Humility must guide us

We have all heard the old
adage “Don’t blow your own horn, or trumpet,” or “Don’t toot your
own horn.” The thought which formed this metaphor is originally from the Bible. In Matthew 6:2, in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus warns against the
practice of proclaiming our own virtues to be praised by others for our
charitable gifts using strikingly similar phraseology. The New World Translation is closest on this:

“…When you go making gifts of mercy, do not blow a trumpet ahead of you, just
as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be
glorified by men…” Remember that the original text on this was written in the early 1st century AD, so naturally the wording would be slightly different, but the meaning is the same. Knights should be humble.

The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak

How many times
have you wanted to do something you knew you should under difficult
circumstances and couldn’t muster up the courage to do it? This cliché is
taken directly from the Bible, from
the words of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane the night of his arrest when he
found the disciples sleeping when he had told them to sit and wait while he
went to pray. The passage appears in the parallel Gospels in Matthew 26:41 and Mark 14:36, the latter being an exact quote of the last portion in
the King James Version, 1611:

and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing,   but the
flesh is weak.”

Just remember, even Christ’s disciples failed. Later they took the Gospel to the world.

As different as night and day

Comparisons of night and day and use of
them in dialogue go back as far as the Genesis creation story in the Bible,
thought to have been written circa 1,440 to 1,400 BC. But actually making an
analogy using ‘different as’ in English is not to be found in any known printed
sources until the 17th century. In 1663, Another Collection of Philosophical Conferences of the French Virtuosi,
upon Questions of all Sorts for the Improving of Natural Knowledg. Render’d
into English by G. Havers, Gent and J. Davies of Kidwelly, Gent contains the
following forerunner:

“Add to this, that
darkness, filence, and the coldness of the night being fit to recruit the Spirits, and
promcte their retirement … who turn night to day,
and day to night, a course of
life much different from that which is observ’d by the
Superiours …”

In 1685 we find a near-perfect citation in The Famous Romance of Tarsis and Zell by
Roland Le Vayer de Boutigny, translated into English by Charles Williams, in
Book III, page 247:

“First Celemante tell me little the
difference, that you pretend there is between a Gallant and a Lover; it is fo
great, replyed he, as the day is different from the night, for a Lover is
one that sleeps not, that eats not, laughs not, who seems nothing …”

In today’s world, factions
are pulling further and further apart.

As a man sows, so shall he reap

So often people
go about doing whatever pleases them or advances their causes, regardless of
the effect it may have on the lives of others. The Bible tells us in Galatians 6:7, “Be not deceived, God is not mocked, for whatsoever
a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (KJV)
This teaching was passed down from the essence of Proverbs 22:8, “He who sows wickedness
reaps trouble, and the rod of his fury will be destroyed,” (NIV) and accented by a lesson
taught by Jesus in Matthew 13, known
as the parable of the sower. The entire point
being made is that whenever we treat others badly, it will ‘come back to haunt
us,’ and when we ignore the basic laws, both natural and physical, we will
suffer the consequences. As Christian
Knights it is our privilege to concern ourselves with what Christ would have us
do, and go about doing things which will help our fellow man and further the
cause of our Risen King. When we do these things we will never be sorry.

Am I my brother’s keeper?

It seems that in
our day and age so many are not concerned with the lives and conditions in
which others live. Man is going about trying to take care of his own family. Some feel that others can take care of themselves and their families without
outside interference or even help. The virus has kept many families from even
visiting one another. But what would our Lord tell us to do? 

“Am I my
brother’s keeper?” has become cliché.

Clear as crystal

This simile means totally transparent, and can apply in both a literal and figurative sense. Metaphorically it means either a clear sound or very easy to understand. The literal version was used in the biblical test of Revelation 21:11, even in the Tyndale Version, first published in 1526, and seems to be the origin of the thought:

“Havyng the brightness of God. And her shynynge was lyke vnto a stone moste precious even a lasper cleare as cristall.”

The use of this comparison to sound came as early as 1740 in Memoirs: Being a New Abridgment of the Philosophical Transactions, by Benjamin Baddam, published by the Royal Society of Great Britain in London, on page 259:

“…but the sound that those which had been as clear as crystal before, had now lost a great deal of their transparency…”

Crystal-clear is
used to describe understanding by December, 1854, in an article titled ‘As
Clear as Crystal!’ which appeared in Punch,
or The London Charivari on page 44:

      “LAING delivers his Crystal-clear account of the directors’

Today, more than
ever, we need to be clear and transparent in our dealings with others. Templars
should be examples for those who have trouble telling truth from lies in our
confusing society.

The best things in life are free

This proverb means that things which cost money should not be prioritized ahead of relationships with friends and family, health and peace of mind. The root of this teaching is ancient. Jesus emphasized the importance of love for God and our fellow man above material assets. Democritus, who lived in Greece circa 400 BC, made the statement:

“Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul.” 

This exact expression, however, was coined in a song by this title written by Buddy DeSylva and Les Brown with melody by Ray Henderson, which debuted in the 1927 musical Good News, describing the experience of finding out that a bond formed with another person is one of the best things in life. Lyrics include:

           “The best things in life are free                                                                                                     Now that I have discovered What you mean to me                                                                   The best things in life are free.”   

Priority is important in the life of a Christian Knight. May God help us to see life in the proper light.


Sir Stan St. Clair, Priory of the Risen King

Pot calling the kettle black

This idiom
refers to a person pointing out a flaw in someone else that he or she
personally has or is guilty of. This saying has been universal in meaning in
languages and countries around the globe for thousands of years. The fable of Aesop, The Snake and the Crab,
from the 6th century B.C. signified this principle. In more than one
biblical story the fallacy of this idea is brought out. One prominent example
is from the words of Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7:3:

do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention
to the plank in your own eye?” (NIV)

The first person recorded as using the
actual phrase in English was the founder of the state of Pennsylvania, William
Penn, in his Some fruits of solitude, in 1693:

“For a Covetous Man to inveigh against

Is money the root of all evil?

We have all heard others say, “Money is the root of all evil.” This is a misquote from Bible, I Timothy 6:10, where St. Paul is writing to his protégé, teaching him the pitfalls of which he must be aware, that could derail his ministry. The King James Version says, “The love of money is the root of all evil.” The more proper rendering of the original Greek of this verse is that found in the New International Version, The American Standard Version, and The New Living Translation, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.”

In any translation, it involves ‘love of money,’ not money per se, which has no ability in itself, of course. The intention of the verse is to warn Timothy and future readers of the text against one of the ‘seven deadly sins,’ greed. In fact, the Catholic Douay-Rheims Bible uses the word ‘desire’ rather than ‘love’—a bit closer to lust, which would be a quite proper rendering. A splendid way to interpret this is the fact that the lust for personal gain causes great corruption in human character.

As members of this Holy Order, we surely understand how important spiritual richness is and how unimportant hording up money and temporal things is in God’s overall plan. Let us strive to do good to all and reflect his light in a world filled with

nnDnn Sir Stan St. Clair

Leap of Faith

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, ‘Leap of faith’ is “a metaphor used by the nineteenth-century Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard in his Afsluttende uvidenskabelig Efterskrift(1846; Concluding Unscientific Postscript) to describe commitment to an objective uncertainty, specifically to the Christian God. For Kierkegaard, God is totally other than man; between God and man there exists a gulf that faith alone can bridge…”

Kierkegaard, who lived from 1813 to 1855, formed a philosophy based on the importance of the individual and individual choice.

This premise is, however, a basic tenant of the Christian faith, and in order to totally embrace Christianity, this leap is necessary. Faith is the acceptance of a principle or belief without hard scientific proof.

For Templars, each of us took a giant leap of faith when we made the conscious decision to begin on the journey to knighthood and beyond. Ours is not an easy journey, but if we have the virtues put forth by Dan Biddle in his excellent book Knights of Christ: Living Today with the Virtues of Ancient Knighthood, our journey will be one which draws us toward our passionate goal: becoming more Christlike and being of service to our fellowman.