While the surrender to Christ will take many different forms, Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition suggest certain virtues, dispositions, and customs that help define a life of Christian discipleship …
Taken together, these “marks” constitute a Knight’s Way of Life — a disciplined pattern of living designed to help a baptized Catholic man move from Church member by convention to Christian disciple by conviction and respond promptly, joyfully, and easily to Christ’s call to holiness.
This Way of Life is suggested not as a burden to be imposed but as an invitation to help followers of Jesus place themselves before God so that He can transform them and make them holy. The Church teaches that while Christ gives us the strength to follow Him, we must give all of ourselves to the work of becoming mature disciples:
“In order that the faithful may reach this perfection, they must use their strength accordingly as they have received it, as a gift from Christ. They must follow His footsteps and conform themselves to His image seeking the will of the Father in all things. They must devote themselves with all their being to the glory of God and the service of their neighbor. In this way the holiness of the People of God will grow into an abundant harvest of good, as is admirably shown by the life of so many saints in Church history.” (Lumen Gentium, 40)
By practicing the disciplines of the spiritual life, we allow Christ to shape our inner person in such a way that the words and actions of Jesus Christ naturally flow from us. Growing in holiness as a disciple of the Lord Jesus is a daily process and one that requires patience, humility, and perseverance.
Christianity is a not merely a set of doctrines to which one must assent or a series of rules which one must obey. Christianity is a complete, coherent, comprehensive Way of Life, and the Gospel touches every dimension of our being — our thoughts, words, actions, bodies, relationships, spending habits, political convictions, leisure activities, lifestyle choices, business ethics, etc. A decision to follow the Lord Jesus demands a willingness to allow His Gospel to be the measure of our whole lives and a readiness to abandon anything that is contrary to the revelation of God.
The pinnacle awareness of the Knights of Divine Mercy is, “Deo Submissus, in Deo Potens” – The one who has submitted to God is powerful in God. In his humility, the knight comprehends his inability to overcome temptation and grow in heroic virtue under his own power. Once this submission occurs, a whole new life is ignited under the supernatural power of God’s grace. This submission brings with it the transformation of the knight into the self-emptying, servant-heart of our savior, Jesus Christ. We are now prepared to enlist as a soldier in the Church Militant.
Archbishop Chaput once said, “The heart of medieval knighthood and chivalry was the choice of a fighting man to put himself at the service of others—honoring his lord, respecting the dignity of women, protecting the weak, and defending the faith even at the cost of his own life. That’s our vocation. That’s what being a Christian man means.”