Meeting, mentioned here before, invited Carl Anderson, the
Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus to address the more than 700,000
attendees on August 28, 2009. In his address he spoke about the common,
practical spirituality of the Knights as influencing works of Charity. Knowing
that “Christ plays in ten thousand places, Lovely in limbs, and lovely in
eyes not his”, Anderson advocated a life of charity that spurs all people –at least it ought to– to build a civilization of love based on real, lasting hope.
The point for
Catholics is not to set up another group of “do-gooder” structure no
matter of the brilliance of the idea which has no grounding in the dignity of
man and woman and/or with some vague understanding of Christianity, but to form
a companionship, friends who are rooted in Christ Jesus. Only then can we
truly, actually care for another. Many can argue rightly that people who have
no faith or don’t share faith in Christ can build a loving and caring society.
True and there are bountiful examples of this being done all around the world.
But for those who claim to be Christians, substance over sentiment is what
drives. I don’t do something and meet Christ. Rather, I have met Christ and
therefore I live differently with myself and with my brothers and sisters
around me. Otherwise we have beige Catholicism and we don’t need more of that
In my opinion, Carl Anderson touches on this point: our Christian lives
are not sustained by a something but a someone: Christ who sacrificed himself
for us on the cross and then rose from the dead. This is the hope Christians
have. If we forget this point then we Catholics are no different than the Elks
lodge and that may be OK for some but I think being Catholic means something
more: that we come to know our God is a personal way through helping others.
Ask yourself: How am I different after I’ve done something for my neighbor? Has
my life in Christ changed, or not? Mr. Anderson draws on sacred Scripture &
Theology as well as the works of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Particularly
re-read Deus caritas
Carl Anderson’s talk can be read here