistance, a free health clinic, immigration and refugee resettlement services, pregnancy counseling and adoption services, and empowerment projects. ************* When you specify a donation to us, please check off the box that requests an acknowledgment of your contribution. Only then will the local federal coordinating committee forward your name to us so that we may thank you. Please encourage co-workers to specify their donations to us as well!