The Knights of Divine Mercy apostolate seeks to awaken in men the eager desire for a knightâ€™s true calling: The quest for holiness and an awakening to a profound sense of the sacred.Â
The First Crusade was launched in 1095 by Pope Urban II with the primary goal of the Christian reconquest of the sacred city of Jerusalem and the Holy Land. So great was the popeâ€™s speech in Clermont, France on that day that the crowd was inspired to cry out: â€œIt is the will of God!â€ â€œIt is the will of God!â€ (Deus Vult! Deus Vult!). This became the battle cry as brave and noble knights sought to recover that holy ground.Â
In our intensely secularized modern world, the need to â€œreclaim the surrendered groundâ€ of the sacred has never been greater. Nearly a century ago, Pope Urban II stressed the need to â€œreclaim the sacredâ€ â€¦ today Pope John Paul II, in his January 6, 2000 Apostolic Letter, Novo Millennio Ineunte, calls all of us to put aside all fear and pursue daring apostolic goals which are rooted deeply in prayer. Pope John Paul IIâ€™s clarion call is for a return to our first priority, The Universal Call to Holiness: â€œAll Christian faithful â€¦ are called to the fullness of the Christian life and to the perfection of charity.â€
The Knights of Divine Mercy respond wholeheartedly with â€¦ â€œDEUS VULT!â€ (It is the will of God!)
Therefore, the mission of the Knights of Divine Mercy is to help Catholics rediscover a profound sense of the sacred through solemn liturgies, devotions, sacred art and sacred music, as well as instruction in Church heritage, catechesis and Catholic culture.
Â Knights are not content to live what Pope John Paul II calls a "life of mediocrity, marked by a minimalist ethics and a shallow religiosity" (Novo Millenio Ineunte, 31). Genuine knights come to see that the primary purpose of their lives is to seek holiness: "This is the will of God, your sanctification" (1 Thes 4:3), and "You, therefore, must be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matt 5:48)
â€œThe time has come,â€ writes our Holy Father, â€œto re-propose wholeheartedly to everyone this high standard of ordinary Christian living: the whole life of the Christian community and of Christian families must lead in this direction. It is also clear however that the paths to holiness are personal and call for a genuine â€˜training in holinessâ€™, adapted to people's needs.â€ (Novo Millennio Ineuente, 31)Â
â€œThis training in holiness calls for a Christian life distinguished above all in the art of prayer â€¦ Yes, dear brothers and sisters, our Christian communities must become genuine â€˜schoolsâ€™ of prayer, where the meeting with Christ is expressed not just in imploring help but also in thanksgiving, praise, adoration, contemplation, listening and ardent devotion, until the heart truly â€˜falls in loveâ€™". (Novo Millennio Ineuente, 32, 33)
Because the Eucharistic Sacrifice â€œis the summit and the source of all Christian worship and life,â€ (Code of Canon Law, Canon 897) members of the Knights of Divine Mercy order their own lives above all to the Mass, the Liturgy of the Hours and the sacramentsâ€”the primary sources of life and grace within the Church. The Sacrament of Penance plays an especially prominent role in their lives as a rich source of grace, particularly for those approaching the Eucharist.
Finally, the Knights of Divine Mercy feel that the call to holiness is addressed to all people in all ages. It is a radical call to not only follow Christ in His teachings but also to follow His exampleâ€”to â€œbe holy as [He] is holy.â€ They answer this call and seek personal sanctity by imitating Christ in radical opposition to the values of this world. They wish to Restore the Sacred in the Church, in the world and in their own lives in pursuit not only of their own sanctification, but also the salvation and sanctification of all. They desire to be faithful to the call they have received from God to â€œRestore the Sacredâ€ and seek to nurture a continuing renewal of the Christian life as fed by the mysteries of the liturgical patrimony of the Church.
The Knights of Divine Mercy meet every 1st Friday, 7:00 PM at St. Mary's of Pine Bluff for Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction, Confession, Liturgy of the Hours, Chaplet of Divine Mercy and an inspirational talk by a priest (usually). The evening concludes with a potluck social for the men.
Knights of Divine Mercy Website: http://www.knightsofdivinemercy.com/