Our Christian brothers and sisters too, experience the same violence because of their faith and dedication to Christ. Our Jewish brothers and sisters are locked in an ongoing battle for existence among their neighbors in the Middle East. Muslim faithful that will not align themselves with Islamic Extremists find themselves in danger of mutilation, humiliation or worse, the sword. Women, men, children are being crucified, beheaded, sold into slavery and a myriad of other deadly realities, all while the “civilized world” seems to stand by and watch. No wonder despair and cynicism is rampant in our society.
But, what should the response of the individual Knight of Columbus be? What should be the corporate response of our Council and Order be? Should we follow along in lock step, throw up our hands and give in to cynicism and fear? Should we too take part in name calling and blaming? Or do we, by profession of our Faith and our membership in the Order, hear a different call?
Politics, Economics, Law, and many other societal creations have attempted and failed to adequately address the violence that seems to becoming “normative” in our world. Certainly these various areas of human reality can contribute to overcoming the violence we are witnessing but they cannot solve it. The state of the violence in the world resides in the hearts and souls of those who are violent and must be addressed by grace, prayer and practice. Evil, which violence is, must be eradicated, even by use of force if necessary. But the occasions for violence must also be done away with. Injustice, poverty, discrimination and marginalization, are all reasons why men turn to violence and why it can become such a strong and lasting reality. And because this vile sin resides in the soul and the heart, it must be countered through the power of God which is Grace. And this grace comes to us through enhanced prayer, celebration of the Sacraments, devotion and piety that can change our way of acting. As Knights we need to be leaders in our Councils, our homes, our neighborhoods, our parishes, everywhere, in bringing a Christ like response to violence wherever we encounter it.
This is no “pie in the sky,” “mamby-pamby” suggestion. This is the call of the Gospel! We are to be like Christ, heralds of God's peace, forgiveness and manifestations of it, in the concrete, in real time, Now!
Brothers, look to your faith, your Church, your Council, your Order, your Savior, to aid you and all of us in “walking the walk,” to not give into the cynicism, fear and despair that seems so prevalent. Instead, be strong of heart and soul, faithful in profession and action, and know this, Christ is in charge!
May God Bless You and May Mary Keep You Always in His Love!