Originally published at: Federation of North-American Explorers – North Star FNE Group
At the beginning of the civil year, I would like to wish to your groups a happy and holy new year. There is one thing that we should pray every single time we tighten our belts; that is “Semper Parati.”
What does it mean?
The exact and proper translation is “Always Ready”! An Explorer is someone who prepares himself to be “Always Ready.” He wants to realize his mission: “The Explorer is made to serve and save his neighbor” (Fr. Jacques Sevin, SJ).
Chivalry is the ideal of our Explorers. An ideal they took from the past to act in present time. We are not nostalgic dreamers, but we are dreamers, not in fantasy but in reality. Our dream is to serve. It is a dream we take from the past, looking to those knights, soldiers and monks. It implies temporal and spiritual duties.
Drawing the present with the past. How strange?
Because our love for God is a reality, we are happy that God wants us to live and act in this society — a society that is wounded and even fights against nature and humanity without knowing it.
It is exactly because we are living most of the time in nature that we know the riches of God’s creation. Being close to nature is being close to God, and being grounded in reality. Recalling my summer camps, there is one memory that I like to most: the campfire. At the end of the day, when we had a wonderful day in which we lived a new experience in our patrol, in which we have tried to serve our patrol members and form, together, a family gathered around the patrol staff with God’s grace. Our bodies are tired but our minds are always active because we are trying to be ready.
Ready to receive that story given by our Chief or our priest. That story they heard themselves from their chiefs coming from a time when our country’s identity was Christian. These stories came from the time when Chivalry meant service. They formed that link that we, ourselves, are living, today.
Principles and law
I cannot be “Always Ready” without knowing exactly what I am supposed to do. The source is the Explorer Law. Our fathers gave us that Law which is, in a way, that link I received from the past in order to serve in the present.
If every day, I meditate on that Law, I will understand how the Explorer movement, the Chivalry of modern times, will penetrate deeply into the souls of our boys and girls and will transform them, into happier and better men and women.
The Explorer Law is a concrete expression of the Gospel, a practical translation of principles posed by the Decalogue. Our law emerges in the heart of children and opens up into the most beautiful Christian virtues that nature and God’s grace make fruitful.
By our way of life, our way to educate in games, an Explorer receives what he needs physically in all the skills he receives at camps, and that which he acquires through the hierarchy. He acquires the art to manage his life in order to untangle others. He is a pioneer, a colonist, a missionary.
He also receives what he needs spiritually by the way he lives our way of life. You can play a game just for fun or in order to prove something to yourself or to someone else but what is the purpose? It is a really poor one!
If you do it with the virtues that are included in the Law, it is then another challenge. You are using your skills for your patrol, for your friends, to excel in your generosity.
By the Law and all the virtues that it claims: virtues of loyalty, dedication, and purity, an Explorer becomes really a knight ready to serve.
Do it without reserve, without rest, without limit, give all that you have and you will receive what is most necessary to a knight: to be “Always Ready.”
Good camps to all and may we have the pleasure to share a campfire once again altogether under the stars of Our Lady.
Hoc’h Gouez (E) a Faouëdic
Link to PDF: Semper Parati