November Thanks

David “Reggie” R Vasquez, Visions Chairman

November is a month of remembrances. We remember and honor the saints to begin the month. Quickly thereafter we follow with a remembrance of all souls, especially those who have passed away and were known to us.

Later we remember and honor our country’s veterans. And then, later in the month we take a day to give thanks and recall all for which we are thankful. As we are more mindful of those who have gone before us, we gain an appreciation of what has been passed on to us.

If we take but a moment each day and quite ourselves, we can open ourselves to the presence of God and our fellow man. If we have crowded ourselves inside with the busyness of our lives and the worries of our world, we leave little room for God to dwell and exclude our brothers and sisters. Life becomes little more than pastimes, routines, habits, and comfort zones of favorite behaviors. It is good November comes around to break the cycle and we can unashamedly dwell on saints, souls, patriots, and blessings in our lives.

A good number of us begin our meals by asking for blessings on what we are preparing to consume. It is a well-ingrained tradition. It is rare, on the other hand, that we close our meals with prayers of thanks. We recall the heroic action and lives of saints, relatives, and veterans. We want to emulate their behaviors. We want to follow the model they set in life. But like that prayer after the meal, we find it difficult to remember to follow the model previously set. It’s not a failure on our behalf, because we do appreciate what we are blessed with, we just don’t know exactly how to show that appreciation.

Perhaps Fr. McGivney truly did fully understand human nature as he founded the Knights of Columbus, and provided to Catholic men a means to show appreciation for all we are blessed with. He wisely choose Charity as the first principle of the Order and it is indeed those charitable works guided by faith that define who we are as Knights. In this month of November, a month of remembrance and thanksgiving, we Knights can show our greatest thanks and appreciation by giving back in our acts and works of charity.

Already this year, the Knights will go on record as showing innumerable acts of kindness and contributing much-needed funds to cover multiple natural and man-made disasters worldwide. Giving, at any level, becomes a blessing to those in need. As we recall all the blessings we have received throughout our lives and recall the blessings and comforts of our favorite saints, friends, and families, take a moment to consider how giving of ourselves is truly one of the best ways to give thanks. And due to the vision of our founder, the Knights of Columbus provides a steadfast, trusted and true path to give back to our brothers, families, and communities. We need to constantly invite others to join our efforts. Though we may take pride and satisfaction in knowing we are indeed doing great works, we should also be dissatisfied knowing there are still many more good Catholic men who can and desire to become Knights of Columbus. Ask one today, and if you have to, ask him again tomorrow and the next day, and just maybe on Thanksgiving Day, he will be thankful you did.

Vivat Jesus! Viva Cristo Rey!

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