Week of August 18-24, 2000
volume 11, nos. 143-149

CATHOLIC PewPOINT for Friday-Thursday, August 18-24, 2000
Only God can place the proper value on the true treasure of family values and virtues!

    During our just concluded vacation, we were inundated with e-mails encouraging the format we adopted for the vacation issues because it makes it so easy to find everything, especially for those who want the liturgy ahead of time. Many e-mails were from overseas where the time difference is considerable and this way they can meditate on the saint of the day or feast day and the accompanying liturgy. Others wrote bemoaning the lack of current news during this time and, endeavoring to please the majority, we will make sure the most recent news stories are included with up-to-date posting daily. Our new format also will allow for someone to read our columnists at one sitting or bookmark it for later, being assured they'll return to the same spot. This way too all articles and columns remain available for a week before being sent to archives. This allows more exposure for the important words we provide. Believe me, if it weren't important, we wouldn't publish it. While this will undoubtedly lower the number of visits daily by our readers, statistics don't matter when we have the opportunity to actually reach more souls through this format. While individual hits may be lower, our readership will grow with others accessing the DAILY CATHOLIC on a regular basis after they have tasted what we have to offer. Again, we remind you that we have formatted this new format to Microsoft Internet Explorer, the most popular browser by over 75% of internet users. Because of glitches we have found in Netscape and its slow loading components we encourage you to view the DAILY CATHOLIC in the latest upgraded version of Internet Explorer, available free at We also remind you that we set the type so it is readable for all and aligns best graphically if you set your font size for the lowest font size. We assure you you'll be able to read every line without squinting.

    Did a lot of squinting this past week with my Dad in town as we tried to dodge the searing sun as much as possible during one of our rare heat waves in San Diego. I can't remember a week that went by so fast. True to my promise I didn't sit at the computer for ten days. You can imagine the backlog of e-mails mounting up. It has gotten to where answering e-mails is as time-consuming as publishing these issues. Therefore, if you've written, please don't hold your breath. If your questions or content is vitally important we will get back to you, but if it was just dropping us a line or letting off steam, then consider these editorials my reply. I have numerous e-mails of people answering our plea for a webmaster and haven't had the chance to even get back to them and they're high priority!

    What I did discover during our vacation is that the highest priority is, has been and must continue to be family. Other than our faith, there is nothing so precious as loved ones and we learned to cherish each other all the more this past week. It was such a treasure to have my 84-year old father with us for the week. He fit into our immediate family like a well-worn glove. Keep in mind we had not seen him for eight years but it seemed like yesterday. He had so much to share from the fresh frozen Minnesota walleye pike he hand-carried to the wisdom he imparted not only to our sons Kevin and Kellin, but to Cyndi and yours truly. I learned things about my dad and family history I never realized. First of all, I realized he's a year older than I had related in my last editorial. Secondly, we discovered that my grandmother once worked in the summer court of the Scandinavian monarch King Oscar III at his summer palace in Trondheim, Norway overlooking the majestic fjords. I also learned dad has three brothers and one sister in Heaven whom we never knew about as well as the fact I also have an older brother in Heaven since my mom, married in 1939, had a miscarriage in 1941. The Holy Spirit put it on our hearts to call him Gabriel. Since finding out, we have implored his intercession and can see even clearer why we love the Blessed Virgin Mary so much. After all it was the Archangel Gabriel who first appeared to Our Lady and since then she has returned the favor, appearing countless times in countless places over the last two millenniums and always with a message of love. That love permeated dad's visit. No airs, no pretense. We all presented ourselves as we are and we all accepted each other, no exceptions. We discovered that long before Hall of Famer Ted Williams became a household name in the majors, my dad rode shotgun with him in a 1936 Buick Special while working for Stephens Buick. Still green experience-wise, he was working as a lot boy for the automotive dealer in Minneapolis when the boss told him to go with Mr. Williams to test drive the vehicle. Williams, fresh out of Hoover High School in San Diego, had been called up by the then Minneapolis Millers ballclub, a minor league franchise of the Boston Red Sox. When Dad returned from this test drive he was literally green behind the gills because ol' Teddy Ballgame had floored it at 100 mph in a 30 mph zone on Wayzata Blvd. And this was way back in 1936. Even Mario Andretti has nothing on the Splendid Splinter! Speaking of swinging, the highlight of the week for Kevin was playing world-famous Torrey Pines golf course with his dad and grandfather, finishing up with a fantastic sunset over the Pacific silhoutted by the unique torrey pines that dot the landscape of this massive 36-hole course hugging the rugged cliffs of north La Jolla. Kevin logged in the best score but his grandfather gave him a run for his money. No comment on his dad the duffer. To pray, play and work together was a real treat for the whole family.

    Yes, family is what it's all about. "For this reason, a man leaves his father and mother, and clings to his wife, and the two become one flesh" (Genesis 2: 24). In that capacity, in that dedication of fulfilling God's will to "increase and multiply and fill the earth" (cf. Genesis 1: 28) we, as parents have a serious responsibility, to "rear them in the discipline and admonition of the Lord" as the Apostle Paul implores in Ephesians 6: 4. These are the principles being upheld and extolled this weekend in Rome during the 15th Annual World Youth Days and therein is the future of our Church and the world. That in itself is entirely another editorial in the near future. For now suffice it to say that the pending election is a clear-cut edict to us that we must educate our children as to family values and what we must all do to uphold those values and virtues. This means upholding the Sanctity of Life in all its stages.

    With that in mind we hope and pray the following piece about the cost of raising a child will touch you, especially Democrats, as well as Catholic Democrats, although that has become a paradox considering that sadly the Democratic Party's platform so strongly supports the culture of death. Those Catholics who profess to be Democrats must examine their conscience. To help them we strongly recommend they go to the Priests for Life Bulletin Inserts page to see what the US Bishops say about abortion and our duty first as Catholics. After all, God comes before Caesar. Think about what the candidates are saying and whether they coincide with what God has said through Divine Revelation. We owe it to our children, we owe it to our families, we owe it to future generations. That kind of soul-searching can reveal a new light, illuminated in our souls by the Holy Spirit. We invite you to think about that as you read the following and ask yourself if the price is too much to pay to have children, to fulfill God's Holy Will.

    It says that "the government calculated these costs. That doesn't even touch Talk about sticker shock. That doesn't even touch college tuition. For those with kids, that figure leads to wild fantasies about all the things we could have bought, all the places we could have traveled, all the money we could have banked if not for (insert child's name here). For others, that number might confirm the decision to remain childless. But $160,140 isn't so bad if you break it down. It translates into $8,896.66 a year, $741.38 a month or $171.08 a week. That's a mere $24.44 a day. Just over a dollar an hour. Still, you might think the best financial advice says don't have children if you want to be rich. It's just the opposite. There's no way to put a price tag on:

  • Feeling a new life move for the first time and seeing the bump of a knee rippling across your skin.
  • Having someone cry, "It's a boy!" or shout, "It's a girl!" then hearing the baby wail and knowing all that matters is it's healthy.
  • Counting all 10 fingers and toes for the first time.
  • Feeling the warmth of fat cheeks against your breast.
  • Cupping an entire head in the palm of your hand.
  • Making out da da or ma ma from all the cooing and gurgling.
What do you get for your $160,140?
  • Naming rights. First, middle and last.
  • Glimpses of God every day.
  • Giggles under the covers every night.
  • More love than your heart can hold.
  • Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs.
  • Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds and warm cookies.
  • A hand to hold, usually covered with jam.
  • A partner for blowing bubbles, flying kites, building sand castles and skipping down the sidewalk in the pouring rain.
  • Someone to laugh yourself silly with no matter what the boss said or how your stocks performed that day.
  • For $160,140, you never have to grow up. You get to finger-paint, carve pumpkins, play hide-and-seek, catch lightning bugs and never stop believing in Santa Claus.
  • You have an excuse to keep reading the adventures of Piglet and Pooh, watching Saturday morning cartoons, playing Peter Pan and wishing upon stars.
  • You get to frame rainbows, hearts and flowers under refrigerator magnets and collect spray-painted noodle wreaths for Christmas, handprints set in clay for Mother's Day and cards with backward letters for Father's Day.
For $160,140, there's no greater bang for your buck.
  • You get to be a hero just for retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof, taking the training wheels off the bike, removing a sliver, filling the wading pool, coaxing a wad of gum out of bangs and coaching a baseball team that never wins but always gets treated to ice cream regardless.
  • You get a front-row seat to history to witness the first step, first word, first bra, first date, first time behind the wheel.
  • You get to be immortal. You get another branch added to your family tree, and if you're lucky, a long list of limbs in your obituary called grandchildren.
  • You get an education in psychology, nursing, criminal justice, communications and human sexuality no college can match.
  • In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there with God.
  • You have the power to heal a boo-boo, scare away monsters under the bed, patch a broken heart, police a slumber party, ground them forever and love them without limits, so one day they will, like you, love without counting the cost.
Somehow, the paltry price we pay for their lives will never measure up to the joy they bring to ours. I hope this piece touched you as much as it did us."

    And those are only temporal, intangible rewards. Think of the eternal rewards loyal, dedicated parents will receive when they are ushered into the family of the Church Triumphant. Now those are family values really worth promoting! While they try to put a price tag on having a family, only God can place the proper value on the true treasure of family values and virtues!

Michael Cain, editor

For past editorials for the last two years, click on CATHOLIC PewPOINT Archives

August 18-24, 2000
volume 11, no. 143-149

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