Lord, teach us to pray:
(To be read by the Leader)
“These words from Matthews Gospel remind us that we will be blessed to give an account of how we used the gift of life and the many talents that our Lord blessed us with. They are not meant to cause fear or trepidation within us, they are simply a reminder that we are accountable for what we have been blessed with and this is certainly no different than our accountability in our homes, our workplace, our parish and our Councils.
My dear brothers, may the blessing of the Lord be upon you and yours in this year of our Lord 2020. May you and your loved ones be blessed with a happy, healthy and holy Columbian year ahead. Brothers, I pray that your Christmas season was joyful, with family, friends and faith as key components of the celebration of the nativity of our Saviour; the Saviour of the world.
Brothers as you are very aware, “Faith in Action” has become the flag bearer of our Knights and their Councils throughout the order, for the past year and half. Faith in Action seeks to meet the needs of our membership, our families and communities in this modern day in which we seek to serve. “It seeks to balance the key priorities of the Order with priorities of our men and their families.” These priorities are Faith, Family, Community and Life. Needless to say, one could state that these priorities could and should be the priorities of any Catholic family. However, the Knights have made them their own. One of the quotes from the Faith in Action Guidebook is: “Our goal is for men to lead their family in service, not leave their family for service.” The Faith in Action model allows us to come together to share our faith, celebrate fraternity within our families within our Order, to serve our parish and community and finally to defend life at all stages and conditions, from conception until natural death.
(To be read by the Leader)
Brothers I write these thoughts at the beginning of a new year, a new decade not as a commercial for Faith in Action, but because now is a perfect time to ask the question; How are we doing at implementing Faith in Action in our local Councils?
Many of us are aware the name January comes from the Roman god Janus, the god with two faces. One looking to the past and one looking to the future. What does an ancient Roman deity have to do with anything Catholic? Practically speaking the end of a year and the beginning of a new year is a wonderful time to
reflect on our journeys. We look back at where we have been, what we have accomplished, what we perhaps could have done better. At the same time, we look forward with anticipation to where we wish to get to, to what we would like to accomplish, to what our hopes and aspirations for ourselves, our families and our Councils are for the coming year. Brothers, this beginning of the new year/decade we are invited to be introspective about our lives. We are offered the opportunity to take an honest look back at what has been happening, evaluating these things and then to ponder what we would like to see transpire in the year ahead.
We make our plans for the coming year, for our Family, Council, Parish, Community, but we cannot objectively look practically ahead, if we do not first, intentionally look back. Now a word from the Greeks. Socrates an early Greek Philosopher said: “the unexamined life is not worth living.” These words ring as true today, as they did twenty-six hundred years ago. The comment or caveat I would add, is that all life is worth living, but true joy and fulfillment will be had, when we serve the Lord fully to the best of our abilities. That being said, our Knights of Columbus Order exists to serve, particularly the needs of the Church with the extension of this service being service in the community and our global sisters and brothers.
So, the question: as we find our way with implementing Faith in Action in our local Councils. How are we doing? Do we have a venue or a tool to look at the past year and debrief on how things went and what could we do differently? I am a fan of consistency, but I am not a fan of doing what we do, because that is what we did before. Brothers, a suggestion, set aside ten minutes at your next four council meetings and do a debrief with your attending membership. Open the floor for comments on how the past year went regarding the activities you implemented to meet the criteria of each of the four areas of focus, Faith one month, Family the next, and so on with Community, and Life. Look back and then look ahead. When we see that we perhaps could have done things differently or better, often that is when the ideas or suggestions will come from the floor, but we have to open the door of evaluation in order to offer the opportunity for this to happen. We have many good, faith-filled, intelligent, service-oriented men in our Councils. Invite them to look back and to provide input on what we have done well and how we might do things better. God’s blessing for the second half of your Columbian year brothers. The other part of this equation brothers, is you need to celebrate as a Council what you have done well and indeed, there is much to celebrate.
When the Son of Man comes in His glory and all the angels with Him… (Mt. 25, 31)
(The Leader now invites the members to spend a few moments in silent reflection, as the above text is not meant to be a ready-made answer but a starter for personal reflection on the theme.)
(The leader now invites the members to share with their Brother Knights any relevant thoughts that came to them during the meditation period.)
(Recited by all)
Let us pray:
“Almighty ever-living God, grant that we may always conform our will to yours and serve your majesty in sincerity of heart. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen