That’s the minimum amount of time that The Christophers’ founder, Maryknoll Father James Keller, encouraged people to spend on their spiritual lives. No matter how busy you are, he thought, you’ve got to be able to squeeze in three minutes, right? And to help people along, Father Keller created a book titled, appropriately enough, “Three Minutes a Day.” It consisted of a daily story or reflection, along with a Scripture verse and short prayer.
The book proved popular so he kept publishing new volumes, and we’ve kept up that tradition. In fact, we’ve reached the 50th volume, so you could say it’s the series’ golden anniversary. We’re proud to have reached such a special number – especially since it’s The Christophers’ 70th anniversary year!
The book may be more relevant to people’s lives now than in the past because everyone seems busier than ever. Also, our attention spans have decreased. The younger generation, especially, often communicates in Twitter-sized messages of 140 characters or less. While the entries in “Three Minutes a Day” aren’t quite that short, they’re certainly the ideal length for anyone who wants to add some moral and spiritual substance to their lives in today’s fast-paced world. Consider this story:
Tara and her one-year-old daughter went to visit her great-grandparents at their nursing home. She could see on the faces of the elderly couple the joy that her visit brought them. On her way home, Tara listened to “The Jennifer Fulwiler Show” on Sirius-XM’s Catholic Channel radio station and heard Christopher Award-winning author Kerry Weber being interviewed about her book “Mercy in the City.” The conversation prompted Tara to reflect on the idea of mercy, so she shared the following thoughts on her Instagram page:
Hopefully, that reflection will leave you thinking about simple ways that you can reflect God’s love to the people around you.
The book also includes stories about courage, gratitude, forgiveness, and more. There’s even a beautiful nighttime prayer I found online that was written by Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was killed during World War II for his anti-Nazi activities. He wrote:
“O Lord my God, thank You for bringing this day to a close; Thank You for giving me rest in body and soul. Your hand has been over me and has guarded and preserved me. Forgive my lack of faith and any wrong that I have done today, and help me to forgive all who have wronged me. Let me sleep in peace under Your protection, and keep me from all the temptations of darkness. Into Your hands I commend my loved ones and all who dwell in this house; I commend to You my body and soul. O God, Your holy name be praised. Amen.”