“Why do we spend our lives striving to be something that we would never want to be, if only we knew what we wanted? Why do we waste our time doing things which, if we only stopped to think about them, are just the opposite of what we were made for?”
–Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island
Work is a necessary and vital part of life for most people, taking up a large portion of your time, energy and commitment, and often shaping the tenor of each day.
You probably want your job to be about more than a paycheck. You want what you do to make a difference. You want to look forward to work in the morning and to return home satisfied in the evening. You want to have good relationships with co-workers and to spend your days in an environment that respects the dignity of every employee.
The belief that everyday people could change the world for the better by living the Gospel in the marketplace prompted Father James Keller to establish The Christophers in 1945. He wanted to encourage people to be Christophers, or Christbearers, whose values and faith would influence the jobs they chose and the way they did them.
Father Keller also wanted people to consider entering “spheres of influence,” certain fields that he thought had a unique power to reshape the world in positive ways – government, communications, education and labor-management relations . Today, that list would be expanded somewhat to include government and civil service, communications and media, education, science and medicine, health care, military service, business, environmental work, peace and ecumenical efforts, and consecrated religious life. Workers in any of these fields have a special opportunity to affect both the present and the future, if they approach work with courage, character, integrity, and Christ-like compassion.
“No matter who you are or what you are or where you may be, you can do something to change the world for the better,” Father Keller wrote in his groundbreaking book You Can Change the World.
How can you turn Father Keller’s message of encouragement into jobs that not only feed your family, but your soul? That's not always easy, particularly in tough economic times. Still, consider all possibilities, asking yourself if a job would be a good fit.
Commit your work to the Lord and your plans will be established. Proverbs 16:3
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