January 2020 State Chaplain’s Message

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Unity Through Desire – the key to Eternal Life    

 The Family as Domestic Church/ Missionary Disciples Through Faith In Action  2020-01-11

Dear Brother Knights and Families,                  

That is the secret little thought that many think in their minds when they meet with someone new, “What do I have in common with you?”. Perhaps that is how a family or a person sizes up a new relationship with a stranger. It could be a common sports team, expression of art, language, cultural or racial aspect. It could be as simple as waiting for a ticket in line or waiting to pay for groceries when that thought faintly passes through your mind, “what do I have in common with you?”. 

It is safe to say that what many people have in common with others is a certain desire – ‘a desire to know what we have in common with each other’. The fact is, we may decide far too often that we don’t have something in common with another person based on What We Have Materially. But, if we look a little deeper on an emotional or spiritual level, we will discover we have a great deal in common with a lot of people. People desire.

Beyond basic necessities of life, we desire friendship and fraternity. We desire company. We desire self-worth. We desire purpose in life. We desire dignity. We desire forgiveness. We desire to forgive. We desire joy! So through these numerous desires, we can hazard a guess that we have a great deal in common with every other person on the planet.

Taking it one more step, as Knights of Columbus, we have a great deal in common with other knights who desire to give and to serve. When you actually think about it, this deep desire to give and to serve is one of the manifestations of God dwelling in our hearts. This is your personal faith . . . . in action. Since ‘knowing God dwells in me’ is not just so I can have a nice fuzzy feeling, this indwelling Trinity compels me to give this powerful awareness to others.  Seen properly, the desires we have in our hearts are good desires that come from the indwelling Holy Spirit.

So what about the desires that are not so holy? What about desires ‘gone wrong’ that find a place in our hearts, where selfishness or mental illness leads to desires to commit sin, perhaps desires to commit crimes, desires to end suffering by ending our lives. It would appear that we don’t have certain things in common with others on one level,  yet generally, we do have weakness, illness, and sin in common. So the deeper human desires remain –  together everyone wants purpose, forgiveness, and a chance to forgive like Christ forgives, to love others as God loves them.

Faith In Action strives to assist us. It highlights 4 areas in our lives so that we can shape our thoughts about each other: Our Faith; Our Family; Our Community; and Our Gift of Life.

So try these ‘glasses’ on for a short while and see what happens. Try seeing everyone you interact with at home or church or at work by changing the fleeting thought through your mind from “what do I have in common with this person?” to something more like, “I have a desire for faith, family community, and life in common with this person”!  I have these desires in common with them. The God dwelling in my heart dwells in their heart. Despite common sinfulness, we have an overwhelming desire to live out our faith, to live for our families, to live for our communities, to live life as it was a gift. Consequently, try approaching every potential new knight with that very thought.

Perhaps you can make this part of your daily prayer list, seeing others with that in common, a desire for faith, family, community and the gift of life. In cooperation with your council, look for opportunities to engage yourself and your family in activities that enhance this.

Faith in Action is a way to organize better an outlook on life. If you put time into it, your spouse will notice, your children will notice, your brother knights will be strengthened and potential knights will notice how God is using you to Act on those things God places on your heart and that you believe in.

In Christ,

Bishop Bryan Bayda

Most Reverend Bishop Bryan Bayda, CSsR
State Chaplain

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