Wednesday, February 13, 2019

February 2019 Bulletin: Miracle of Life, Culture of Death

Lead article from the February 2019 bulletin, online now.

Think for a few minutes back to your youth when life was full of energy, reckless abandon and sheer excitement. When all of Gods miracle's were first presented before your inquisitive eyes. You probably played with your friends each day until the earth blocked the days light. Think about how play had worn you down and how quickly you fell into sleep. Every new day was met with the same eager commitment. Think of how your parents must have looked on at your youth with just as much joy and excitement reminding them of their youth, innocence, and vigor for life. Think of your grandparents and relatives looking on during family gatherings at all the children playing and how it might have reminded them of their youth and the beauty of life. Try to comprehend the sum total of all the blessings in your life. Think of all that you are and all you ever will be. Even the sadness, pain and misery inexorably connected to what you have become. Think of the grace that finally released you from that pain and doubt.

Think then of how your mom must have felt with you growing in her womb. The life about to be brought forth and what would come of it. What would your personality be like? Your sense of humor? Your laughter? Those secrets of course would remain mysteries that would only reveal themselves while watching you grow. Think of her thoughts as you kicked and fidgeted within the warm comfortable confines of her womb.

There is and was of course one who did know. From him no secret could be held. One who had designed. One who had determined. One who had chosen. One who knew intimately the tone of your laughter and the signature of your smile. By now you know of whom I speak. All of this He knew the moment your mother's egg was fertilized. All of this was set into motion by His hands, just as his hand set the stars tumbling throughout the sky above.

Each and every embryo God has ever created has a life in front of him/her. Each one a possible patriarch or matriarch of dozens if not hundreds of lives. So when the abortionist reaches for the tools of his/her misguided trade, and his/her final act on the operating table brings about the release of the soul of a beautiful baby to fly on angels wings into Gods arms, one can only imagine the pain that our Lord feels. He knows intimately and all too well the hurt as He himself watched His only Son on the cross.

I am convinced there is a place where all of these babies reside. Surely, It is the most joyful and laughter filled place in heaven. One day we can all hope to hear the laughter they were robbed of here on earth. My wife and girls attended the March for Life last week and inspired me to contribute some small thing.

You may think these words over the top and idealized. I believe this message can't be overstated. You need to ask yourself if it's even possible to exaggerate or idealize the snuffing out of a baby's life. We live in a culture where half of us believe it's okay to terminate a pregnancy because it's inconvenient to our lifestyle. Or we may fear the child might not have a good quality of life. How dare we endeavor to do this dark work! To end that which He has begun. Shame on us!

I am told to pray for the abortionist. OK, I will, but only as time allows having prayed for all those innocents whose lives were snatched from within reach of the living. And the poor mother who must now live with her decision. March for Life received a few minutes of coverage on most news channels. C-SPAN aired a rebuttal of sorts before and after the event (as if stopping the purposeful killing of a human life somehow deserves a rebuttal). How in God's name did we get to this place? It's up to us to convince our political leaders and pro-choicers that this is profoundly wrong. Please resolve to do something this year to help these innocent souls. God bless.

P.S. There is a movie coming out later this year called "Unplanned" it may change the direction in the argument about abortion. Please make plans to go see it. Bring someone who is pro-choice with you..

P.S.S. Disclosure statement: Insomuch as it relates to this article and my being welcomed into the Church in 2009. Back in 1979 as a senior at Robbinsdale High School having been prompted by my English teacher, I wrote a similar paper based on the songs "Brain Damage" and "Eclipse" that run together from the album "Dark Side of the Moon" written by David Gilmour and Rodger Waters of the rock band "Pink Floyd". I wrote about the songs and how spiritual I thought they were--the first of which, "Brain Damage" being an allegory on life turned upside down (our current pro-death abortion culture); the other, "Eclipse," a reflection on affirmation and redemption. Little did my English teacher know it would send me in some small way on a path to the church some 30 years later. If you haven't you should listen to it and see if you agree.

Gary Frandsen
Grand Knight

Monday, December 24, 2018

January 2019 Bulletin:
Short and Sweet

Lead article from the January 2019 bulletin, online now.

Short and sweet this month: We will do a first degree on January 26th at 9:00am at St. Albert Parish Center. We will have donuts and coffee after the degree. Please find a candidate to invite so we can get a nice turn-out. Our February council meeting will be an open meeting with wine tasting and desserts. Bring your wives and enjoy some treats on us. I want to wish you all a wonderful and blessed Christmas and New Year. Thanks to all the KCs who volunteered for all the great events we put on this past year. Let's make this next year a great success as well. God bless you and your families.

Gary Frandsen
Grand Knight

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

December 2018 Bulletin:
The Catholic Tent

Lead article from the December 2018 bulletin, online now.

As Catholics, we get up on Sunday, morning, get dressed and make our way to Mass. It could be in Albertville, St. Michael or anywhere else on the planet. We come to give thanks. We come to seek direction. We come to acknowledge the beliefs we hold dear. Our lives may be running like a finely tuned sports car as we listen to the homily. We are doing what we think is natural and good. We see all around us in church our friends and other familiar faces. We see role-model leaders who receive special blessings and gifts allowing them to rise in order to give practical proof that what we strive for can be done. We see great marriages based on love and faith. We see those who hold a secure and steady job over the years creating comprehensive family stability. Our priests articulate our Catholic beliefs during Mass and explain to us how to live out the faith.

We all then walk back through those same church doors into our cars and smack headlong into something called the human condition---the sometimes harsh, on-the-ground, real-life week to come. There are those whose lives are not running like a finely tuned sports car. Theirs are more like an old beat-up Chevrolet overdue for a tune-up. Their marriages may be neglected and weakened. Their kids may not be burdened with seamless transitions into the teenage years. Many have to work their butts off to get Bs. They may be struggling with poverty, unemployment, addiction or severe health issues, physical or psychological. Any fill-in-the-blank human condition reality. No one leaving Mass on Sunday is immune from these possible predicaments including our leaders and priests.

It's important that we hold this truth close, lest we fall into an idealized fiction we cannot reach. The saints are among those we hold most dear. They are great examples of those who were able to overcame the world by lifting their faith in Christ above all. Their stories are replete with how they were able to meet and defeat the human condition through faith. Their sufferings in some cases were beyond our imaginations. Many of their stories seem idealized and beyond credulity. One thing we know for sure is they all had to live within that same condition.

I am a fair distance from the starting line to sainthood, let alone the finish, and would think myself foolish and pretentious to believe I could be close. One interesting observation in my limited study of the saints is that very many of them chose a life of solitude versus settling down and having a load of kids, a bunch actually leaving arranged marriages to give all to Christ. (Just saying....somebody should write a book about this.)

Let's remember this Christmas to pray for all who are struggling and remember that they sit in the same pews that we do every Sunday. It is true that the Catholic tent is filled with strong families. It is no less true that there are many families who struggle. Most I suspect are mired in the middle (my family included). One thing is for sure, the answers for all families can be discovered in Christ within the walls of their local Catholic Church. Merry Christmas to everyone.

God bless,

Gary Frandsen
Grand Knight