Monday, April 28, 2014

May 2014 Bulletin: Courageous

Lead article from the May 2014 bulletin, online now.

The other night I couldn’t sleep so I was flipping through the channels before I finally came across something decent to watch. I ended up stopping on the movie Courageous, which I had seen before and enjoyed the first time I watched it. It was getting late, but I couldn’t stop watching. The movie had me hooked.

When the movie was over and time for bed I still couldn’t sleep. Some lines in the movie stuck with me and kept running through my head. The first line that was on my mind was when one of the male characters was talking about fatherhood and how he didn’t want to just be a good enough father anymore; he wanted to be the best father he could be. That got me thinking. Am I settling for just being a good-enough father or am I being the best father I can be? After examining my conscious, I found that I have some room for improvement and that I need to make some changes in how I am parenting. Why put off that dance with your daughter or shooting hoops with your son? You may not get another chance to enjoy them, and in a blink of an eye they could be gone.

The other line that stuck with me that I really struggled with went something like this: I will be the spiritual leader in my home. So again I thought through that statement, and lo and behold, I didn’t like the conclusion I came back with. I don’t walk the walk as to being the spiritual leader in my household. I found that I don’t always follow through and pray with my family. I pray and read scripture, and I know that my wife also does, but why don’t we find the time to do this together? My children need to see us praying, not just before meals or while at Mass, but together as a family.

How could I have let this happen? If I don’t take the time to show and teach them, who will? It is up to me to show them and to guide them to the best life possible. Below is part of the resolution from the movie:
I DO solemnly resolve before God to take full responsibility for myself, my wife, and my children. I WILL love them, protect them, serve them, and teach them the Word of God as the spiritual leader of my home. I WILL be faithful to my wife, to love and honor her, and be willing to lay down my life for her as Jesus Christ did for me. I WILL bless my children and teach them to love God with all of their hearts, all of their minds, and all of their strength.
I hope that you will also examine your life; maybe there is room for improvement for you as well. If you have never seen the movie Courageous I would highly recommend you do. Maybe some parts of the movie will stick with you also.
God bless,

For I live in eager expectation and hope that I will never do anything that causes me shame, but that I always be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past, and that my life will always honor Christ. 
Philippians 1:20

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Sign Up Now for the KC Tootsie Roll Fundraiser, April 26-27

Each year Council 4174 participates in the annual KC Tootsie Roll fundraiser weekend to raise money for people with developmental disabilities in our local communities. This year's fundraiser will be Saturday, April 26, and Sunday, April 27. We are looking for Knights (and their children) to give out Tootsie Rolls and collect free-will donations after masses that weekend at both Albertville and St. Michael parishes. We will also have donation sites at Coborns in Albertville and Marketplace in St. Michael. We are looking for two Knights to collect donations for each two-hour shift at the grocery stores. This is a good time wear that blue council shirt and enjoy fellowship with a fellow Knight! Please sign up online today!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

April 2014 Bulletin: Our Faith

Lead article from the April 2014 bulletin, online now.

Do you have friends or family who aren’t Catholic and challenge what you believe? I sure do and some of them can recite scriptures left and right. I don’t always have the right words to say or I’m just not up for the argument. I always seem to search for what to say or I avoid the topic altogether. But I just learned something this past month from my soon to be 10 year old son. Who said you can’t teach an old dog a new trick!

Here is the story of what I learned from him: It was Ash Wednesday and we were in a rush but I made sure that we went. As we went through Mass my son was fidgeting and asking, "How many more songs? Can we go yet?" I was getting pretty upset with him. After we had the ashes put on and got back to the pew, he was saying they itch and, again, "How many more songs?" Now I was getting really frustrated with him and told him, "Sit still; it’s almost done."

We left Mass in a rush because we had to get changed for cub scouts and our den meeting. We quickly ate and headed off. After we arrived a few boys started to pick on my son saying he had dirt on his forehead and things like that. You got it. He still had the ashes on! Then something changed. I notice my son reacting not in anger, but he just talked about the meaning of the ashes in his terms. He told the boys that it was the least he could do for Jesus who died on the cross for our sins. I was shocked to hear him say that to the other boys, none of whom are Catholic or very religious. They sat down and later Jake was talking to them about Duluth and the big ships being towed by much smaller tug boats. He explained that the tugboats are us and the bigger ship is Jesus as he follows us on our journey.

So if you were at Mass, that was a lot like the Homily that night. He was paying attention! My son told them about getting the ashes on his head and about returning to ashes someday. Later he went on to tell the boys that he receives Jesus every weekend from the Bread he gets at Mass. The boys didn’t pick on him anymore. They thought it was cool that he had ashes, for he made it sound like they were hot out of a fire and they then wanted some too.

So it occurred to me that when people want to challenge my faith I don’t need to hide, I can easily defend it by how I feel. I don’t need to recite the correct scripture or search for the perfect words, though that would help. I can just stick to what I know and try to lead by example and that should be good.
God Bless,

A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.
-- Proverbs 16:9