Knight Erring

Story about a Knight who exemplifies a certain attitude prevalent among young Catholics, especially those preparing to receive the sacrament of Confirmation.
by Brother Michael Steele, LC | Source:
Once upon a time there was a knight in shining armor, who, on the very day he was knighted, hung up his polished armor in his royal wardrobe, carefully laid his bright sword in the bottom drawer of his clothes chest, and stored his lance in the attic. He breathed a huge sigh and thought, “How good it is to be done with all this knighthood business!” He never went in search of dragons to be slain; his sword became rusty for want of use. He never hewed anything with it, not even orcs’ heads. And all the damsels in the local vicinity remained in distress. Your Sir Galahad he was not.

Never heard this story before? It won’t be found in the adventure section of the book store. Yet this knight exemplifies a certain attitude prevalent among young Catholics, especially those preparing to receive the sacrament of Confirmation.

All the preparation and the trouble of becoming a knight are precisely to help our hero go out and seek high adventure, doing good and fighting evil. Yet our knight views his “dubbing” ceremony as a type of “graduation from” rather than a commission to a great mission, and so his preparation is in vain.

Isn’t this an attitude that can creep in unaware, like a phantom in the cellar, for those preparing to receive Confirmation? How good it will be to finally graduate from the Catholic Church! When I’m confirmed, I won’t have to go to Mass anymore!

Just as the dubbing ceremony for a knight initiated him into a great mission, so also the sacrament of Confirmation initiates us into the great mission of being apostles of Jesus Christ, spreading His gospel through our words and actions. The Holy Spirit is poured out into our hearts, minds and souls. He inflames us with the ardent zeal to go out and preach Christ. He transforms us. And our souls received an indelible (permanent) spiritual mark. We become Christ’s knights.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states in number 1309 that,

Preparation for Confirmation should aim at leading the Christian toward a more intimate union with Christ and a more lively familiarity with the Holy Spirit – his actions, his gifts, and his biddings – in order to be more capable of assuming the apostolic responsibilities of Christian life.

So Confirmation is no more a “graduation” from The Church, than being dubbed a knight is a graduation from knighthood. It is more like the beginning.

And if there are dragons running amok these days, maybe it is because too many Catholic youth after receiving the tremendous gift of Confirmation, have hung up their armor, stowed their swords and hid their lances in the attics. 

Brother Michael Steele, of the Legionaries of Christ, studies for the priesthood in Rome.

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