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May 6, 2004 Edition

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Mothers: Two models for women today

Perhaps it is no coincidence that the month of May - traditionally devoted to Mary, the Mother of God - is also the time when our society celebrates Mother's Day.

Mary is a perfect model for all mothers. Even before Jesus was born, she showed us an example of motherhood. When the angel of the Lord visited her with the news of her pregnancy, Mary responded, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be (done) to me according to your word."

Accepting God's plan. Giving consent to God's word, Mary becomes the mother of Jesus. She didn't hesitate or spend days trying to decide what to do. She answered immediately, willing to do whatever God asked of her. As one saint said, "Being obedient she became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race."

Children should be seen as a gift from God. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church says, "A child does not come from outside as something added on to the mutual love of the spouses, but springs from the very heart of that mutual giving, as its fruit and fulfillment."

Yet it seems as if many married couples today are not willing to accept children freely and willingly as gifts from God. Perhaps they should look to the example of Blessed Gianna Beretta Molla, whom Pope John Paul II will canonize on May 16, 2004.

Modern role model. Gianna was an Italian woman, married with three children. She had a promising career as a doctor. In 1962 at the age of 39, she discovered she was pregnant with her fourth child. Doctors found a large tumor growing alongside her uterus.

While some women might have decided otherwise, Gianna's first priority was her baby. She continued the pregnancy, even having a dangerous operation to ensure the baby would be born. Her daughter was born, but a few days later, Gianna developed septic peritonitis.

A week after holding her precious baby, Gianna died. At her beatification in 1994, the Holy Father called her a role model for mothers: "A woman of heroic love, an outstanding wife and mother, she gave dedicated witness to the demanding values of the Gospel in her daily life."

Her child, Dr. Gianna Emmanuela Molla, is now a physician herself. She said: "Dear Mama, thank you for having given me life two times, when you conceived me and when you allowed me to be born. . . . My life seems to be the natural continuation of your life, of your joy of living, of your enthusiasm; I discover my life's full meaning in dedicating myself to whoever lives in suffering."

Gianna's story might make a great Mother's Day gift. Two books on her life are available from Pauline Books & Media (800-876-4463 or www.pauline.org).

Thank, pray for all mothers. On this Mother's Day, Sunday, May 9, let's thank all mothers for accepting the gift of life.

Let's pray, too, that all married women - and their husbands - will follow the examples of Mary and Gianna in being open to the gift of life in their families.

Mary C. Uhler, editor

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We reserve the right to edit or reject letters. Limit letters to 200 words or less. All letters must be signed. Please include your city or town of residence.

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Madison, WI 53744-4985

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E-mail: info@madisoncatholicherald.org
Look at history of our economy

To the editor:

The campaign for president brings out a false pretense of our economy. The campaign makes our society look as though we are either sheep or wolves. On the one hand, John Kerry paints the picture of George Bush being the wolf guarding the henhouse while President Bush sees his opponent as a young buck raving and ranting without direction.

Maybe we should spend some time studying the history of our economy. At the time of the signing of the Constitution our forefathers looked to the nature of mankind for the guarantees that business would be competitive. They in turn were confident that families would live by God's word, thereby providing the honesty needed for the transactions to trade goods for services and services for goods.

With fishermen, woodsmen, miners, and farmers providing the needed resources, the business of our early economy remained stable. Food was the most reliable resource used to distribute our source for daily living and the distribution of the needed money to keep the economy moving. Our economy ran smoothly for almost two centuries but wars were putting a crimp in the system because of the intense demand they created. This is where greed took charge in the business world.

How then could farmers and consumers continue to perform in their segment of the economy when business took on a new perspective beyond the family circle of following God's word? There is no place for greed in God's world but greed has become essential to the world of modern business. Herein lies the problem in our economy.

Neither political party has the answer, partly because of the influence of the power of the lobby dollar. Somehow the American people must relate this fact to the people representing us in government. The polls do not have an immediate answer, but this is the place to start. Make sure you vote next fall.

Gene Rake, Columbus

Support Life at Conception Act

To the editor:

Sincere Catholics are encouraged to contact Sen. Russell D. Feingold and Sen. Herb Kohl and urge them to support Sen. James Inhofe's Life at Conception Act (S2190).

They are also encouraged to contact Rep. Tammy Baldwin to urge her to support Duncan Hunter's Life at Conception Act (HR3069).

It belongs to Congress to resolve the question that the Supreme Court stated that it cannot resolve.

Charles J. Sippel, Waterloo

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