the spirit of chivalry
The spirit of chivalry is a marriage of two ideals: Christian charity and warrior strength.
The first struggle is that of inwardness and making room in our hearts for Christ to transform us through prayer and to serve our brothers through our actions. Too often we are superficial, focused on the short term and guided by our feelings and emotions. Prayer is a compass for our actions in the reality of everyday life.
The spirit of true chivalry is not that of an elite who is self-absorbed or uses Christ for his own interests. This tension resides in all of us.
Humans crave ritual, identity, meaning and a sense of belonging. In today’s society, structures such as clubs, groups and teams fill this need by building fraternal bonds amongst members.
The Knights of Columbus also seeks to fulfill this human need, offering the added spiritual dimension of the love of Christ and his Church through charity, fraternity and support in prayer.
In his inner life, a Knight’s commitment is built on the practice of two complementary and interconnected virtues: humility and strength. In his book Umiltà. La strada verso Dio [Humility: the Road to God], Pope Francis reminds us, in fact, that humility is not a virtue of the weak.
“A humble person worries not because he is a child and he knows he has a father and that his father is all powerful and loves him. God is everything; He is all powerful and he loves me… so I can rest easy! When people see that this poor fellow, the ‘lowly worm’ that I am, is in charge, they understand that I have nothing to do with it and that it is the Lord at work."
Founder of Emmanuel Community
The Gospel is addressed to weak, poor, meek and humble men, peacemakers and to the merciful, but, at the same time, it contains a constant appeal to fortitude.
It often repeats: "Fear not" (Mt 14: 27). To be men we need fortitude. The only truly prudent man, in fact, is he who possesses the virtue of fortitude.”
Jean Paul II – Audience on November 15, 1978