This Month's Challenge
“Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. Which of you wishing to construct a tower does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if there is enough for its completion?” (Gospel for Sept. 8, Lk 14:27-28)
In more than four decades as a priest and bishop, I’ve been involved with building a number of new churches and schools. We often start by “dreaming big.” Then reality hits: What are we willing to spend? Jesus is asking each of us a similar question about our life of faith. In our lifelong journey to become saints, are we regularly sitting down to consider the cost and fully prepare ourselves to pay it? My brothers, above all other things, may we always prepare to carry our crosses and give our entire lives to Christ.
Challenge by Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori:
This month, I challenge you to learn more about the life of one of the martyrs and how he or she was prepared to pay any price to follow Christ. Second, I challenge you to participate in the Faith in Action Into the Breach program or read Into the Breach on your own with a particular eye toward how we can best prepare to carry our crosses.
Questions for Reflection:
What cross is Christ asking you to carry in your life? Are you willingly taking up the cross and seeking to follow Christ or trying to avoid the cross? In what concrete ways can you imitate the martyrs’ total commitment to Christ?
The Supreme Chaplain’s Monthly Challenge for the month will be available in a number of places:
- Chaplain's Report
- Knights of Columbus social media
- Monthly email to Grand Knight and Chaplain
To conduct the Supreme Chaplain’s Monthly Challenge, during a Knights of Columbus meeting (ideally during the Chaplain's Message or the Grand Knight's Report) or other gathering:
1) Open with the Sign of the Cross and perhaps a brief prayer.
Example Opening Prayer: Come Holy Spirit. We thank you for guiding our lives and pray that we may have the courage exemplified by Venerable Fr. McGivney to live our faith to the fullest through our council, our families and in society. May our words today give glory to your Sacred Heart and if we struggled this past month in living our faith, help us to never stop turning to you and always try again.
2) Re-read the Supreme Chaplain's Monthly Challenge from the previous month.
3) Open the floor for discussion on what it was like to try and live last month's challenge. Every month has a number of Questions for Reflection that may help facilitate discussion. Don't worry about what order the men speak in or if there is silence in between men speaking. Not everyone has to speak and it is not a problem if the discussion is brief. Men are welcome to comment on others’ contribution to the discourse.
4) When finished, read the Supreme Chaplain's Monthly Challenge for the next month.
5) End by asking if there are any intentions and close with prayer and the Sign of the Cross.
Example Closing Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank you for this time together with our brothers. We ask you to have mercy on all those people and intentions we prayed for. Give us the perseverance to live next month's challenge and to remember that we are united with our brother Knights around the world in doing so.