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Arkansas Catholic
Litlte Rock, Arkansas
December 2, 1990     Arkansas Catholic
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December 2, 1990

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IJl~.E.IVlDr.l~ L, I~''~V Question: How often do you go to confession ? Monthly (or more often) Three time a year Twice a year Yearly Less Blasphemy? Responses need not be signed, but 0nly this form (no photocop- ies) will be accepted. No phone calls, please. Mail to: Arkansas Catholic Survey PO Box 7417, Little Rock, 72217 Additional comments welcome. November's Question: Should Catho- lics stop using Bingo as a fundraiser? Yes: 50% No: 50% Our readers were split on the ques- tiQn with only the nays offering com- raents: ...for many elderly, participating in ingo is a form of recreation... ..profits from Catholic bingo are put good use... ; New Jersey, we had almost 400 ttUdents who paid NO tuition because bingo games held twice a week... '.:,r,..the total benefits of bingo out ,eigh what some might consider the "untold Stories & Twice-Told Tales" Share your favorite Christmas story in our Special Issue! 600 words maxImum Deadline Dec. 7 "Kauffman," from page 2 But what are we waiting for? In one sense it's an easy question to answer. Any child can tell you we're waiting for Christmas day so we can open our pre- sents. But although the child in everyone seems to come out at Christmas, that can't really explain '.he mood. Long after we've stopped wondering what's in those packages under the tree we still share in the intense waiting. Of course on a more Serious level we can say that we're waiting for the birth of Christ, but that can't entirely explain the mood either. Why would something which took place 2,000 years ago pro- duce such a mood of anticipation? And if the purpose of Christmas is simply remembering an historical event, why all the emphasis on getting ready? It all seems to point to something much deeper - to a yearning for some- thing more practical, more important to our day to day existence, than either gifts or history. Isn't it possible that beneath the tin- sel and the eggnog that we're all, somewhere deep in our souls, waiting for God to become flesh and blood among us again - to become alive in the nitty-gritty reality of our lives, here and now? After all Christmas isn't about God in heaven - where it's easy to imagine God being. Christmas is about God on earth, living among us - where given the mess we're in it's often difficult to imagine God'being present. The Christmas story is not about an apparition or a vision. It's about a birth, the beginning of a life as human as our own - a life lived in the real world, where people getsick and die, where kids very often do crazy things, where adults lose their jobs, and sometimes their minds. It's no fairy tale. So what are we waiting for? At bottom aren't we all waiting for what the Scriptures call salvation? Surrounded by evil on every side, struggling with the evil in our own hearts, we often face despair. Evil ttireatens our very survival, yet we seem unable to do anything about it. Perhaps that's why waiting seems to be the best way to celebrate Christ's birth each year. If we could save our- selves there would be no reason to wait. We'd simply take things into our own hands and deal with them as we thought best. But every time we take that approach things only seem to get worse. Despite our best efforts every major problem which faces us - from drug addiction to sexual promiscuity and from a deterio- rating environment to the threat of war. Long after we've stopped wondering what's in those packages under the tree we still share in the intense waiting. in the Persian Gulf- only seems to get worse, regardless of what we do. We live in the midst of great danger, but we seem powerless to change anything. And so once again we are waiting for what Christians have waited for each Advent season - something great enough to save us from the over- whelming evil which surrounds us. The gift is there. The only question is whether or not we'll accept it. Whether we're poor like the shep- herds or rich'like the Magi, if we want what we're waiting for we'll have to drop everything and go with them to Bethlehem. The baby who was born there is what we're all waiting for. Dear ,Editor: The lady who wrote the "viewpoint" article on 11/18 committed blasphemy when she wrote "God made him gay." In the future such articles should have a footnote explaining that such a statement is contrary to the teaching of the Catholic Church. God does not give us evil tendencies. It is either due to the weakness we in- herit from original sin or as a result of our own evil habits. .Also I object to Dr. Rosemary Brandt's attack on the Catholic doctrine of original sin when she states; "This is the great lie of original sin - that we aren't okay as we are, that we should do something, or be more, and then we would "be as gods." This is another blasphemy and heresy. Dr. Brandt shows her ignorance of the true teaching of the Catholic Church. She doesn't realize that sanc- tifying grace which we receive from the sacraments makes us "be as gods as the God-Man, Jesus, told us. If we do not repent of our sins, God cannot accept us. Nothing defiled can enter heaven where an all holy God is. Certainly, God constantly gives us actual grace to try to get us to repent of our sinsl But if we die without re- penting, God cannot accept us into heaven. We are responsible for our moral acts [if mental illness has not taken away our free will]. If I happen to be in mortal sin, God does not accept me in that state. He gives me the actual grace to repent and confess my sins to a priest. Lambert G. Smith Pocahontas BxPrL.@ Fr. John DIe/zen Coming home am concerned about the terms lYutl Used in a column about the Ira- 1 : Culate Conception of the Blessed [ I ! In your answer, youtalked about conceived with- ~t sin;" "con- HVed without relations;" : er sinless con- II sexual relations is an activity only "tol- erated" by the Church to produce more faithful? Are married couples in a lower state of sanctification? You imply that by repeated use of the above terms. First, you are mixing up points I was making about the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother and the virginal conception of Jesus in the womb of Mary. It is and always has been the Chris- tian assumption that Mary was con- [I&IWII course that Jesus was conceived "by the power of the Holy Spirit, without a human father. Some Christian teachers though the centuries, basing their ideas on certain assumptions that there is something inherently corrupt about any sexual relationship, claimed that the holiness of Jesus would be somehow dirtied" if he had been conceived through normal sexual intercourse. This is not the teaching of the Church. It certainly was not my inten- Dear Editor: Converts think many born Catholics are turtles. They withdraw into their shells. Witness all the intraniural bick- ering in parishes over Communion rails and other such unimportant matters. Converts love their precious new faith. They remember too well their long sad journey in the dark before they i tPtion in the ceived in the same way as other human tion to make such a connection in my " found the Church and Christ. Many, and "the beings, through the union of her response, like Mother Seton and Cardinal ' hss entry into mother and father. According to the Church's under- Newman, lost most of their friends who t world" of The sexual relationship which led tostanding of sexual relationships inbecause of prejudice and pride were her conception was, we presume, a lov- marriage, the holiness of Jesus and Mary bigo at heart. I I illAre you one of ing expression of their marriage rela- would not have been any the less if he And they remember the joy of at last eler,,y that tionship. There is no way it could or had become man in the same way the coming home to a safe harbor and ( 5 " , ' [ [ ! ks sex is only would be an obstacle to God s immedi- rest of us did, rather than, as we be- peace of mind. And they want to share I t . eeessary eviP That virginity is the ate gifts to her who would be the lieve, being conceived in the womb of their happiness with others. Do we? Miest That cehba ts mother of the Savior Ma without a human father I1 " state to be in. ' ey" . ry , Rev. Rawley Myers tte .......... -'-:-- ar-- il That Our traditional Christian belief is of ,,. " ht .. [ " UII I.llid~l l-il/~a.l~ .... ,7. . ., Pftr , ..., Colorado Sprin s, CO . ...... ~ ................................................................... e " ............. '~,#f,l,.l~?#4 2,i,l~p_',,,.~ y~t i.t,~,e~,-,'t ,'~ t r.,rrl