As we approach the season of Lent, let us take time to learn what our faith is all about. As I write this, we are celebrating the Memorial of St John Bosco, also known as Don Bosco. One of my daily devotionals is a book called, “Daily Wisdom”. Today’s passage started with Matthew 18:3-5 which reads: “Truly I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me.” This also happened to be today’s Gospel reading.
From my “Knights to Christ” Devotional, it starts with: FRATERNITY is being big brothers to little brothers. Here is also another passage from St Matthew from today’s devotional, “Let the children come to me and do not stop them, because the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14. The page continues with a bit about Babe Ruth (also a Brother Knight). “Babe Ruth was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1895. He died 53 years later of cancer in a NY hospital. Babe loved kids: and they loved him. During the 1926 World Series, he promised a very sick John Sylvestri, that he’d hit a home run for him – and did. Part of Babe’s love of children stemmed from his own turbulent childhood. He lived above the family saloon, played hooky, stole, and drank. His parents finally committed him to St Mary’s Industrial school. There, Catholic brothers shaped him up and gave him his love for baseball.
What this boils down to is that there are two passages from the Gospel of St Matthew, written in two different daily devotionals that are related. They speak of being “childlike”, not acting as children. Becoming “like children” in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven does not mean to be immature or naïve but to become “little” by cultivating inner humility and trust in God. As Catholic Gentlemen, we need to humble ourselves, set an example for those around us. Hopefully, we will all make it to Heaven.
Getting back to St John Bosco, he was a priest at the same time Blessed Michael McGivney was. While Blessed Michael was all about caring for the widow and orphan, Don Bosco took care of children. He founded the Salesian Society of St Francis de Sales and the Daughters of Mary, Help of Christians. He built schools for both boys and girls. He died in 1888 and was canonized in 1934. His motto was, “Give me only souls and keep the rest."
Blessed McGivney died in 1890, he was beatified October 31, 2020. We pray that he will soon be canonized. As we know, Blessed Michael founded the Knights of Columbus in 1882. Both of these great priests founding works still exist today. Two different continents, but basically the same mission. Take care of the family. This is why our first principle is Charity. We do great things for our Church and local community and we show no signs of slowing down. We have some great events coming up.
Getting back to the season of Lent. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, fasting and abstinence that day. You may be thinking that’s also Valentine’s Day. Well, you can still get your ashes and take your sweetheart out for dinner, one full meal is allowed, just no meat. We have plenty of Italian restaurants around to get some pasta or fish that day. Why is Valentine’s Day celebrated? It no longer exists on the liturgical calendar, so it is not celebrated in the Church anymore. Originally it was celebrated on February 14th since the eighth century. He was martyred and his body buried on the Via Flaminia. Relics of him were kept in the Church and Catacombs of San Valentino in Rome, which remained an important pilgrim site throughout the middle ages until the relics were transferred to the Church of Santa Prassede. His skull, crowned with flowers, is exhibited in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Rome. Other relics are in Whitefriar Street, Carmelite Church in Dublin, Ireland, a popular place of pilgrimage, especially on St Valentine’s Day, for those seeking love. So at least we have some background on that.
I would like to close with a quote from Venerable Fulton J. Sheen: “The Christian soul knows it needs Divine Help and therefore turns to Him Who loved us even while we were yet sinners. Examination of conscience, instead of inducing morbidity, thereby becomes an occasion of joy. There are two ways of knowing how good and loving God is. One is by never losing Him, through the preservation of innocence, and the other is by finding Him after one has lost Him. Repentance is not self-regarding, but God-regarding. It is not self-loathing, but God loving. Christianity bids us accept ourselves as we really are, with all our faults and our failings and our sins.”
So what better time than Lent to get yourself in to the confessional, reconcile with the Lord and prepare to celebrate Easter. As Catholics, we are required to confess our sins at least once a year and also to receive Holy Eucharist during Easter time. Forget about New Year’s resolutions, what are we giving up or doing for Lent?
Important dates and upcoming events:
February 2nd – The Presentation of The Lord
February 2nd – Family Rosary and Social Meeting
February 6th – Dine to Donate at Texas Roadhouse
February 11th – Superbowl
February 14th – Ash Wednesday (no meat)
February 14th – St. Cyril, Methodius and St. Valentine’s Day
February 16th – Business Meetings Council and Columbian Club
February 18th – Race for Life
February 24th – Polar Plunge
February 26th – Blood Drive
March 29th – Annual Fish Fry – Columbian Club Closed
Knight of the Month for January – Brian Witham
Family of the Month for January – The Capasso’s
As always keep an eye out for emails and check the website often, or attend a meeting.
Mary Queen of the Knights, Pray for us!
Blessed Michael McGivney, Pray for us!
GK Frank Schear