August 13: Hold the Elevator!

When Ernest was a student in the Christopher Leadership Course, he shared a story about going to a job interview after being out of work for six months.  The interview was scheduled to take place in a high-rise New York City office building. Ernest got on the elevator, and the doors started to close.  As they were nearly shut, he heard a woman shout, “Please hold the elevator!”  He quickly pressed the “Door Open” button, allowing her to get in. … Read more

August 12: Operation Oliver

Urban decay, crime, and drug dealing are just some of the problems plaguing an East Baltimore neighborhood called Oliver.  Now, 100 military veterans are working to improve the area through Operation Oliver. As reported in The Baltimore Sun, the project began in July 2011 with the intent of “cleaning up alleys, rehabbing homes, helping residents find jobs…and notifying police about illegal dumping sites and drug dealing.” Marine Corps veteran Rich Blake says, “A lot of the conditions from places we’re… Read more

August 11: Some Much Needed Women’s Care

Since 1984, 19 Women’s Care Centers have been founded throughout the United States. The purpose of these nonprofit centers, along with the Catholic Charities organization affiliated with them, is to offer unwed mothers a safe, nonjudgmental place to receive the counseling and prenatal care they require.  One such center opened on March 1, 2012, in Hammond, Indiana, an area which has the highest number of abortions in the state. “We are proud and happy to be in this effort for… Read more

August 10: Chocolate Ice Cream and a Smile

A long week away from home at a business meeting, and an intense week ahead back at the office.  That was the past and the future for Janet as she sat in a small café on a Sunday afternoon, a million thoughts and worries racing through her mind about moments gone by and those yet to come. Suddenly, she caught sight of a three-year-old boy eating a small dish of chocolate ice cream.  He seemed to be savoring every spoonful… Read more

August 9: Some Freshman Wisdom

On his Patheos.com blog, Timothy Dalrymple wrote an open letter to college freshmen, encouraging them to become “the individual you most truly…are, the one God dreamt of when he made you—and not the person that you or your parents or friends think you should be.”  His insights included: ▪ Seek wisdom, not merely intelligence: Dalrymple notes that, during his college years, he saw many intelligent people doing foolish and immoral things.  Wisdom is more important and rare than intelligence because… Read more

August 8: When Life Takes a Swat at You

After work, Lynn stopped at a New York City coffee shop for a relaxing cup of tea.   Through the window, she saw a woman walk by with a huge, fluffy, chocolate-brown dog that stood about three feet tall.  Another passerby and her small boxer dog stopped to chat with the big dog’s owner. One of the coffee shop patrons looking out the window commented, “The amazing thing is that the small dog doesn’t seem to know that he’s small, and… Read more

August 7: Mazel Tov, Aly Raisman!

Aly Raisman entered the 2012 Olympics under the radar compared to some of her fellow U.S. women’s gymnastics team members.  In the end, however, the humble Jewish-American gymnast won three medals—two gold, one bronze—giving her the highest medal count among all U.S. gymnasts. One of Raisman’s best moments occurred during the floor exercise competition on August 7 because she was able to incorporate her Jewish heritage into her performance.  The song to which Raisman competed was the Jewish classic “Hava… Read more

August 6: Backpack Bonanza

Where would any school-age child be without a backpack? They’re more than just places to store books; they’re also portable organizers and study aids.  Any child without one visibly struggles in school.  To this end, Catholic Community Services (CCS) in Salt Lake City, Utah, hosts an annual backpack “back-to-school drive,” which provides bags filled with proper supplies to children who need them. CCS’s yearly “Backpack Bonanza” is held every August, attracting the notice of many Utah businesses.  “We serve thousands… Read more

August 5: People are Mirrors

A psychologist once asked a group of college students to jot down, in 30 seconds, the initials of the people they disliked.  Some of the students taking the test could think of only one person. Others listed as many as 14. The interesting fact that came out of this research was this: those who disliked the largest number of people were themselves the most widely disliked. When we find ourselves continually disliking others, we ought to ask ourselves the question,… Read more

August 4: Finding Spiritual Beauty

When author Christopher West gives talks on Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body teachings, he doesn’t simply denounce our culture’s attitudes toward casual sex, but rather presents the Christian view of sexuality as a positive option. While discussing his book At the Heart of the Gospel on Christopher Closeup, West said, “We can’t just go out there and yell and scream about what’s wrong in the world.  Scripture says that we overcome evil with good.  It is important… Read more