March brings us the beginning of spring

On February 6, we celebrated the memorial of 26 Japanese martyrs, St. Paul Miki and Companions, executed for their Christian faith in 1597. Last month 21 Coptic Christians became modern-day martyrs to ISIS. Hundreds of other Christians have been martyred by Islamic terrorists. This will spread like Nazism, if the nations of the world do not stop it now. May the blood of these martyrs not be shed in vain. Well into the season of Lent, we are reminded of the ongoing need all of us have for conversion. Prayer, penance and almsgiving are the three traditional elements of Lenten observance. Prayer brings us closer to God; penance strengthens our will against temptation and sin; almsgiving opens us up to loving and serving our neighbor. As Saint Paul teaches, “There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone.” (1 Corinthians 12:4-6) The graces we receive from our Lenten observance not only benefit us as individuals, but also enrich the whole Church.

March also brings us the feast of Saint Patrick on March 17 and the Solemnity of Saint Joseph on March 19. Saint Patrick’s ministry focused on conversion: the conversion of pagans to Christianity and the ongoing conversion of sinners through penance. We honor Saint Joseph on March 19 with the titles of “Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary” and “Patron of the Universal Church.” Both of these saints exemplify the wholehearted dedication to doing God’s will that ought to be characteristic of any Knight, whatever our vocation may be.

Finally, March brings us the beginning of spring. Having experienced a cold, gray February, we look forward to the earth soon being clothed in the greenery of new life. Green is the liturgical color of hope. It reminds us that God always has something new for us and that his grace always renews us.

May God bless you and your families,

-- Msgr. Michael Gorman, Chaplain