In Romans Chapter 5 verses 1 to 3, St. Paul tells us that:
We even boast of our afflictions knowing that
Afflictions produces endurance
And Endurance, proven character
And Proven character, Hope
And Hope does not disappoint
Because the Love of God has been poured into our hearts
Through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us
If we unite our trials and tribulations with those of Christ’s
We will endure, we will grow in character and hope
Because Jesus the Lord is always with us
Through his Holy Spirit, He will never ever abandon us.
What a verse indeed! It flies in face of all that you and I know, as conventional wisdom. The “truth” of the day that dictates that all and any suffering is anathema. And yet, here is Paul, telling us otherwise.
As Catholic gentlemen, and to a greater degree, as 4th degree knights, we should all know what that means though. We should know that, the trials and tribulations that we face on a daily basis has the effect of actually being good for us.
What a crock.
Who here enjoys being in pain? Who here thinks nothing of being broke and watching your kid not have the best education you can give her? Who here relishes the thought of going to work and working like a dog only to find that their pay is barely enough to cover their bills? Who here can look upon a loved one on their deathbed and tell them that, well, St. Paul says its good for you?
Well, truth be told, we all knew it wouldn’t be easy to follow in the footsteps of the Lord. So what has all this to do with being a Catholic gentleman and a 4th degree Knight?
The answer is, of course, that we should know better.
As 3rd degree Knights, we were reminded often enough of the many people how have less than us. Its our raison d’etre! We are constantly raising funds for the poor and underprivileged. We, more than anyone of the general Christian populace, knows first-hand, the kind of suffering that goes on out there. Why, just among our ranks, we know of one dear brother, whose wife is fighting for her very life, whose suffering is something none of us would wish upon ourselves.
We know all this. Because we are Knights. We pray for one another. We give each other strength, sustenance. And most importantly. We give each other hope. And as St Paul reminds us: Hope does not disappoint. And because we pray for one another, we unite our trials and tribulations with those of Christ.
Such is brotherhood in the Knights of Columbus. And nowhere is this more apparent than in the ranks of the 4th degree Knights. Because, as the visible arm, we wear all of the above and more…on our sleeves. In our daily lives. Vivat Jesus!