In his Letter to the Corinthians Paul wrote, “What do you possess that you have not received?”
Lately I have been showing that verse to my Catholic friends. I have gone on to remind them of how they received all their genes from their parents. Then, their parents, building on those natural gifts, have taught them to walk, talk, and behave with others.
From there, their teachers took over, filling their minds with useful knowledge, and enforcing on them habits that have transformed them from being animals to being scholars. They might have been screaming and kicking through their school years, but they have been fully transformed by these character-building disciplines.
They have become the repositories of their culture, and they have been entrusted with the duty of passing it on.
Together with the thought that they have nothing that they haven’t received, they must couple what Jesus said in Matthew, 5:13-14. Namely, they are the light of the world, they are the salt of the earth.