Tony Rossi, Director of Communications, The Christophers

The Potential for Good in Ordinary Lives

     Well, it’s that time of year again! No, I don’t mean pumpkin spice season. That’s been well underway

for a few weeks now. What I’m talking about is the release of The Christophers’ newest edition

(Volume 53) of our annual book of daily stories and reflections, “Three Minutes a Day.” What is the

book’s purpose? Here’s what the founder of The Christophers, Father James Keller, had to say many

years ago:

     “Stop and think why it is important to set aside a few still moments each day when you can renew your contact with God and with your own inner self...Action in any crucial area of public or private life...must flow from a sure grasp of divine and human values. This book starts with familiar, everyday anecdotes—one for each day in the year. It seeks to draw from them spiritual meaning, to show that even the most routine event in the most ordinary life can be charged with great potential for good.”

     Here is one of the “Three Minutes a Day” entries about the positive influence of an ordinary life: “You already have three healthy children. You don’t need this burden.” That’s what author Melissa Kuch’s grandparents were told by doctors in 1954, when their son Peter was born with Down syndrome. But the couple ignored their advice to institutionalize Peter, choosing to love and raise him instead. Though Peter endured health struggles, he became “the heart of this family,” writes Kuch on her website. “Peter’s innocence always focused on the good things. He always said grace before eating, raising his glass and toasting ‘To all the family. Peace to the world, we do need it.’”

Kuch came to love her Uncle Peter as she was growing up. And though he passed away at age 64, she cherishes the example of his life. She writes, “I try to see the world through Uncle Peter’s eyes…all of us united in love and understanding. Toasting to a world, praying that there will be peace...We do need it. When you are searching for God’s blessing in life, look around you – you may discover that it was right beside you all this time.”  

     “Three Minutes a Day” also includes stories of forgiveness. For instance, Margaret Berberich dreaded moving in with her aging father after her mother died. The two had never gotten along because he was “harsh and judgmental,” she wrote in Guideposts. But Margaret and her husband were dealing with financial burdens, so this was the best option. “Lord, how can I take care of this man I don’t really care for?” she prayed. “Teach me how to love the unlovable.”

     Margaret discovered that her father had reached a level of helplessness due to “age-related dementia,” so she drove him to doctor’s appointments and tended to his needs. One day, after offering him his favorite ice cream bar. He responded, “Margaret...Thank you. You take such good care of me.” 

     Margaret was floored. She wrote, “I felt the knot inside me come loose...Dad and I had both been brought low by circumstances beyond our control, and in this new place, there wasn’t room for anger or resentment. There was peace, tender­ness, even love. That was really why God had brought me here, I realized...For a chance to settle the past and to finally have a relationship with my father.”

If you need more hope and faith in your life, you can order “Three Minutes a Day” for $10 by calling 1-888-298-4050 or visiting our website at www.christophers.org.

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