What makes something so great, that it stands the test of time? Take for example the iconic movie “Singin’ in the Rain”. The 1952 movie musical featuring Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds, is a film of enormous artistic achievement, absolutely brilliant on every level. It represented something in the movie industry and captured the American life of the time. At the same time that the movie was created by cinematic geniuses, it was also ushering in a new era of film-making. This means it brought about the demise of the former era, the era of silent film.
I have never met anyone who hasn’t heard the opening notes of Gene Kelly walking along the street in the pouring rain and felt compelled to sing along. Or even felt so overjoyed by what is happening in their life that they feel the same way that his character felt after leaving his love after a good night kiss.
There isn’t much I remember about the years of formation that I went through when I was confirmed in the Catholic Church, but I do remember my confirmation catechist, his name was Barry. Barry brought so much joy and passion from his faith that it was hard not to believe him. He didn’t shy away from any chance to praise God either.
Barry was not ashamed to be heard in church every Sunday singing in his deep baritone voice from the back of the church. And he would always laugh when he told us about it because he would say, it won’t be the best voice you hear, but you will hear me every Sunday! And hear him we did. And brought me closer to Christ in the process.
You see, Barry had no aspirations that his singing was going to elevate him to the same fame that Gene Kelly has risen to. What Barry has done for the Glory of God is nothing less than what the angels proclaim on a daily basis.
I have no doubt that given his faith and the way he lived his life, that Barry’s voice has joined the choirs of angels singing praise to God every day in the Church Triumphant.
Day and night, without pause, they sing: “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God Almighty, He who was, and who is, and who is to come!
Our lives and our worship as part of the Church Militant should mirror that of the Church Triumphant. As Knights, our duty as Knights and men of God is not a temporary assignment, it is a code of chivalry and duty that should be considered a rite of passage that instills in us a perpetual sense of evangelization and living the Gospel message. That every thought, word, and action should be done for the greater glory of God.
We should be challenged, and challenge one another to continue that message. To set an example for all others, not just our brother Knights – but to the ends of the earth. If we are lukewarm in our faith, that is the type of man we will attract to our order, and our strength in numbers will become our weakness. Christian brotherhood is the cornerstone of the Knights of St. John. Without accountability and encouragement, knighthood is meaningless. We are not immune from the temptations of worldly life, therefore we must stand with one another as cornerstones to strengthen our faith.
Iron is sharpened by iron; one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17
We must continue to challenge one another to be better Knights, better Christians, we are going to attract the type of men that are like-minded. Men that stand tall in the face of temptation, and stand firm in the face of evil.
Another word for lukewarm in this instance is common, and as Herb Brooks told the young men of the 1980 Olympic Hockey Team, you can’t be common, because the common man goes nowhere. You have got to be uncommon.