The humble and courageous move

pope_benedict_in_prayer5B15D1This month the Church will receive a surprise gift: a new pope. In a humble, courageous and unexpected move, Pope Benedict XVI has resigned from the Petrine office as Bishop of Rome, aware of his inability to carry out that ministry adequately due to advancing age. The eyes and prayers of the world now turn to the stovepipe of the Sistine Chapel and the Cardinal Electors as we await the news of Pope Benedict’s successor. I have no doubt that the one elected will be the right man for our time.

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 enrich the whole Church.

March also brings us the feast of Saint Patrick on March 17 (though not observed liturgically on the Fifth Sunday of Lent) and the Solemnity of Saint Joseph on March 19. Saint Patrick’s ministry was focused on conversion: the conversion of pagans to Christianity and the ongoing conversion of sinners through penance. Saint Joseph is honored 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 been swaddled in snow through what now feels like a long, hard winter, the earth will soon emerge 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.

I look forward to seeing you at the Founder’s Day Dinner on March 23. May God bless you and your families.

-- Msgr. Michael Gorman, Chaplain