Column: Find your passion in your faith

Lesle Knop is the executive director of the archdiocesan office of stewardship and development. You can email her at: lesleknop@archkck.org
Lesle Knop is the executive director of the archdiocesan office of stewardship and development. You can email her at: lesleknop@archkck.org

by Lesle Knop

When I married my husband, I had no idea how much he enjoyed riding motorcycles. I soon found out.

Not only did he like riding motorcycles, I could tell that he “loved” everything about them. He would quiz me to the point of annoying me: “What kind of bike is that?”

“A Fat Boy?” I would guess. “A Dyna?” “A Softail?”

Even though they all looked the same to me, eventually I became familiar with subtle features that distinguished each unique bike. It took repetition, frequent questions, and immersion in the culture.

Multiple motorcycle magazines arrived in our mailbox every month. Group rides were plotted on the kitchen calendar and maps. Soon I found myself garbed in leather and dorag, meeting new friends while putting on rain gear and shivering on the side of a highway in the middle of nowhere. Such is the life when someone you know is passionate about something. When they “love” it.

Fishing. Camping. Music. Sports. Fitness. Art. Sewing. Stamp collecting. People dig deeply into esoteric subject matter when they love it. They learn what they love. They live what they learn.

The same can be said of the holy Bible. Or the Catechism of the Catholic Church. In a few days, every parishioner in our archdiocese will be invited to participate more fully in our beautiful Catholic faith in a program funded by generous donors in conjunction with the Holy Father’s Year of Faith that begins on Oct. 11. I am excited to witness the outpouring of support and enthusiastic encouragement from every priest and religious leader for this effort.

The program, called “Faith: Love It, Learn It, Live It,” will be introduced by Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann in a beautiful testimonial video at Masses throughout our archdiocese on Sept. 15 and 16.

Like my husband’s experience with motorcycles, when we “love” something, we can’t get enough of it. What are you passionate about? Where your mind is, your heart is also.

God’s grace has opened my heart to the love of Jesus Christ. Today, I am more “in love” with our beautiful mother, the church, than ever before in my life. The mysteries and beauty that continue to unfold before me, the forgiveness and mercy poured out on me, are gifts that fill my heart with joy.

I hope that you feel the same way. If you don’t, I hope that the experience this year will open your heart to God’s grace. You will be invited to join the many ways we live and learn our faith in our parishes and archdiocese. I hope and pray that you will accept the invitation.

I can’t help but think of the words of a devoted Harley rider: “If I have to explain it, you wouldn’t understand.” The simple, inexplicable words of a Christian are: “I believe.”

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