Newspaper Archive of
Arkansas Catholic
Litlte Rock, Arkansas
December 20, 1974     Arkansas Catholic
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December 20, 1974
 

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THE GUARDIAN, DECEMBER 20, 1974 PAGE 9 r THE CRIB, THE STAR, like wedding rings, are :;Ymbols with meaning. As Father Dulles com- mented, "They suggest attitudes and courses of Laction.'" (NC sketch courtesy Religious Heritage of 'A IA, merica) ' IPastora/ Z .uszngs How to Prepare for Christmas. By Msgr. John B. Scheper tTHER MANTON reminds and these, having heard the KNOW YOUR FAITH Sponsored By Arkansas State Council Knights of Columbus we are on our way to ranter Christ. And he "Where? -- Well, was He found first? It d jolt us to realize amid all hoopla of our con- Christmas, that :n the noisy in the quiet cave. was discovered, fur- not by the l.mpous 'isees or by the pseudo-in- scribes or by the Sadducees, but by shepherds. WAS to these that the brought the Good News; Word, followed it, leaving their own flocks to search out the Lamb of God. In our keeping of Advent, are we following the shepherds, or are we going off after the merchants? SURELY THE BUYING and the giving of Christmas gifts, if it is done in happy remem- brance of the-birthday of Christ, is a display, warm and generous, of brotherhood, friendship, love. It becomes bad only when it is overdone, or when all this Christmas shopping, which is just the Forest [-teights Shopping Center Heights Center TOYS" 663-8383-- 5918 "R" Reck, Arkansas DIAMONDS I WATCHES -- JEWELRY I WN:k nton, alrOq I Cantrell & Grant - 666-6651 I Heights Shopping Center ] Servko Call" PLUMBING 5815 Kavanaugh PHONE 666-5474 of Pfoifer & Heating Co., I E WHIM, MODEL MARKET Campbell KAVANAUGH PHARMACY * FREE DELIVERY * 5608 "R" St. - 666-2628 Little Rock, Arkansas LARGE SELECTION OF SILK AND PARCHMENT SHADES Large Variety of Quality NAME BRAND LAMPS "Bring Your Lamp ; i In for a Fitting" Ill Infants and Children's READY-T0-WEAR McCain Mall and 5701 Kavanaugh n Symbols Communicate More Than Mere Cold Facts By Father Joseph M. Champlin "MARY. TAKE this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." Since most couples in my experience over the past 10 years have opted for a double-ring ceremony, Mary, after accepting this gift and drawing it further onto the third finger of her left hand, will probably reciprocate and give a similar wedding band to her spouse. THE RINGS signify, of course, that Mary and her partner are now husband and wife, married, joined legally and spiritually. But those nuptial bands normally bear a deeper meaning and communicate, especially to the wearers, much more than the mere external fact of marriage. THEY SHOULD and usually do symbolize all kinds of inner qualities, attitudes and feelings. The rings say in effect : "I love you, I am committed to you, I will care about you throughout the future in both good and bad times, in sickness and health, in joys and sorrows." THEY ALSO CAN spark in one individual swift and spon- taneous thoughts about the other; stir memories of shared tears and common laughter; recall moments the partners hurt each other and times they made love. These rings may likewise serve as a source of courage and strength when temptation or adversity places the original commitment under strain. FOR EXAMPLE: A husband away at length from home, weary after tension-filled days, discouraged by business frustrations, lonely and vulnerable, is tempted by an obvious invitation. He feels weak and finds the offer very attractive, but a glance at or touch of his ring changes the picture and carries him through that temporary crisis. Another illustration : An exhausted wife struggles to cope with her cancer-ridden, dying husband. His constant, changing, imperative day and night requests test the woman's endurance. She, too, fingers her wedding band and in a silent, mysterious way finds there power to continue. TilE NUPTIAL rings as signs (I am married) do not deeply touch our inner selves: however, as symbols (I love, care, am committed) they can evoke a variety of strong conscious and lmenneinlls reactions within us. Father Avery Dulles in his "Models of the Church" explains this strange power of symbols in psychological terms and ap- plies that explanation to specifically religious images. HE MAINTAINS these symbols find an echo in the inar- ticulate depths of a person's psyche. They communicate through their evocative power and convey a latent meaning. Such symbols transform the horizons of an individual's life, alter one's scale of values, reorient loyalties. We apprehend them not simply by the mind but by the imagination, the heart, or better, by the whole man. In Dulles' words, "they suggest attitudes and courses of ac- tion; they intensify confidence.and devotion." DURING THE Christmas season we seek to grasp and communicate a truth which is essentially beyond our com- prehension -- the mystery of a divine God taking on human flesh. To help us appreciate that sublime event, the Church through the centuries has developed certain symbols (e.g. the crib, candles, a star) which we associate with Jesus' coming into our midst. In fact, we sometimes even speak of this Incarnation in the language of marriage, wondering over the love which prompted God to wed our humanity. THOSE SYMBOLS, like the nuptial rings, communicate much more to us than the cold fact a marriage has taken place. They stir within our total being feelings and attitudes, provoke con- scious and unconscious reactions, drive home the great im- plications of that wedding which began at Nazareth and con- tinued in Bethlehem. 1974 NC News Service CHRISTMAS... A TIME FOR GIVING frame, becomes bigger and brighter and more important than the picture itself, which is Christmas --The Christ Child, What a heartbreaking dif- ference these Advent days between the stores and the churches ? The stores are like an illuminated fairyland come to life, each window a gorgeous sunburst of color, each counter a treasurer chest spilling over, each aisle a slow-moving river of eager shoppers. The churches, on the other hand, during the morning Masses seem great shadowy caves, lonely and echoing, with but a few people scattered here and there like boats on a big empty lake . . . IF MORNING MASS is too much of a sacrifice, can we not during these sacred days of Advent drop in for a daily visit? What, after all, is the core and center of Christmas? Is it the giving and getting of gifts, or is SEE MUSINGS ON PAGE 1 it the coming of Christ? The almighty dollar, or almighty God? If Christmas is a spiritual feast (and if it is not that, I do not know what it is) it needs a spiritual preparation. Journey to Bethlehem -- I know a mother with three youngsters who begins Advent by putting a tiny empty stable in the center of the mantel. Then at one end she places statuettes of Mary and Joseph; at the other, a few small shepherds. Each day both sides are ad- vanced a mite closer to the stable. IN THE FIRST days of December, the children feel that Christmas will never come, because the travelers seem hardly to move, which gives the mother a chance to remind them how long the world had to wait for a Savior. But towards the end, as the figurines draw 1 Arkansas'00 Councnls of the KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS. Extend Sincere Wishes for a Holy and Happy Christmas to the 3,300 Knights in the Diocese of Little Rock, Their Families and Friends THE HOLY FATHER'S MISSION AID TO THE ORIENTAL CHURCH The Midnight Mass in Bethlehem will be of- OUR fered for the members of this Association. This GIFT is our. Christmas thank you gift to you. Please TO pray for all of us, especially our priests and YOU Sisters overseas. And have a happy Christmas =. Store window displays and newspaper adver- tisements remind us that Christmas is not too far off... ; Is Christmas shopping a problem for you? What to give at Christmas to your rela- ATRULY tives and friends need not be a puzzle any CHRIST-LIKE longer .... Use our attractive Christmas Gift CHRISTMAS Cards featuring a full color picture of "Our Lady GIFT of the East".... Complete your Christmas gift list now. It's simple Select a gift below, send us the person's name and address with your donation--and we do all the rest. We'll send that person or persons a Gift Card before Christ- mas, saying what you have done .... At the same time your meaningful gift will give millions of people the Hope of the Christ Child. [] $1080 Train a native priest [] $ 300 Train a native Sister 17 $ 1OO Perpetual Family Membership in Catholic Near East Welfare Assoc. I-1 $ 1(O Altar for mission chapel CHRISTMAS SHOPPERS' GUIDE D$ D$ D$ D$ D$ D$ D$ D$ D$ D$ 75 Mass kit for a missionary priest 50 Set of Vestments 40 Chalice or Ciborium 25 Tabernacle or Crucifix 25 tndividual Perpetual Membership 15 Sanctuary Lamp 10 Annual Family Membership 10 Food Package for a Refugee Family 5 Sanctuary Bell 2 Individual Annual Membership MASS IN THE HOLY LAND Our missionary priests in the Holy Land will be pleased to offer promptly the Masses you re- quest at Christmas. Sinply send us, with your offering, the names of your friends and loved ones, living and deceased. Dear Monsignor Nolan: Please return coupon with your offering I .CLOSEO ,LEASE F,NO $ FOR NAME STREET CITY STATE.__ ZIP CODE THE cATHOLIC NEAR EAST WELFARE ASSOCIATION NEAR EAST MISSIONS TERENCE CARDINAL COOKE, President MSGR. JOHN G. NOLAN, National Secretary Write: CATHOLIC NEAR EAST WELFARE ASSOC. 1011 First Avenue New York, N.Y. 10022 Telephone: 212/826-1480