“St. Anthony, Lend me your tongue.”
It’s a short little prayer that I would pray fairly frequently on Monday mornings before a Knights of Columbus lecture. Many times I knew what I wanted to say but I didn’t have the right words to say it. St. Anthony is my patron saint, and my family’s patron saint, and sometimes I’d kiss my relic card, and somehow the words always just came. For those of you who aren’t aware, St. Anthony was a gifted orator & preacher, and his incorrupt tongue is still on display in Padua, Italy, almost 700 years after his death.
Now, how did I get up here to start off with? Pat Rosmarin was our lecturer for quite some time, and when I joined the council he was our lecturer. After he became Grand Knight and he couldn’t get anyone to step up, Chris Damo did what Chris Damo always did, and he stood up and said okay, I’ll do it for a year. There were months when Chris Damo was off doing the things that made him Chris Damo, and he wasn’t here. When he was here he would always have some great words to say. But he only did the lecturer role for a year. Pat Rosmarin asked again if there was anyone who would fill in for lecturer. And I felt a little nudge. Like most things that I don’t feel like volunteering for, I didn’t do anything. I sat there in my seat and sat on my hands. And a second month went by, and he asked everyone a second time. And I felt a nudge again. And I ignored it, again. The third time I said okay, fine. I have about one year’s worth of material. I happen to have an opinion or three. And let’s face it, I’m Italian, I always have something to say, right? So one year turned into two turned into… well… this is the 77th time I’m standing up here. So hopefully, out of all those times at least one of my lectures has impacted at least one of you in some way. If that’s happened then my time I feel has been successful.
But I feel it’s time to step aside and kind of change the role a little bit. As lecturer, I’m not going to necessarily give the lecture, but make sure that a lecture is given.
So I’d like to ask all of you: how is the Holy Spirit working inside of you? At the Sacrament of Confirmation, we’re all sealed with the Holy Spirit. I’d like you to close your eyes and be still for a second.
Is the Holy Spirit nudging you?
Are you feeling a nudge right now?
You don’t have to be me. You don’t have to come up here and write stuff or whatever. You just have to be the best you that God made you to be. And if that means that you’re good at reading stuff, finding good articles or homilies from the Church Fathers or whatever, and presenting them… then do it. If there’s something on your heart that means a lot to you, and the Holy Spirit is asking you to share that, then do it. The time has come for all of you to stand up and let the Holy Spirit speak through you, because I can guarantee you that every single one of you has something that you want to say, and I want to hear it. And I think everybody else deserves to hear it as well.
With that I would like to say a slightly different prayer: “St. Anthony, lend them your tongue.”
You can sign up to deliver a lecture at https://kofc11445.com/volunteer-opportunies/?sheet_id=13
All previous lectures, including those from Brother Pat Rosmarin and “Golf Balls” by Brother Chris Damo, can be found here: https://kofc11445.com/category/lectures