The victory of stepping into the breach
by Father Jonathan D. Kalisch, O.P. Director of Chaplains and Spiritual Development
“Sometimes it’s a victory if I just eat a salad,” I was recently told by a Catholic father who is also a successful medical professional. We were talking about how fasting and making small sacrifices can be great victories for men.
It truly is a victory to respond to the needs of the Body of Christ with prayer and fasting regimens. The new rollout of the Into the Breach video series at the start of Lent, presents an opportunity for pastors and council chaplains to guide our brother Knights in the spiritual battles they face within their everyday responsibilities as husbands, fathers, brothers and sons.
Let’s look at how Into the Breach came about. Shortly after he was elected, Pope Francis informally called together leading Catholic women and other experts to study how to proceed in the authentic development of St. John Paul II’s teachings on the dignity of women in the Church. They found that what was needed was for Catholic men to better know, understand and live out their vocations. That’s when Bishop Thomas Olmstead of Phoenix called together the panel of experts on masculine identity and spirituality that influenced the pastoral letter Into the Breach.
Now, after several years of promoting Into the Breach, the Knights of Columbus has developed a series of short videos engaging the most important issues discussed in the document. Chaplains are encouraged to work with their councils to show the videos in small group settings, before parish gatherings of men and their families or as part of a day of reflection or Lenten retreat. I have found them to be effective tools to help men overcome spiritual mediocrity, to help them recognize their Christian identity, and to help strengthen them in overcoming spiritual resistance. I hope that this next phase of Into the Breach becomes a useful tool to assist your council to engage with their own vocation and stand in the breach with their brothers. Vivat Jesus!