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Arkansas Catholic
Litlte Rock, Arkansas
December 8, 1991     Arkansas Catholic
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December 8, 1991

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PAGE 2 ARKANSAS CATHOLIC DECEMBER 8, 1991 The Feast of the Immaathte Concep- tion, 137 years old, can still be confusing (See Exploring Our Faith, page 8). By the time Plus IX ascended to the Chair of Peter, pressure on Rome to define the Immaculate Conception had been build- ing for years. Because of his earlier cure from epilepsy, a cure wlfich he attributed to the Mother of God, Pius vowed to advance her cause. In 1854, he declared the doctxine that Mary of Nazareth had been conceived with- out sin in her mother's womb. In so doing, the pope declared Mary to have been pre- redeemed, Christ's redemptive action hav- ing operated on her by antidpation of sav- ing grace. Such heady and potentially confusing dogma often floats over the heads of those of us who creep into the sanctuary a few minutes early before Mass to say a rosary, or who fight a candle before the Mother of God best known to us - Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Our Lady of Guadalupe (Dec. 12), Our Lady of the Holy Souls, Our Lady of Victory, Our Lady of Good Counsel Our Lady of the Ozarks, Mary, Mother of God, Our Lady of the Lake, Our Lady of Good Hope, Our Lady of Czestochowa, Maryofthe Mount, Our Lady of the Assumption, Our Lady of Fatima, The Immaculate Heart of Mary, Our Lady of Perpetual Help. And, in my ~se, Mary, Patron of Single Mothers of teenaged children. Mary, herself, was a teenaged, unmar- fled mother.Joseph wanted to put her away '~' quietly, to avoid scandal But he didn't, and Mary, being fully human, carried on. The dcgnm of the Immaculate Concep- tion augments and clarifies Church teach- ing concerning the relationship between the dMne Jesus and his human mother. For most Catholics, Mary the Mother of God holds a special place in our hearts. We are not idolaters: we don't pray to Mary. But she is our friend, our intercessor. And never ~s it known that anyone who fled to her protection was left unaided. DKH :ARKANSAS CATHOLIC Arkansas ~ogc is published weekly (except the first Sun- day in Jan., July, Aug., and the lasl Sunday in : Dec ) for $15 per yeaA by thd Calhofc D~cese o! Little Rock Ark~nu$ Cathodic, Inc.. P.O. 8ox 74'I7, 2500 N. Tyler St.. Little Rock, AR 72217, (5(11) 664-0340 [FAX 664-9075] PUBLISHER Most Rev. Andrew J. McDonald, Bishop ? ! ? *q .p. A A ~r MANAGING EDITOR Rev. Albert J, Schnek~er EDITOR [ cDa If Deborah K. Halto~ :e .v, ~': CIRCULATION MANAGEF --'4 giN)-- ADVERTISING .... MARKETING MANAGER ' Rofl M. Halt PRODUCTION MANAGER " Rev. James M. Schratz ~ Llnlo K'od My second grade class was practic- t but with many of my classmates the feel- ing standing in line when I began to feel dizzy for the first time. I felt what I later described as "little balls in my head." The next thing I remember is lying on the floor, looking up at the faces surround- ing me. I fainted three more times that day and was finally sent home. This was my first experience with epi- lepsy. I had all but forgotten about this ind- dent by the time I was in fourth grade, the next time the disease struck. This time it was at home. After another such episode I was diagnosed as an epileptic. I will never forget the mix of sadness and horror I experienced when I first learned that I would most likely have the illness for the rest of my life. That moment was one of the few mining points I have ever had in iny life. To be perfectly honest, I don't really know what happened next. The medica- tion the doctor had put me on had side effects that, I have been told, seriously al- tered my personality. The effect of the disease that botlmred me the most was the attitude people had toward it. Fifth grade is a blur in my memory, the remaining fragments filled with hurt and confusion. I remember feeling very alone, feeling By lessica Carstens ostracized by my friends from years before, but these feelings are almost all I can recall. However, I do remember that ing of distance remained. However, it wasn't until I was in ninth grade and the doctor decided to take me~ off the medication that my life was seri- ously affected again. Over a period of about four months my dosage was slowly reduced from 1,000 nfillioams a day to nothing. : Every time the amount was lowered,- about once every two weeks, I went when I was put on through a serious bout of depression. This a different medi- depression usually lasted about two to three cation and the days, however, and then I would be back haze lifted, I was a to normal. At the end of the four months, different person I was completely off the medication and I n [ than I had been have been ever since. | ] two years before. I Overall, epilepsy did not drastically af- ~ ] had a more seri- fect my life. I was lucky to have been diag- ous outlook on nosed early, to have had a case mild l life, and my inher- enough to be treated easily and to have ent shyness had been able to be taken off medication. deepened greatly. Still, I think that despite all the hard- ships it caused, the disease strengthened me and helped me to grow as an indi- vidual. I learned to overcome my shyness and make new friends. I learned reliability by taking my medication four times a day. And most of all, I learned to cope with problems I never thought I would have to face. Although epilepsy's effects eventually became less aau- matic than during that first year, they were still a major part of my life. The effect of the disease that bothered me the most was the attitude people had to.nard it. I made no secret of the fact that I am an epileptic, and because of this I was often |teated as a little different from everyone else. No one came out and said anything to me, but there was always a feeling of dis- lance the first time anyone found out. My dose friends were able to accept this fact, ([essica Calms is a senior in high school is the of Ch,i who ~ writes for Gzthd~ News Service.) Copyright 1991 by C~S By Finley These days Paul Tsongas would like to be the Democratic Party candidate for presi- dent in ~92. Many inddental aspects of their lives. Granted, we would all like to find more meaning in relationships and shake the death-grip work can gain on our fives. But, in practical terms, how can we give more time to our relationships with God, family and friends? First, never underestimate the power of community of some sort. You may need to help organize such a group. My good spouse and I join a few other couples one evening each month for shared prayer and time to listen to one another's joys and sorrows. These practical tips are easy to talk about, not so easy to live out. But the rewards to be gained from even the smallest success are people may not prayer. Find a few minutes each day for a beyond calculation. recall that hack in form of prayer that suits you best, then stick "I am here," Tsongas wrote. "I am alive, 1984 Tsongas had to your determination to be a daily practi- and I will partake of God's blessings. I have a new book out taone,r of prayer. If anything can "grease the learned that those blessings must be truly i ; ~ calledHeading skids to make .the attempt to give more. . appreciated if they are to have meaning. Home. lime to family and friends successful, prayer. 7 .... q_et me, dear Lord, spend my life filled He told the can. " - with the capadty to see what ks ,,before me1 ~: '~-~ ~ withStry of his hisbattleaf- Second, look at the schedule ))ou follow and to be fiflfflled in that sight. [ "r~ cancer, in a typical,week.Are there "windows of Amen. I fecfion for serving opporttmity in )'our week when you could Copy6ght 1991 CNS in Congress and spend time with family and friends that you his decision not to now use in other ways? How much time do seek an all-but-certain second term in the you spend ~ch evening wamtfing telex~sion? Senate. He explained that his decision was Are there ways you could regain some con- motixated by his desire to spend more thne trol over your weekends and give that time ,, .wi'th his wife and thi'ee young daughters. When Tsongas made the official an- nouncement that he would not nan for aNo ~ on his death bed ever second term, he said something I quotesaid "I wish I had spent more fi-equently: ~"No man on his death bed ever said, 'I wish I had spent more time with my time with my business."....... business.'" Tinm spent on our dosest human rela- to being with thOse you love? tionships is time spent exceedingly well. We Second, carve:Gut regular iirnes in your tend, however, to take family and friends week when you will take the wouble to be for granted. For some people, work domi- with spouse and/or children. Some mar- nates life. tied couples put themselves on their calen- According to recent studies, most people dar: "Each Monday evening we will go out say that they value family and friends above together." work. But the same studies show that we Parents can give each child, on a regular don't tend t put onr time where our mouth basis, an afternoon or evening of undivided is. attention, time to simply enjoy each other's Husbands and wives spend but a few company.. minutes a week talking about topics of any Finally, in addition tO nOrmM p0xtidpa- PgAy FO~ U_'; real importance. Parents and children ditto, lion in the life ofyo)ar parish; setaside Some WHO HAVE RECOU RSE Friends rarely talk about any but the most time each month to be with a small faith TO THEE