Newspaper Archive of
Arkansas Catholic
Little Rock, Arkansas
December 2, 1990     Arkansas Catholic
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December 2, 1990

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PAGE 2 ARKANSAS CATHOLIC DECEMBER 2, ! 990 Ball caps and Bazooka. The other night, about 11:50 PM, as I was trying to recover from a day of work, shuttling kids to school, Scouts, CYO - you know the litany - I began to dream of the day when the kids would be off to college. (I have almost convinced my children that there are no "good" colleges in Arkansas and that to get a "good" education, they will have to leave the state. This is a white lie on my part. But I figure a trade-off for a few days in Purgatory may be worth it. I am bliss- fully aware that my sons cannot possi- bly bring their laundry home to me on weekends from Notre Dame, and that LSU is too far away for my daughter to expect me to fill up her car's gas tank.) Anyway, like I was saying, I was dreaming of this far-off day when a vi- sion of my youngest child came to me. (Okay, it was less a vision than a spectre, but "vision" sounds more motherish.) So this vision of my youngest child came to me. I saw him as he appears every day. Every blessed day. He wears ball caps and Bazooka. No, he does not merely "chew" the BazoOka, he Oftentimes Wears it. The gum is pink. The ball cap is red. Daz- zlingly red. He wears it backwards on his head, causing a shock of hair to jump out between the canvas part of the hat and the plastic thingamabob that adjusts the size. So there he was in this vision - red ball cap and Bazooka gum, red school uniform shirt with (what else?) navy blue pants with skin showing at the knees, and unspeakably dirty sneakers. Did the vision cure my longing for the day he'll leave for college? No. It reminded me that sometime between now and then, he needs a haircut and braces. DKH A SAS CATHOUC Is published 48 times =year. for $12 per y~mr, by the Ctholk o~ Little Rock, Arkansas Catholic, Inc., 2500 N. Tyler SL, LIrle Rock, AR 72207 (501) 664-0340 [FAg (501) 664-g075]. PUBMSHER: Mo=Rev. ~k~vJ. McOo~kI, Bi=holp MANAGING IEDffOR: ~. ~ J. $hmld~ EDITOR : DebeNreh lillk~l ADVERTISING / MARKETING DIRECTOR : Rm M. PROOUCTION MANAGER: Rev. Jim ~lVm= CIRCULATION MANAGER : Agnes Knittig Third class postaQe pe]d at Little Rock. AR. POSTMASTER : Send change d addre~ to: ARKAIaA CATHOUC. PO BOX 7417. LITTLE ROCK. AR 72217. Busi- neu hours are8:30to4, Monday - Friday. Cloud on week~ds, Holy Days, and National ~ys. Offices are located In Uorrls Hail, St. John's Center, ~ N. Ty~,r, Little Rock. AR, 72207. r= ,=,,= ,=,, mm __ ,,==, =-, ==, =,,,, =,,,, ,~, ,,,=, ml To subscribe, send coupon with l check for $12 to the above address, l I I I Name I I Address I his Viewpoint could be entitled "On not celebrating Christmas during Advent - or Halloween". In October did I see a Santa Claus suit hanging with skeleton, vampire and witch cos- tumes? A scary thought. Or was it just a ghost from a Christmas past, one of many Christmases that stores would have us celebrate before Thanksgiving? As these thoughts are being penned, Christmas decorations in stores and malls have already been up for weeks,; and Advent is just beginning. Remember Advent? That thought- ful, purple time of the Church year. That time filled with longing, waiting, eager expectation; the looking forward to Christmas, to gifts and family to- getherness. There was a time when believers in the Incarnation celebrated waiting. They allowed themselves to taste an- ticipation, savor it; to count not the shopping days until Christmas, just the days. We felt some of the longing that Somewhere in the transi- tion from Halloween to Christmas, with a nod in the direction of Thanksgiving, Advent has been lost. ancient Israel must have known: "O come, Immanuel, O ,com Dayspring from on high!" We need you, we want you. When will you come? We will wait, eagerly. Ah, but the chambers of commerce have a better solution. Why wait. This is the season not so much of the Lord who brings salvation, but of Santa who brings gifts - gifts we have to buy - from III WP()IIIW Rev. David LeSlem: stores - for high prices. Somewhere in the transition from Halloween to Christmas, with a nod in the direc- tion of Thanks- giving, Advent has been lost. Oh, there are ..... traces of Advent in churches m wreaths, colors and Scripture call us back to our roots as those who know how to wait for the Wonder- ful and not take the first substitute that seems attractive. But Advent in churches has little to say to a world that has opted for substi- tutes. Shallow relationships, quick s01u- tions, cheap oil, bombs. Only people who are affected by the spirit of Advent can say something to the world. Only those who are convinced that the world doesn't have everything we need, that the best is yet to come, that thebest is worth the wait, that to gain we must lose, to live we must die, to have we must give - only people imbued wi'th this vision have anything of value to say to a world that hates to wait, that has to have. Alng with the above thougiats I would like to offer a few suggestions for the celebration of Advent: . . * Get an Advent wreath for'your Ivan gauffman ach December the entire Chris- tian world spends several weeks wait- ing. There's a tremendous mood of antici- pation in the air, and nearly ev- eryone seems to be countin~ the days, even those who aren't reli- gious. The Christmas spirit is so strong there's really no way to ignore it. Over the centuries a whole set of rituals has evolved to go with the wait- ing. There are the songs we sing only at Christmas, the decorations we put up in our homes and sweets and stores, the foods and beverages we serve only at Christmas - all the customs we keep from year to year. There's no other time quite like it. See "Kauffman," next page home and let it become part of you prayer of waiting. Buy your tree and decorate it- for Advent. Festoon it wiff purple (a quiet, lovely, thoughtful color), place on it biblical symbols that[[ remind us of Jesus (you know, the[| Reason for the Season); then o11[| Christmas Eve decorate the tree f0fl[ Christmas. ;ll * Place your manger scene inS:l| prominent area, but only with sheep | and shepherds. The main figurine [ can be placed Christmas morning 0rI 1: after midnight Mass. All through Ad';]. vent the empty manger is a reminde'![] of waiting for the marvelous gifts that:l I come in simple wrapping (As for thai i magi and the camel, bring them ou! in time for Epiphany.) * What about all those "ChristmaS' parties that dot December calendar/ in the parish? Have them betwee Christmas and the Baptism of the Lord (the real ChrisT as Season). Otherwis~ call your parties Advent celebrations l ' and decorate for them according y. t * Don t take down your decoration | the. day after Christmas. Enjoy the [ "Twelve Days" which include the .: Epiphany, the Feast of the Holy' Family, and the Baptismof the LOrd: Young children who are used early Christmas preparations will hac to be taught the meaning of Adve !, and the value of waiting.: And the world, with its demand for everythi I now, that somehow mixes Santa ClaUS I [ with Halloween, will also have to be taught how to ... wait. (Rev. David LeSieur is'Director of1 cations for Diocese of Little Rock Pastor of St. Anne's in North ,, S Mary's foot is. treading on cNst~.~tl~-aq serpent while an'. gels assist in erushing tl serpent's head in l this paintingJ Conception b l.I: ' 17th'century art' il l li ist Carlo Marrata; ] [ ii which hang, " llii the Church of St' [ ill