My dear brother Knights,
The month of January can be a challenging month. With early darkness in the evening, and some of the coldest temperatures of the year, many of us just prefer to stay home. While we enjoy being in our homes and with our loved ones, it can be emotionally and physical challenging if we can’t get out and do the things we enjoy. This year, with the current virus situation, we have yet another reason to stay home.
Even though the celebrations of Christmas are over, and the Spring is still months away, that doesn’t mean that January can’t be an enjoyable, and spiritually fulfilling time. In January, college basketball is in conference play (whether you root for the Irish, the Hoosiers, or the Boilermakers – or all of them, like me), the NFL is in play-off mode (likely without Bears or Colts), and you can even find golf matches on TV coming from places that are warm and people are wearing short sleeves. It’s also a good time to work on the “honey-do” lists of things inside the house.
For me, one of the best parts of January is the celebration of the saints. From great doctors of the Church like Basil and Gregory, Francis de Sales and Thomas Aquinas, to the humble friar Andre Bessette, from the first hermit/monk Anthony of Egypt, to the chaste-virgin Agnes, from the great apostles Timothy and Titus, to that great friend of children John Bosco. In looking at their lives, we have some great examples of how God works wonders through us in the world, and some wonderful models of disciples for us to emulate. This January fourth is also the two hundredth anniversary of the birth into eternal life of the first native-born American saint, Mother Elizabeth Ann Seton.
Each January also finds us praying for those baptized in Christ Jesus to be one during Prayer for Christian Unity Week. Even as we pray for more members of our Order, for their good and the good of the Church, we pray that all of those claimed by Christ will truly be one in Christ Jesus. And lest we ever forget, January gives us a profound moment of prayer as we recall the tragic, erroneous decision of the US Supreme Court in failing to recognize the truth about the inherent dignity of every human life, even from the moment of conception. There is much that God is asking us to pray for in love.
I wish all of you and your families a safe and happy winter. May God grant you His peace, and the experience of love in your lives, as well as in our Order and our Church.
Vivat Jesus! Blessed Michael McGivney, pray for us!