DAILY CATHOLIC     TUESDAY     July 6, 1999     vol. 10, no. 129

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

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TEN LESSONS FOR CHRISTIAN BUSINESSMEN

Advice from President of Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace

          VATICAN CITY, JUL 2 (ZENIT).- Archbishop François Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, not only combines Christian and Asian wisdom, as he is a native of Vietnam, but also a practical sense, having spent years in a Communist jail. In the May-June, 1999 issue of the magazine, "Sign of the Times," the Archbishop gives ten rules for all those people who would like to be talented businessmen and follow Gospel principles. His secret lies in applying Christ' example to business life. We provide here the Archbishop's text.

    1st Lesson: "Be ready"

          In order to be a good leader, a good manager, and good director, one must be well prepared, and be properly disposed. Jesus is a good example. He prepared thirty years for a three-year mission! Jesus' Gospel speaks of the five wise virgins who bought oil for their lamps, and they waited all night for the arrival of the groom. The preparation is thus complete and success is guaranteed.

    2nd Lesson: "Establish a plan with the firm determination to accomplish it."

          Jesus had a great plan: to save humanity! And he was determined to be thorough in three stages: the first, to call the Apostles; the second, to train the Apostles; the third, his Passion in Jerusalem. When we set a goal, we will arrive at it step by step.

    3rd Lesson: "Choose Collaborators"

          Jesus employed time and effort in the choice and formation of his collaborators. The imperative that defines the success of a business is not money, or a building, or machines, but collaborators. They are the ones who insure the life of a company, of a business.

    4th Lesson: "To carry out an important endeavor, it is necessary to be determined to overcome all obstacles."

          The most beautiful plan does not meet with success unless there is someone determined to live and die for it. St. Paul is a symbol: he was an enemy, a persecutor of the Church; but, once chosen by Jesus, he did not spare a single sacrifice to conclude the mission Jesus entrusted to him, including death.

    5th Lesson: "Make no compromises with corruption"

          React rapidly, because any delay can cause irreparable damage. When Jesus sees the traders in the temple, he chases them away immediately. Many businesses fail because they wait to cut corruption or give in to it ...

    6th Lesson: "Cultivate good relations"

          St. John the Baptist, Jesus' precursor, who prepared the Lord's way, is an excellent model; because of his humility, his sensitivity, his affection and his indifference to self, he helped Jesus in his work. "I am not the Messiah; he is coming after me, but he is greater than I am. I baptize with water but he will baptize in the Holy Spirit."

    7th Lesson: "Reserve special attention for children"

          Why? When the Apostles do not want the children to come near to Jesus, He says to them: "Let the children come to Me, because theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven." When a boss is concerned about the children of his collaborators -- their health, their studies... the psychological success is very great. Working parents are happy, they feel secure, their work and production increase happily.

    8th Lesson: "Be ready to face difficulties"

          Every business and every project suffers its own crises. One must be prepared. Jesus spoke many times to his disciples about his Passion and death, in order to prepare them for the crisis, which was virtually insurmountable.

    9th Lesson: "Choose priorities"

          There are many good tasks to be done. However, it is imperative to choose the priority among priorities. Jesus answered those relatives who were looking for him: "I must do my Father's will."

    10th Lesson: "Prepare a successor"

          This is a very important task for the leader, for the heads... Jesus prepared twelve Apostles and chose Peter as his successor. Many good bosses commit a grave error: they believe they are eternal and do not prepare a successor. Thanks to this preparation of Peter's successors and, notwithstanding the fact that for three centuries the Church suffered persecution and many were martyrs for the faith, the Church has continued to go forward until our day -- with 267 Popes. There has never been a business in the world that has lasted 2000 years like this one of Jesus, the perfect model. ZE99070201

Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

July 6, 1999       volume 10, no. 129
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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