I spent last week at a trade show for Catholic publishers and book store owners. The normal buying and selling was going on, but I found inspiration in the conversations I had with authors, bookstore owners, distributors, and other Catholic businesses. Each one has their own little corner of ministry. As I listened to them talk about their jobs, their ministries, I kept coming back to one word—passion.
One author filled us in on her schedule. Her busy life would probably overwhelm me, but she radiates joy and love for her work. Her family, her bookstore and the readers of her books will find this faith and love for all the mysteries of God. A bookstore owner told me of her ministry helping people who come to her store with a personal need—maybe searching for help for a loved one struggling with addiction or grieving the loss of a parent or a close friend. Maybe they are struggling with an illness. Or maybe they are just trying to get in touch with God in the busyness of their daily lives. Yes, she sells books, but more than that she ministers to the person who is experiencing a need.
Another author explained to me that he wanted any profit that comes from his work to go into building the kingdom of God. He has the type of skill that would give him many lucrative opportunities, but he chooses a simpler life so that more people will hear the Word of God. The owner of a successful Catholic firm speaks of the passion that drives their work. There are so many people living empty lives, seeking for God and not even knowing it. They use their business skills and considerable energy to find more ways to get Catholic books into more hands. People are hungry for God and looking for help.
Trade shows are always busy and fun. I love meeting new people, reconnecting with old friends, and learning about our industry. This year I was blessed to see the passion that drives every aspect of the work. Catholic publishing is an expression of love for God and for those who seek to know him for the first time or to grow in that relationship that they have discovered. It reminds me of why I have spent forty years in this work.
Whatever our ministry or work experience, it is a great gift to do it for the love of God and to serve his kingdom with passion and purpose. I’m grateful for the examples that remind me and inspire me