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The Catholic Family Handbook – Father George Kelly, 1950’s

Father James Keller, M.M., director of the Christophers has made millions of Americans aware of the tremendous amount of good that one dedicated person can do.

The Christophers aim to encourage each individual to show a personal, practical responsibility in restoring the love of Christ to the marketplace and to government, education, literature, entertainment and labor unions.

They emphasize the importance of positive, constructive action and have adopted the slogan, “Better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.”

Father Keller has encouraged countless thousands to undertake less glamorous, lower-paying jobs in order better to serve in Christ’s name. “Individuals who pursue this unpopular path receive a recompense which is a foretaste of the everlasting joy of heaven,” he states.

He lists nine considerations which you should strive to impress upon your children and which you yourself might apply. These are:

  1. You are important. You, as a distinct human being, have been created in God’s image. All of humanity is nothing more than you over and over again.
  1. No substitute for you. God has assigned to you a special mission in life which He has given to no one else. No matter how small it may seem to you or others, it is important in His sight.
  1. Don’t cheat others. The Lord sends blessings to some people through you. If you fail to pass them on, you deprive others of what is rightfully theirs.
  1. You are needed. If everyone figured “I don’t count,” imagine what disastrous consequences could result.
  1. Spiritualize your least efforts. Begin to be a Christopher or Christ-bearer by serving others in small ways. Remember Christ said that if you do no more than give a “cup of cold water” for his sake (Matt. 10:42) you shall gain an everlasting reward.
  1. Start in your home. If you develop a sense of personal responsibility in your own home, school, business and every other place, you will soon wish to reach out to wider horizons.
  1. Don’t bury your talent. Even if God has given you only one talent, put it to work for the good of others. Don’t be like the man in the Gospel who said: “And being afraid I went and hid the talent in the earth.” (Matt. 25:25)
  1. For better or worse. What you do–by prayer, word and deed–to see that God’s will is done “on earth as it is in heaven” affects the well-being of everyone to some degree. Yes, the world itself can be a little better because you have been in it.
  1. You count as one. When tempted to play down your own individual importance, recall this old saying: “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. What I can do, I ought to do. And what I ought to do, by the grace of God, I will do.”

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“And you, too, must stand by your convictions at the cost of things you love. An ideal is worth little if it is not worth wholehearted, honest effort. Nothing is more pitiful than a woman whose mind admires purity and right, yet whose will is too weak to choose them and whose life is blighted by sin and mire about her. Be true, be noble, aim high, and God will give you strength to keep your ideals.” – Mabel Hale, Beautiful Girlhood
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