Friday, 26 June 2015
Knights of St Mulumba: Patron Saint’s Day (2)
Knights of St Mulumba: Patron Saint’s Day (2)
Another core dimension of the Christian knighthood is what Lou Whitsworth, in a 1997 essay, refers to as True Manliness, a biblical model of Christian manhood lived in Christ as examples of godly men.
In the documents, available in their website, The Order of the Knighthood of Our Lord and His Holy Mother – another order of knights in the Church – note this of a Christian knight: “‘A Knight was a man who intended to place himself completely at the service of a noble and difficult cause, a pure and arduous ideal. Fighting evil, promoting good, defending the weak and the oppressed against injustice. Bringing low the arrogance of the more powerful. Courage and unselfishness, generosity and readiness to make sacrifices, to the point of heroism, even to the point of death, if necessary. This is the picture – the ideal picture, let us say – of the Knight in the original meaning of the term. Not for nothing was St. George the martyr, who fought the dragon to protect the defenseless maiden, the prototype of the Knight, and still is.” Little wonder then that C.S. Lewis wrote, as noted by Whitworth, that “the disparate strands of manhood– fierceness and gentleness–can find healthy synthesis in the person of the knight and in the code of chivalry. Here these competing impulses–normally found in different individuals–find their union.” He, Whitworth, goes on to expound that “were one of these two bents given full rein, the balance required for authentic Christian manhood would be lost. Strength and power, without tenderness, for example, give us the brute. Tenderness and compassion without masculine firmness and aggressiveness produce a male without the fire to lead or inspire others.”
Whitworth’s essay, which is a review of Roberts Lewis’ book – Raising a Mordern-Day Knight – identified the latter’s three ideals of a modern day knight. The first is A Vision for Manhood, which is that real men reject passivity, accept responsibility, lead courageously, and expect the greater reward.
The second ideal is A Code of Conduct – The code for modern-day knights comes from the pages of the Bible: loyalty, kindness, humility, purity, servant- leadership, honesty, self-discipline, excellence, integrity, and perseverance. Modern-day knights, he notes, must know that absolute values exist and that the commandments of God are liberating, not confining. The knight “needs to understand that he has a work to do that is in keeping with his inner design. This work is not just his profession or trade, but refers to work in his home, church, and community. Life is certainly more than a job, and your son should hear this from you lest he get the mistaken perception that manhood is just one duty and obligation after another. Another responsibility for the modern-day knight is a woman to love. The code of chivalry requires that all women be treated with respect and honor. Sons need to see and hear from their fathers the importance of caring for women in general and loving, leading, and honoring their wives in particular.”
The third ideal is A Transcendent Cause; that “life is ultimately unsatisfying if it is lived solely for self. Jesus said if you give up your life you will find it, so if you live for a cause greater than yourself, you’ll be happy and fulfilled.”
Of course apart from these ideals, there are virtues that define a christian knight today and these vary in number, depending on who is speaking or whom one reads. However, Waitsel Smith, in his April 25, 2010, publication, identifies some twelve of them which generally capture the submission of other writers. These virtues include obedience, courage, integrity, purity, loyalty and charity. The rest include defense, faith, stewardship, wisdom, humility and righteousness. An indepth reading into the discourses on these twelve virtues may be found on www.christianknighthood.com. The discourses are indeed profound.
In living out these Christian ideals and virtues of the vocation of knighthood in the catholic church, the members of the Order of the Knights of St Mulumba Nigeria are called upon at all time to offer their time, talents and treasure at the service of the church and society. They especially pledge themselves to the service also of the nation.
Indeed Nigeria, nay the world at large, needs knightly men; men who are not afraid to confront evil; men who will be ready to uphold the dignity of the human person and will be firm for truth and justice despite what else other forces hold; men who are real models to their children and husbands to their wives.
BLUEPRINT Newspaper; Thur. June 18, 2015; p2