- Written by: Todd Kinker
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The Italian teenager Blessed Carlo Acutis has captivated Catholics young and old in recent years, especially since his 2020 beatification. Although only 15 when he died of leukemia, Carlo was resolved to prioritize his life around the Eucharist. Each day found him attending Mass and spending time in prayer before the Eucharistic Lord. He believed, as he put it, “the Eucharist is my highway to heaven.” And he endeavored to share this reality with others, with a focus on Eucharistic miracles, through his virtual and online apostleship.
Born in London to wealthy Italian parents, Carlo returned to his family’s native Italy not long after his birth. Although his family was not very active in the practice of the Faith, Carlo was fascinated by it. He found in his Polish babysitter a helpful guide to his growing interest in Catholicism. As a boy, Carlo’s recently deceased grandfather appeared to him in a dream asking for prayers on his behalf. After receiving his first holy Communion at age 7, Carlo made it a point to spend time in contemplation before the tabernacle. Carlo’s guides in the spiritual life, among others, included St. Francis of Assisi, St. Dominic Savio and St. Bernadette Soubirous. And he reflected their respective love for the poor, virtuous living and piety.
“I’m happy to die because I’ve lived my life without wasting even a minute of it doing things that wouldn’t have pleased God.”
Although he might have been somewhat unusual in his youthful zeal for the Faith, Carlo was also very much interested in things of his peers, such as his love for video games and films. He was by all accounts a “computer geek” who studied college textbooks on the subject as early as age 9. But Carlo recognized that his talents and interests in the field must be used for good. He set limits to his use of media for personal enjoyment. Carlo’s mother has said: “Carlo was the light answer to the dark side of the web. My son’s life can show how the internet can be used for good — to spread good things.”
This meant Carlo was resolved to make use of his tech-savviness for the good of others. From age 9, he was reading college texts on computer coding. He developed websites for his high school and nearby parishes. He also created a website that cataloged all the major Eucharistic miracles ever recorded.
Carlo’s generous spirit also could be seen in how he offered up his last suffering from leukemia for others, telling doctors that he knew others were suffering more than he. He said, “I offer to the Lord the sufferings that I will have to undergo for the pope and for the Church.” Although he wanted to make a pilgrimage to the sites of the Eucharistic miracles he helped others come to learn about, his declining health made it an impossibility. But, having loved to make pilgrimages to Assisi, Carlo’s body made one last pilgrimage there for burial after his death on Oct. 12, 2006.
Many began calling for his canonization not long after his death. On the fourth anniversary of his death, Carlo’s mother delivered twin babies at age 44, and she believed Carlo was interceding for her. She also claimed Carlo appeared to her in a dream and informed his mother of his upcoming beatification and that he would be canonized soon thereafter.
Just before his death at 15, Carlo said, “I’m happy to die, because I’ve lived my life without wasting even a minute of it doing things that wouldn’t have pleased God.” Although he died at a young age, Carlo’s personal holiness and discipleship left a lasting legacy. And his renown continues to grow. “To always be close to Jesus, that’s my life plan,” he was known to say. Now, through his witness, he inspires old and young alike to do the same.
Michael R. Heinlein is editor of OSV’s Simply Catholic. He writes from Indiana. Taken from the “Inspired by the Eucharist” saint booklet.
- Written by: Todd Kinker
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Reflections from Lecturer Todd Kinker
Author Unknown[ref]Note: Every effort has been made to determine the author of “Two Horses.”
Just up the road from my home is a field with two horses in it.
From a distance, both horses appear to be like any other horses. But if you walk closer, you will notice something quite amazing; one of the horses is blind. However, the owner has chosen not to put down the blind horse but has made a good home for both horses.
If you stand nearby and listen, you will hear the sound of a bell attached to the halter of the sighted horse. The bell is used to lead the blind horse. You will notice something amazing; the sighted horse regularly checks to see if the blind horse is hearing the bell, is following the sighted horse’s lead, and is continuing to trust that he will not be led astray.
Each evening, the horse with the bell returns to the shelter of the barn, occasionally looking back to make sure that the blind friend isn’t too far behind.
Like the owner of these two horses, God does not throw us away just because we are not perfect or just because we have problems or challenges.
He watches over us and even brings others into our lives to help us when we are in need.
Sometimes, we are like the blind horse being guided by the little ringing bell of those whom God has placed in our lives to help us. At other times, we are like the horse with the bell, helping others to find their way.
Good friends are like that . . . you may not always see them, but you know they are there.
Please listen for my bell, and I’ll listen for yours.
And remember . . .
Be kinder than necessary—
Everyone you meet is fighting
Some kind of battle.
Speak kindly . . .
And leave the rest to God!
For we walk by faith and not by sight!
Lecturer, KofC Council #11666
September 12, 2023
- Written by: Todd Kinker
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Brothers good evening, I’ve been thinking a lot about prayer lately, even before Father DiTomo’s timely homily on prayer at the July 30th 9:00am mass. If you haven’t heard it or perhaps attended a different mass that day, I would strongly encourage you to go back and give it a listen on YouTube.
So, the question I have been asking myself and one I would like to pose to all of you is, do we learn to pray or is prayer innate?
Innate- Existing in, belonging to, or determined by factors present in an individual from birth, Native, Inborn.
Reflecting on my experience as a child, my memories of prayer consist of; 1) Observing my grandmother who prayed the rosary and attended mass daily, 2) Saying prayers as a family at meal and bedtime and learning prayers from attending mass and CCD.
I’m sure like most of us as kids, we prayed for real important things like, not getting caught for something we shouldn’t have been doing in the first place. Getting a good grade on a math test, and my favorite, hoping the pretty girl in home room would eventually give in and agree to go out with you.
What does the catechism of the Catholic Church say about prayer?
The catechism clearly defines prayer as a vital and personal relationship with the living and true God (CCC no.2558), a covenant relationship between God, Man, and Christ (CCC no. 2564).
My favorite definition of prayer is by St. Therese of Lisieux who states, “for me, prayer is a surge of the heart, it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy” (CCC no. 2558).
Recognizing the fact that there are many of you in this room this evening that are more qualified than me in the matter of prayer, I have come to the conclusion that prayer for me, is more innate than learned however it is a combination of both. I say this because I have many family members and friends that pray even though they have not been exposed to any formalized religion or faith. My prayers started by asking for things and now, the focus has shifted from myself-centeredness to humility, being thankful and praying for others. Also in my case, when I found myself in the deepest darkest depths of my alcohol addiction, I never stopped praying.
Although all our prayer lives may look different from each other, I was gifted a book by Matthew Kelly from a TMIY friend entitled “Amazing Possibilities-365 Days of Inspiration which is part of my daily morning ritual and I would like to share some thought-provoking insight related to prayer.
Excerpts March 23, and July 12.
PRAYERLESSNESS is one of the great torments of modern times. For decades the time we spend in focused prayer has been diminishing as our lives have become busier and busier. We have fallen into the tyranny of the urgent, which demands that we rush from one urgent thing to the next. The problems with this is that the most important things are hardly ever urgent. This can leave us always doing urgent things but never important things. It is these most important things that we never get around to in this cycle. Prayer is one of these important things, and among the highest priority. Prayer helps us to identify what matters most and strengthens our hearts and minds to give priority to those things in our daily lives. What could be most important than prayer?
“PRAY CONSTANTLY” was St. Paul’s invitation, and it is a beautiful principle of the spiritual life. But is most have not been taught to pray and establish a habit of daily prayers in their lives, you can be certain they have not been taught how to transform the ordinary moments of their days into prayer. Every honest human activity can be transformed into prayer. Learning to transform daily activities into prayer was one of the greatest spiritual lessons of my life. And it is so simple. Offer the next hour of your work for a friend who is sick. Offer the task you are at least looking forward to today to God as a prayer for the person you know who is suffering most today, and do that task with great love, better than you have ever done it. Offer each task, one at a time, to God as a prayer for a specific intention, and do so with love. Pray for others as they come to mind throughout the day. This is how we are able to keep the epic conversation going, this never-ending conversation of a lifetime of conversation. It’s ongoing and constant. And what is more important than this conversation?
Brothers if you haven’t done so lately, take a look at your prayer life, are you checking off boxes, going through the motions, or can we do better?
As Pope John Paul II said, “prayer can truly change your life, for it turns your attention away from yourself and directs your mind and heart towards the Lord”.
Lecturer, KofC Council #11666
August 6, 2023
- Written by: Todd Kinker
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Good evening, Brothers. I am truly humbled to be the lecturer for the upcoming year and whether he realizes it or not, I’d like to thank Dave, Babicz and also all my fellow Knights for inspiring me to step into this role. Dave, you left me some huge shoes to fill but I’m definitely confident that the holy spirit will work through me in my goal is to leave each and every one of you with a message of faith to take with you as we leave our monthly fellowship.
With tonight being the midway point of the baseball season and the all-star game, the theme for this evening for this evening is Faith and Baseball.
I grew up in Central Ohio and as a result, similar to Illinois, where you're either a Sox or a Cubs fan, in Ohio, you're either a Cleveland Indians fan or a Cincinnati Reds fan. I am a Cincinnati Reds fan. I was fortunate enough to be part of what was arguably one of the best eras in baseball and that was the Big Red Machine of ‘74, ‘75 and ‘77.
I have two very fond memories as a nine-year-old boy. The first was my dad coming home from work. Uh, on a school night and taking me to the auto dealership called Spitzer Dodge. We waited in line for two hours to get a signed, autographed picture with Pete Rose.
The second was our annual ritual in June of driving 90 miles south to Riverfront Stadium. We sat in a very last row of the upper deck to watch the game. My family didn't have a lot of money and mom would pack sandwiches that we brought from home because of the price of the concessions at the stadium.
But to this day, I look back on those times as a truly special part of my childhood.
So tonight, I want to share with you a recent episode from Relevant Radio. Which is actually the deathbed confessional of George Herman, Babe Ruth.
Bad boy ruth. That was me.
Don't get the idea that I'm proud of my harem-scarem youth. I'm not. I simply had a rotten start in life, and it took me a long time to get my bearings.
Looking back at my youth. I honestly didn't think i knew the difference between right and wrong. I spent much of my early boyhood living over my father's saloon, in Baltimore - and when I wasn't living over it, I was in it soaking up the atmosphere, i hardly knew my parents.
Saint Mary's Industrial School in Baltimore, where i was finally taken, had been called an orphanage and a reform school. It was in fact a training school for orphans, incorrigibles, delinquents and runaways picked up on the streets of the city.
I was listed as an incorrigible. I guess I was. Perhaps I would always have been but for Brother Mathias, the greatest man I had ever known and for the religious training I received which has since been so important to me.
I doubt if any of appeal could have straightened me out except a Power over and above man - the appeal of God. Iron-rod discipline couldn't have done it. Nor all the punishment and reward systems that could have been devised. God had an eye out for me, just as he has for you, and he was pulling for me to make the grade.
As I look back now, I realize that knowledge of God was a big crossroads with me. I got one thing straight (and I wish all kids did) - that God was Boss. He was not only my Boss, but Boss of all my bosses.
Up until then, like all bad kids, I hated most of the people who had control over me and could punish me. I began to see that i had a higher Person to reckon with who never changed, whereas my early authorities changed from year to year.
Those who bossed me had the same self-battles – they, like me, had to account to God. I also realized that God was not only just, but merciful, He knew we were weak and that we all found it easier to be stinkers than good sons of God, not only as kids but all through our lives.
That clear picture, I’m sure, would be important to any kid who hates a teacher, or resents a person in charge. This picture of my relationship to man and God was what helped relieve me of bitterness in rancor and a desire to get even.
I've seen a great number of “he-men” in my baseball career, but never one equal to Bother Matthias. He stood six feet six and weighed 250 pounds. It was all muscle. He could have been successful at anything he wanted to in life - and he chose the church.
It was he who introduced me to baseball. Very early he noticed that I had some natural talent for throwing and catching. He used to back me in a corner of the big yard at Saint Mary's and bunt a ball to me by the hour, correcting the mistakes I made with my hands and feet.
I never forgot the first time i saw him hit a ball. The baseball in 1902 was a lump of mush. But brother Matthias would stand at the end of the yard, throw the ball up with his left hand, and give it a terrific belt with the bat he held in his right hand.
The ball would carry 350 feet, a tremendous knock in those days. I would watch him, bug-eyed.
Thanks to Brother Matthias I was able to leave Saint Mary’s in 1914 and begin my professional career with the famous Baltimore Orioles. Out on my own…free from the rigid rules of a religious school…boy, did that go to my head. I began really to cut capers.
I strayed from the church, but don't think I forgot my religious training. I just overlooked it. I prayed often and hard, but like many irrepressible young fellows, the swift tempo of living shoved religion into the background.
So what good was all the hard work and ceaseless interest of the Brothers, people would argue? You can't make kids religious, they say, because it just won't take. Send kids to Sunday School and they too often end up hating it in the church.
Don't you believe it. As far as I'm concerned, and I think as far as most kids go, once religion sinks in, it stays there - deep down. The labs who get religious training, get it where it counts - in the roots. They may fail it, but it never fails them.
When the score is against them, or they get a bump pitch, that unfailing Something inside will be there to draw on.
I've seen it with kids. I know from the letters they write me.
The more I think of it the more important i feel it is to give kids “the works” as far as religion is concerned. They'll never want to be holy – they’ll act like tough monkeys in contrast, but somewhere inside will be a solid little chapel.
It may get dusty from the neglect, but the time will come when the door will be opened with much relief. But the kids can't take it if we don't give it to them.
I've been criticized as often as I've been praised for my activities with kids on the grounds that what I did was for publicity. Well, criticism doesn't matter. I never forgot where I came from. Every dirty-faced kid I see is another useful citizen.
No one knew better than I what it meant not to have your own home, a backyard, your own kitchen and ice box. That's why all through the years even when the big money was rolling in, I'd never forget Saint Mary's, Brother Matthias and the boys I left behind. I kept going back.
As I look back those moments when I left the, when I let the kids down - they were my worst. I guess I was so anxious to enjoy life to the fullest that I forgot the rules or ignored them. Once in a while you can get away with it, but not for long. When i broke training, the effects were felt by myself and by the ball team - and even by the fans,.
While I drifted away from church, I did have my own “altar”, a big window of my New York apartment overlooking the city lights. Often I would kneel before that window and say my prayers.
I would feel quite humble then. I'd ask God to help me not make such a big fool of myself and pray that I'd measure up to what he expected of me.
In December 1946, I was in French Hospital, New York, facing a serious operation. Paul Carey, one of my oldest and closest friends was by my bed one night.
“They're going to operate in the morning, Babe”, Paul said. Don't you think you ought to put your house in order?
I didn't dodge the long, challenging look in his eyes. I knew what he meant. For the first time I realized that death might strike me out. I nodded, and Paul got up, called in a Chaplain, and I made a full confession.
“I'll return in the morning and give you a holy communion,” the chaplain said, “But you don't have to fast..”
“I’ll fast,” I said. I didn't have even a drop of water.
As I lay in bed that evening I thought to myself what a comforting feeling to be free from fear and worries. I now could simply turn them over to God. Later on, my wife brought in a letter from a little kid in Jersey City.
“Dear Babe”, he wrote, “Everybody in the seventh-grade class is pulling and praying for you. I am enclosing a medal which if you wear will make you better. Your pal - Mike Quinlan.
P.S. I know this will be your 61st homer. You'll hit it.”
I asked them to pin the Miraculous Medal to my pajama coat. I've worn the medal constantly ever since. I'll wear it to my grave.
So, what I took away from this is the importance of the Foundation of Faith. Planting that seed; and although we all have loved ones and family members that have strayed or left the Church, through Prayer and our examples of how we live our life, there is always Hope that they will come back.
I want to leave you with Matthew Chapter 7, Verse 24-25.
Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock, and the rain fell and the floods came and the winds beat upon that house, but it did not fall because it had been founded on the rock. Thank you.
Lecturer, KofC Council #11666
July 11, 2023
- Written by: David Babicz
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I’ve been contemplating the mystery of the Trinity a lot lately, of the triune nature of God. I was planning to talk about God the Father this month when, coincidentally, I was listening to Fr. DiTomo’s homily from this last Sunday, “The Trinity for Dummies” in which he talked about ‘how do we speak about the Trinity in a way we aren’t committing heresy?’ So in the interest of not committing heresy, I’ll just share some of my own perspectives on how I’m understanding God the Father, and why maybe it matters here with Father’s Day just around the corner.
I don’t know if you’re like me, but I have lately found myself in church, or alone in prayer, trying to decide which aspect of God to pray to: the Father? The Son? The Holy Spirit? Does it depend on what I’m praying about, what I’m asking for, what I want to talk about? Like “for intercession, press 1. For examination of conscience, press 2. For information on planning, press 3.”
That’s kind of goofy, isn’t it?
I can always just pray to God in general, cover my bases, right? I could, but I figure our faith brings us acknowledgement of the triune
God for a reason. I mean, it must matter, right? So then I find it fascinating to contemplate.
So, then…how best to understand God the Father? I guess I gained great insight on that as I reflected on my own journey of fatherhood. You may or may not be a father, but if you are, much of this will sound familiar, I suspect. Probably even if you aren’t, but you reflect back on your own dad, or fathers you know, this will resonate with you.
So how might we think about an earthly father to understand God the Father?
• A good father loves His children no matter what. He may get mad at them, he may have to punish them, but it always comes from love.
• A good father tries His best to teach his children right from wrong. He knows they won’t always get it right, but he wants to make sure they have the tools to tell right from wrong, so they have a better chance of making good choices.
• A good father conceives of a plan for each of His children for success in life. He bases it on who they uniquely are, because He
knows every one of His children is different (regardless of if you raise them the same, they just come out different, don’t they?). He knows, from His experience and wisdom, what will be more likely to set them up for success than not, and he tries to guide them into making the choices that align with His plan, BUT…
• A good Father also gives His children the opportunity to make their own choices. He could force them into following His plan to the letter, but His children are each their own person, and if he doesn’t give them that freedom, then the successes they might experience would be hollow. It would be Him living vicariously through them, not them living their life. AND
• A good father always forgives His children when they mess up. He knows it’s inevitable that they’ll make mistakes, but all he asks is that they be honest with Him, tell Him the truth, and be sorry, and all is forgiven. He forgives them, forgets their mistakes, rejoices with them, and sends them on their way again.
• A good father always takes care of his children, and answers their requests, but not necessarily by giving the children what they ask for. He knows what’s best for them, and as long as
they’re trying to be good children, he’ll tip the scales in their favor (in ways the children may or may not ever realize!).
• A good Father will stay in the background, letting His children take the spotlight. He’ll do all the thankless work behind the scenes, but he won’t step in front of them, because at the end of the day, seeing His children persevere and succeed will bring Him more joy than His own successes ever could.
• Finally, a good Father is always a call away. Even if He’s not with His children in person, He’s always willing to answer a call, at any hour of the day or night. Whether it’s just to listen, or to offer advice, or maybe to suggest a corrective course of action…He will ALWAYS pick up the line when one of His children calls…and He loves when they call.
• So, give your heavenly Father a Happy Father’s Day this year by maybe doing the following:
o Give Him a ring!
o Thank Him for making a plan for you, but trusting you with the freedom to make your own choices
o Thank Him for teaching you what you need to know about right and wrong
o Thank Him for the times when maybe He’s been a little tough on you, but for your own good
o Tell Him you love Him
o Thank Him for loving you, because He does
o Thank Him for never giving up on you, no matter what…because He never will.
Finally, I want to share a brief poem with you this Father’s Day week. It was written by my sister-in-law in 1995, when my dad passed away just a month before Father’s Day. I wanted to share it with you both as a reminder of the legacy a good father can leave for his family, and maybe as an inspiration for us fathers to strive even harder to do just that, or to appreciate our own fathers just a little bit more.
It sits alone, quietly yet prominently placed in the center of the hustle and bustle of the family room.
The aristocratic sheen of the burgundy leather has given way to dull wrinkles worn with comfort, worry and love.
The sunken cushions sweetly echo verses of humorous old tunes; they lumpily heave with tales of comrades lost in the war, and they are deeply creased with sage advice from a man of good intentions.
The understated, smooth arms of the chair remain strong and dignified - symbols of the humble man they supported in good and bad days gone by.
The smooth, tarnished brass rivets remain secure and intact. Abiding protectors of heartfelt family traditions, witty anecdotes and untold sorrows.
Tho its master has passed, the chair remains a constant reminder of a simple man who loved people. A man who believed the worth of a person came from the inside - giving no regard to titles, social standing, or wealth.
Like a candle in the darkness, the chair beckons us to come forth, sit, and think a while.
As its soft leather embrace warms our skin, the chair sadly yet lovingly imparts the wit and wisdom of a man we called "Dad."
For this, we thank you, old chair.
Lecturer, KofC Council #11666
June 14, 2022
- Written by: James Conrey
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Today we heard the beautiful passage on love from St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. You’ll often hear this reading at weddings.
Ironically, Paul didn’t have marriage in mind when he wrote those words.
No, he was writing to a group of people who were tearing each other apart.
In this case, it was the Christian community within Corinth, a city in southern Greece. Corinth was once a major city along the Mediterranean coast. As many as 700,000 people may have lived in Corinth when Paul was there.
Paul founded the community in Corinth around 51 or 52 AD, living there for about 18 months. He poured himself out for the community, teaching them the gospel, leading them in worship, and showing them how to live like Christ.
Then he moved on to found Christian communities elsewhere … and that’s when the trouble started in Corinth.
The rich and powerful began mistreating the poor and powerless, even at Mass.
The Corinthians started to define themselves by their differences rather than what they had in common. In particular, some people thought they were better than others because of certain spiritual gifts they had received, such as knowledge, or speaking skills, or prophecy. And they were using those gifts for their own benefit, rather than to serve the community.
Some in the community were eating meat that had been sacrificed to idols. And sexual immorality was rampant.
There were other issues … but you get the picture. They were calling themselves Christians … but weren’t acting like it.
And so, Paul is very critical of his old friends. They were spiritually immature and needed to grow up. He didn’t dispute that they had received spiritual gifts from the Holy Spirit. But they had overlooked the greatest spiritual gift of all – which is available to everyone – and that is love.
Love is the more excellent way. Prophecies, tongues and knowledge have limits, but love does not.
Any gift without love is really nothing. It’s an illusion. Even almsgiving and martyrdom are nothing without love.
Paul’s message to the Corinthians is this: The only way to heal their wounds and end the divisions among them is through love.
Was his message effective? We have two signs that it was. First, in his letter to the Romans some years later, Paul mentions a major sticking point between him and the Corinthians as being solved. And second, and most importantly, the Corinthians chose to preserve his letters, which at times were quite critical of them. If Paul’s message didn’t have an impact, why else would they keep the letters?
Love was the answer then, and love is the answer today.
For the past two years, we’ve endured a pandemic that has fractured our country. Most of us know someone who died from COVID, and many of us have experienced COVID ourselves.
We’re tired, frustrated, angry. We’ve just had it.
We’ve lost faith in our institutions. We don’t know who to trust any more. The truth seems to be up for grabs. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? Who knows?
Disagreement has now become tantamount to an act of violence – and has actually led to violence. If you don’t agree with me, you’re my enemy.
We see that mindset in our gospel reading.
Jesus’ own people turned on him after he told them something they didn't want to hear. They were outraged that he would show love and mercy toward the Gentiles, people they considered inferior.
We’ve seen this kind of attitude play out during the pandemic. People have been called “cowards” or “Nazis” or “science-deniers” or “tyrants.” Some have even taken great satisfaction in seeing someone they disagree with contract COVID – the feeling that, “Well, they had it coming to them.”
The fact is, no one has gotten everything right over the last two years. We’ve all been wrong about something at some point. In time, we'll have a clearer view of who was right and who was wrong … what worked, and what didn’t.
That’s for the future. For now, there are wounds to be healed.
The only way to repair the damage is through love. But are we willing to love those we disagreed with, sometimes vehemently? Because choosing to love means addressing some difficult questions:
Are we willing to forgive those whose decisions hurt us or someone close to us? If our decisions ended up hurting others, are we willing to apologize?
Can we be patient and kind to those who called us names and accused us of being irresponsible? What if we’re the one who sent nasty emails or snapped at someone?
Will we be able to resist the temptation to gloat over those who were wrong? Will we be willing to admit where we were wrong?
We can’t do any of these things without the Lord’s help, because He is the source of love and mercy.
Archbishop Fulton Sheen said there are certain things that we have within us, that once they’re given out, are never meant to be taken back.
One is the air we breathe. If we take that air back into ourselves, it poisons us.
Love is another. When love is breathed out to another human heart, it is never meant to be taken back. If that love's taken back, it also will poison us.
In our first reading, we heard the words of Jeremiah, who was a reluctant prophet. He was a quiet, peaceful man who didn’t want to stir up trouble. God reminded Jeremiah that he would not be alone in the face of opposition. God was with him.
God is with us, too.
Our country is broken and needs healing. Pointing fingers and angry words aren’t the answer, even though it’s easier. God is asking us to set aside our anger and frustration.
Let us lead with love. This is the more excellent way.
This is the only way.
- Written by: Bill Borque
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July 2021 Lecturer Talk - Faith, Fellowship & Friendship - A discussion on the vision and core values guiding us forward today and the near future. What does it mean for the council, and what does it mean for you?
Watch it here: https://youtu.be/UWjLIsFcfBw
September (or August) 2021 Lecturer Talk - Time Frames - How do you approach a new opportunity, a new experience? Do you set boundaries, or not…and should you? What does a snapshot of our lives look like today, and what does it tell us?
Watch it here: https://youtu.be/jKgWoax6sLg
October 2021 Lecturer Talk - Happy Warriors - Even the most noble of endeavors, or the most admirable of intentions, can be toppled with just a slight nudge. What might consistently be the cause of this, and what can we do about it?
Watch it here: https://youtu.be/BJo33Ikfd-E
- Written by: David Babicz
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I had planned to present tonight the reflections I had on the Christmas season. But the events of the past two months, culminating in the events of the past week have pushed their way to the forefront, whether we like it or not.
I fear tonight that we are at the most volatile, divided time in our country since at least the 1960’s…and perhaps, dare I say, since 1860. In a Rasmussen poll released just today (1200 respondents), fully 25% of respondents feel that the country should split into two nations…red states, and blue states. But we don’t even need that poll to know, instinctively, how divided, entrenched, Americans are against each other right now. And I fear things will get worse before they get better.
For while this nation has weathered many crises, many threats from without, this is more dangerous…because it’s threats from within. And it’s coming from all sides…from the Rs, the Ds…the radical Right, the radical Left. The moderate middle even seems to be picking sides. People’s voices are being silenced. They’re all shouting each other down, cancelling each other out. We’re unfriending each other on social media, saying things on Twitter, or Facebook that we thought we’d NEVER say to each other face-to-face, although we’re starting to see that too. We’re categorizing, compartmentalizing, ostracizing and even dehumanizing those who don’t believe the way we do. We’re ascribing the malicious or bad behaviors of our political leaders or their followers to those we know personally, whom we think follow that same policy, or party…and we’re dehumanizing each other in the process. Nobody is listening to each other any more.
This is not the America I believe we know and love. It seems that we’re allowing the essential elements of what makes the United States so special among the nations of the world throughout history to slip away…and maybe not even realizing it. But we can feel it. There are forces active in our country today that are looking to tear all of us apart. And if I’m right…and I pray that I am not…this will arrive on our front doors, in this very community, perhaps soon.
Let me share something I heard today. “Life this side of heaven yes, can be hard. Freedom, true freedom that comes only from and with obedience to Divine Providence…that is even harder. There’s a reason that we are the longest ongoing experiment in Liberty in the history of humanity. However, our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people and we’ve lost our way as a country on both fronts.”
So what do we do?
We do only what we can. It has to start, for each of us, with ourselves. So tonight, I’m calling on us as brothers to lead the way in our community to heal and reconcile in this time of turmoil. Specifically, I call on my fellow 4th degree Knights to lead in this effort. We need to remind ourselves that the principle of the degree to which we took an obligation isn’t regalia, or a uniform. It’s not standing honor guard. It is PATRIOTISM.
If you research that word, you’ll find many different definitions, both positive and negative. But I suggest we take our current situation as a call to gain, or regain, a deeper understanding of the principles and values of American patriotism, those upon which our founding fathers based our Constitution…that sacred document that our veterans among us took an oath to support and defend. We knights stand at the pivotal intersection of our Catholic Faith and our American Exceptionalism. And I believe we are called to not only acquire a deeper understanding and appreciation of both, but to make it manifest in our community and the larger world through our acts of charity, working together visibly displaying our brotherhood and unity, despite our own political differences.
Gentlemen, we are knights. Knights are noble and chivalrous. They stand as beacons to those around them; examplars of what is good and true. So in this time of turmoil, I pray and exhort us all to be true knights. Put on the armor of God, band together, and with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence…make manifest our Faith and true Patriotism to our community and our world.
Lecturer, KofC Council #11666
January 12, 2021
- Written by: Bill Borque
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This new documentary explores the life, legacy and impact of Father Michael McGivney, apostle of spiritual brotherhood and unity, who founded the Knights of Columbus in 1882.