Good character in a professional setting is measured not by how you treat those who are at your level or above you, but rather how you treat those working their way up the ladder. While appearing as a guest on the GAC network, Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Vince Gill was asked, “Who inspires you the most?” He responded, “Anybody that ever treated me kind when I was young.  Musicians or whoever I would have the opportunity to be around—if someone was… Read more

Most of us are so familiar with the Lord’s Prayer—the Our Father—that we may say its words without thinking much about them.  It was something author and speaker Mark Hart admits to doing until he started working as a youth minister.  Realizing how shallow his own prayer life was moved him to a deeper understanding of Jesus’s words. In his book The ‘R’ Father, Hart writes, “The Lord’s Prayer is an invitation into a daily relationship…If we go to bed… Read more

Singer-songwriter Jackie Francois believes humor is key to living a Christian life.  Upon the release of her album, Divine Comedy, she told journalist Matthew Warner: “People in this world think that if you are passionately Catholic you lack all passion, humor, and joy.  When I meet people on planes…they are absolutely shocked that I am Catholic, because I have a huge smile on my face (almost all the time) and crack jokes.  Our hearts, which can be guarded and afraid,… Read more

Born and bred in Texas, Verily magazine Relationships Editor Ashley Crouch grew up surrounded by Southern hospitality.  It is, she writes, “born of a rich tradition of appreciation for neighbor and communal interdependency.”  When Crouch visited Ireland in 2012, she was happy to discover a similar tradition. The Gaelic words “Céad Míle Fáilte” (translated to “A hundred thousand welcomes”) greeted her wherever she went.  And they weren’t mere words either.  The people she encountered were genuinely interested in accommodating her… Read more

Hope needs to be an essential element of our daily lives if we’re going to live joyfully the way God intends.  That’s certainly been the Christopher belief since our founder, Maryknoll Father James Keller, chose as our motto the ancient Chinese proverb, “It’s better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.” Here’s a prayer written by Nancy F. Summers for Living Faith magazine that should help you keep hope alive: “O God, for this new day now dawning,… Read more

Football coach Lou Holtz once noted, “Eighty percent of people don’t care about you one way or the other; 19 percent of people hope you fail.  The other one percent is your family.” These thoughts, paraphrased in Jake Frost’s column in The Catholic Moment, might read rather negatively on the surface, but Frost emphasizes that small but significant one percent, the family who loves you unconditionally.  This love, he advises parents, must be expressed to your children at a young… Read more

Writer Matthew Archbold is used to hearing people make snide comments about the fact that he and his wife have five kids.  But a father-of-one at a barbecue Archbold attended asked him sincerely what it was like having so many children. On his National Catholic Register blog, Archbold revealed what he told him: “I told him that I’ve learned more about life and love in the past 11 years from the kids than I had in the previous 31.  I… Read more

According to public speaking coach Ruth Sherman, charisma isn’t just something you’re born with; it’s a learnable skill.  “A charismatic person can walk into a group of strangers and quickly make friends,” says the author of Get Them to See It Your Way, Right Away.  “An uncharismatic person hangs uncomfortably on the edge of the crowd.” Here are some guidelines to help you develop charisma: ▪ Walk purposefully. Set specific goals before attending a business or social event instead of… Read more

When Fred Rogers of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood accepted a special Christopher Award in 2001, he shared a story about his time as a seminary student (Rogers was an ordained minister). He recalled, “A substitute preacher had come to our church and, in his sermon, went against every rule that we had been taught in class.  As he finished, I was ready to give him my unspoken failing grade, but I happened to look at the woman who was sitting beside… Read more

Bob dreamt that he was in heaven with an angel who was giving him a tour of the place.  Their first stop was a large office filled with other angels busily sorting pieces of paper.  “This is the Receiving Room,” said Bob’s angelic tour guide.  “This is where all the petitions made to God in prayer are received.” Bob and the angel moved on to another busy office that was designated for Packaging and Deliveries. The angel explained, “This is… Read more

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