Ben Starnes, Contributing Writer
Most of us are familiar with the Batman trilogy directed by Christopher Nolan. Undoubtedly, those of us guys who are Batman fans all have our own favorite lines from the movies, lines that strike the chords of heroism buried deep in our spirits. One of my own favorite one-liners from the series, which comes from The Dark Knight, is a remark made by a villain to Batman. Verbally chastising Batman, Harvey Dent bemoans, “You thought we could be decent men in an indecent time,” despairing over the carnage left in the wake of the Joker’s chaotic spree of violence and mayhem, and over his own inability to make a difference.
And if we don’t have a solid interior spiritual life, we might be tempted to adopt an attitude not very different from Harvey Dent’s: National abortion death tolls that match the number of casualties of the Jewish Holocaust several times over. Legalized euthanasia laws. A sex-on-demand attitude which permeates the minds and hearts of many of our college brethren. These are, most assuredly, indecent times.
Thankfully, one can still find a Knight who is committed to being “a decent man in an indecent time.” No, I’m not referring to the Dark Knight: He’s fictional, never existed and never will exist. I’m talking about any one of the Knights of Columbus, Catholic men who are alive, well and taking an active role in restoring by prayer and enterprise what has been marred by apathy and negligence.
As a society of Catholic gentlemen, founded on the principles of charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism, the Knights of Columbus dedicate their talents to fulfilling Christ’s mandate to serve the church and care for the needy. For older Knights, those with families and jobs, this usually entails extensive service projects and monetary donations.
But what about the college Knights such as myself, youthful Knights who barely earn enough money to escape the indentured servitude of bookstore prices and tuition costs? If the older guys have things taken care of, why do we need college Knights?
Since men and women need Christ more than they need money, the answer should become clearer to us. College Knights may not be able to donate much time or money to charitable and other causes, but we can give Christ. Our relative financial poverty reminds us that the true donation is the giving of Christ to another person. And how exactly do we do that?
As college Knights, we give Christ to others in the here and now. We do so by holding the door open for women, by guarding our hearts and keeping them chaste, by avoiding vanity as we work out in the gym, and by faithfully answering Christ’s call to meet him for morning prayer time.
As young men, we are privileged with the ability to employ our youthful vigor and virility as witnesses of the authentic love of Christ to secular-minded folks. Let’s face it: If you’re a guy, and the decent-looks wagon didn’t completely pass you by, a lot of guys and gals our age will wonder why you would ever willfully choose to remain a virgin until marriage. These same people also might wonder why you don’t like to get drunk on the weekends, or why you don’t gossip about others. What an incredible opportunity to evangelize!
This seems to be the crucial role of college Knights: to prove that young men do love Christ, and joyfully serve him, his church and his people.
If you love Christ, and want your love to be fostered in a society of like-minded Catholic gentlemen, then consider joining Council 14872 here at the University of Dallas. Every man is needed.