Knights Templar

The Grand Priory of Knights Templar in the United Kingdom

       
       

Weekly Prayers

Grand Priory of Knights Templar in the United Kingdom

From the Office of the Grand Priory Chaplains

 

Fr Kevin Bell.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,                                           St Valentine’s Day 2019

I first encountered modern Templars online and proceeded from there. At the time I was an army chaplain based in Shropshire UK. That was back in 2010. Other third order type options like the Franciscans did not appeal to my military mindset. I wanted something that bridged the gap between army and civilian life. A bridge maybe that would one day help me to cross over into retirement.

My initial reading towards membership proved fascinating: from the founding of the Templars to their betrayal and demise. Certain details about their way of life caught my eye and moved me. For instance, always first onto the battlefield and always the last to leave; their Standing Order that they could only quit the battle if outnumbered more than three to one; and even then; only if they had gained permission from their captain. I was equally struck that whilst they were famous fighting men, they were chiefly spiritual men. Their courage and confidence were equally matched by their compassion. I would add commonsense also: for years of fighting an equally determined foe, taught the Templars that it is better to find ways of living in peace with other men than to be always fighting them. Hence I think their willingness to form their own ‘Good Friday Agreements’ without compromising their faith or way or life. Of course, such policies were among the reasons given for suppressing the Templars. Only fighting men could truly know how wrong it is to be always making war. I also went to Temple Church in London and saw the famous raised statue with a single horse on top, carrying two Templars. A very visual example of the buddy system: which compels each and every Templar to never leave his mate behind: no matter how badly he has fallen or how swiftly, his horse had been shot from underneath him.

Now then: if we unarmed Christians apply these observations to modern life then we see that we should be quick to right a wrong; and slow to leave an uncorrected wrong. We see also that taking on impossible odds is important. Consider St Paul writing about all manner of trials and tribulations that can lead to character and the spirit of endurance. This military mindset is out of step with the modern world. Yet Saint Paul also talked openly about helmets, swords and shields. Whilst our Lord and Master told those who carry a real sword to put that sword away, because “we fight with weapons not of this world.” Indeed the courage, confidence and compassion of Jesus Christ were accompanied by a rare degree of commonsense. “These people are hungry, they have been with us for three days, give them something to eat.” He also took on impossible odds: where he was often outnumbered far more than just three to one. I would add and finish by saying simply this. “Go and do thou likewise…”

Hold in your thoughts and prayers those whose names appear on our list and for those who care for the sick, the homeless, suicidal, refugees, and those whom society casts aside.

God bless +

Fr Kevin