Knights Of Columbus - Council #4160

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Council

Chaplain's Corner - January 2018

Spreading a Culture of Life – Everybody’s Mission: Man or Woman


On Friday January 19th hundreds of thousands of individuals from across the nation will descend upon our Nation’s Capital for the 45th Annual March for Life. This event held annually in response to the. U.S. Supreme Court Decision Roe vs. Wade has grown into a cultural phenomenon and continues to draw new minds and hearts each year to see the pressing need for change in our societal outlook on life; moving from what John Paul II called a Culture of Death, to a Culture of Life. The Knights of Columbus for years has been an advocate of this yearly demonstration and in fact is one of the largest financial contributors to the cause in recent years. As Knights of Columbus, the defense of life in all its stages is especially our privilege and responsibility. While we aren’t armed with swords and shields as of old we are armed with hearts and minds washed in the water of Baptism and the blood of Christ. To win this battle we need to begin at home in our own hearts – training in the truth.

While the battle to bring about a Culture of Life encompasses many issues, one that is most central to the effort is the issue of abortion. Simply put, the argument runs as follows. Life is sacred from the moment of conception until natural death. If a life is directly terminated before it is brought naturally to term, it is tantamount to murder. Whatever way you shake down the vocabulary – the reality remains the same. Many today, will speak of embryos of fetuses instead of babies or children, of women’s health care instead abortive procedures, of contraceptives instead of abortifacients. But once one sees through the verbal veil, the cold hard fact at stake is a person, a son or daughter, a future athlete, artist, president, religious, or priest. What’s at stake is not potential life but actual life.

As men, unfortunately, many feel they are not able even to comment on the issue in public discussion. Often people dismiss the subject when men begin speaking up with, “It’s a women’s issue” or “It’s her body, it’s her choice – my part is to support her in her choice.” Politically it’s spoken of as an issue of “Women’s Health Care” as if pregnancy was a disease only women contract. As a result, men know nothing about the reality at hand and ought to politely step aside. The truth however is that behind each child – is a father. To see this however is hard for us as Americans so caught up in the myth that every individual is really an island to themselves. If this were true, we wouldn’t have parents, sisters, brothers – in a word, family. As men we are just as much a part of that wider human family as women are and therefore are as much co-responsible members as they.

Taking it a step further, as Catholics and Christians, we are members of the household of God, the Body of Christ – a reality thicker than blood. From the perspective of faith, the case only intensifies. As individuals created in the image and likeness of God, to kill another and therefore mar the image of God is an offense against the author of life. Some when they hear that defense will try to dismiss the offending party with, “Well that’s your belief…” The underlying point being, to each his own, my truth is not your truth but that’s OK. The truth is that a thing cannot both be and not be at the same time in the same place. Not every belief is equally true and valid especially when matters of life are concerned. To say as much today is enough to get one locked up - but if we as men and Christians do not stand up for truth who will.

A little over 900,000 abortions took place in the United States in 2015 alone. One can reasonably conclude similar numbers in the years following. Many lies are perpetrated by those who stand to profit by un-truth. How are these lies unmasked and brought to justice? By those courageous enough to stand up and unmask them. In his book, “A Civilization of Love: What Every Catholic Can Do to Change the World” the Supreme Knight, Carl Anderson cites the example of two saints who were courageous enough to defend truth and life to the point of offering their own lives for it: St. Maximilian Kolbe and St. Thomas More. Both were martyrs, one was a priest and the other layman. Their martyrdoms were not accidents but the fruit of a life spent firmly standing upon one’s convictions, faith and trust in almighty god and what he has revealed as true.

We too can do the same today. How might we take up that battle day-to-day?

  1. Prayer: We can begin by praying. If we aren’t fully convinced of the truth of the situation we are in – we do well to ask God to show us, he will. Further we pray for those in the grip of these life and death decisions, mother and fathers, nurse and doctors struggling to make the choices in favor of life in the midst of a Culture of Death.
  2. Education: Educating ourselves first and foremost on how we might begin counteracting the Culture of Death is important. There are any number of helpful videos on YouTube to assist in this as well as articles online. Great Resources also include:
    1. The Knight of Columbus Website: http://www.kofc.org/un/en/domestic-church/index.html
    2. Abort73: http://www.abort73.com/
    3. The March for Life: Info on how to be a part of and support the March. http://marchforlife.org/
    4. A Civilization of Love: What Every Catholic Can Do to Change the World: This book touches on many other subjects as well; Chapter 8 Reflects specifically on the Pro-Life Questions
    5. FORMED.org: Lot of audio talks and videos on here and help one become informed on the issues.
  3. Reflection: Anderson proposes certain questions to help us reflect upon who we might imitate those great men that we too might enjoy the same thing they do now – the vision of God, eternal life. These are found below:


A Personal Examination from Carl Anderson’s, A Civilization of Love: What Every Catholic Can Do to Change the World:

  1. Think back to a time in your life when you felt called upon to risk something—your friends, your job, your social status—for something you thought was right. How willing were you to make this sacrifice? Did you do it?
  2. Take some time reflecting on the things that are dear to you in life: your home, your family, your position in life. Then consider what principles you believe in strongly enough to risk these things for. In all honesty, would you be able to put your possessions, your family, your life in jeopardy for what you truly believe in?
  3. The culture of death, as defined in this chapter, essentially says that human beings are dispensable; they can be used as means rather than as ends. For the next week, look for evidence of this attitude in the media and in the society around you. Decide for yourself whether we are moving closer toward a culture of death. What might you do to help society move toward a culture of life?
  4. Take an individual you know—either personally or in history—whom you admire for standing up on behalf of a moral position. What traits do you most admire in this person? How did he or she manage to give conscience a voice? How might you be able to do the same for your own conscience? Think of one or two ways in which you could become more like this person, and try to put them into practice.


Coming Up:


January

  • Christmas Season
    • Solemnity of the Epiphany (Sunday January 7, 2018)
  • National March for Life (Friday, January 19, 2018)
  • National Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children (Monday, January 22, 2018)
    • Rosary Novena, Fasting and Self-denial in preparation for this day are highly recommended

Council shirts, hats, and jackets with quality embroidery are now available from our preferred vendor. Download and complete the order form(s) below and bring them to any meeting. Contact Steve Mobley or Mike Dougherty with any questions.

Shirt / Hat order form

Jacket order form

Shirt and Jackets include this logo and text

Hat logo and text

Optional text on rear of hat

Upcoming Events

Bon Ton Community Day coupon book sales resume on Wednesday, Jan 10 and run through early March. 


Free-throw competition Jan 17, 6 PM, OLMC gym. Help needed from any brother available - contact Mike Dougherty.


Feb 3 - Food bank grocery shopping & delivery 10 AM - 12 noon followed by lunch.


 



Congratulations to Council 4160's Family of the Year, the Lahr Family. Bill, Brooke, Emma (not pictured) and Billy were recognized by Grand Knight Mike Dougherty (L) and Field Agent Tom Hendricks (R) at the council Christmas dinner party on Saturday evening, December 9. Bill notes that the family is "humbled and honored to be recognized in this way".