Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Benevolent Christian Witness, Cardinal Bertone, and the Knights of Columbus

Back in 2004 as a move that would help in my poor seminarian status, I joined the Knights of Columbus in hope of being support.  I admit, it was not the most pure of motives.  Since then, I have come to love the Knights.  They are on the battlegrounds of contemporary society.  They support men discerning priesthood, which believe me is not just a monetary thing.  As seminarians, we are surrounded with prayer from men all around the world, who pray for us and priests at every meeting.  They are big supporters of things Catholic within our American society.  They helped in giving a standard of beauty for churches in America by funding all of the art in the National Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C.  It is indeed a shrine to our blessed mother.  Another of their ministries is to uphold their members in things Catholic by printing a monthly magazine called Columbia, of which I read faithfully every month.  This month's issue began with a letter to the Supreme Convention of the Knights of Columbus from Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone, the Secretary of State for the Vatican.  Part of his letter really struck me.
"In the face of often unfair and unfounded attack on the Church and her leaders, His Holiness is convinced that the most effective response is a great fidelity to  God's word, a more resolute pursuit of holiness, and an increased commitment to charity in truth on the part of all the faithful.  He asks the Knights to persevere in their witness of faith and charity, in the serene trust that, as the Church embraces this period of purification, her light will come to shine all the more brightly (cf. Mt 5:15-16) before men and women of fair mind and good will."
He speaks in a way that hearkens back to old persecutions of great scope.  Society sees malevolency where it does not exist.  To show them the error of their thinking, we most live benevolently.  The holiness of the Christian faithful must shine forth to the world.  Bushel baskets need me cast aside, burned, even, never to be used again.  This Christian witness will not only reveal error but shine forth truth that will gather into the fold those thought to be totally lost.

This is indeed a period of purification for the members of Holy Mother Church.  Do not shrink or flee from the fire.  It is a gift to help us rid ourselves of our impurities, moral, spiritual, intellectual, or otherwise.  Let the fire fall.

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