Do you think that most younger people have a sense of history that the WWII generation has? Is their sense of American history that is especially an enriching and encouraging narrative? Do you see Catholicism as a key force in our culture today? And finally, do you consider that our church actively promotes an authentic patriotism? Do you ever ask yourself, “If America is as bad as some folks say, why don’t they move to another nation”?
Most know I am a Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus. I became a Knight in the 90’s. One aspect I love about being a Knight is its commitment to Patriotism (the forth degree of the order). And, the individual councils are established to help our parishes confront modern day issues and exemplify in their day to day lives the virtues of charity, unity fraternity and patriotism. (Living these is what makes the ordinary man…a nobleman…a Knight.) The Order is to help us come up with a Missionary Spirit that helped make this nation an incredible light upon a hill. It is my belief that America had a great influence on the course of modern history. She was in many ways a light set upon a hill. America had become something like that “imaginary” nation that existed in God’s own mind and heart when He expressed His disappointment in Israel’s desire to be a “nation like other nations“. (cf. 2 Samuel 8) But as inspiring as so much of our American history can be, today we are confronted with a national religious narrative that has been fundamentally changed.
It is my belief that it is necessary to re-discover great Catholic stories from the past. It is necessary because most of us have been taught either the “Protestant” version or an outright anti-Christian version of our nation’s story. It is important to dig into our history books to find the truth, which is a truth that for the majority of Americans is like a buried treasure. And it is necessary because there are not only buried truths to be found but even worse, there are false teachers who teach our young a kind of history that promotes a political ideology that can only be described as anti-thetical to the faith (given to us through the Apostles of Jesus Christ).
The important work of the Knights is necessary because a simple love of America is not usually like a Pole’s love of Poland or a Mexican’s love of Mexico. These nations and others like them have near 90% Catholic populations. Therefore, these types of populations can boast of a patriotism that also cultivates a faithfulness to Catholicism to some extent. In a modern America, it is becoming more and more evident that to be an “acceptable” Catholic, one needs be a bad Catholic. I thank our local St. Williams Council for witnessing the reality of Catholicism and…that God will lead us to make our nation, unlike other nations…