Monday, July 16, 2007

Even sports can lead to God!

[Well, that "even" is unnecessary. One would hope that it should be obvious that sports can and should lead to God!] A Brazilian Archbishop on the occasion of the Pan American Games. [Via Zenit] (Of course, how many of us in the US -- where we blithely call ourselves "America" -- even knew of the existence of this event?).
Retired Archbishop Eugenio de Araújo Sales of Rio de Janeiro recalled that St. Paul exhorted Christians in their spiritual life with imagery of a race.

And he reiterated words from Pope John Paul II on the occasion of the Jubilee of Athletes in 1984: "Through the metaphor of holy athletic competition, [St. Paul] highlights the importance of life, comparing it to a race toward a goal that is not only earthly and passing, but eternal. It is a race in which not only one but all may be winners."

Archbishop de Araújo Sales continued: "The directives outlined by the Holy Father John Paul II are still valid today for faithful Catholics and men of good will, and they deserve to be remembered in a special way in these days."

According to the prelate, sports should correspond "without distorting themselves, to the demands of our times -- sports that tutor the weakest, exclude no one, and liberate young people from the insidiousness of apathy and indifference, awakening in them a healthy spirit of competition, sports that are a factor in the emancipation of the poorest countries and help to eliminate intolerance and build a fraternal and unified world; sports that contribute to a love of life, teach sacrifice, respect, responsibility, leading to the valuing of every human person."
I, of course, like to think that watching sports and cheering one's team, can lead to God. (It certainly seems on occasion, however, to lead to violations of the Second Commandment!)


Mac said...

Perhaps. But what of the fresh-faced American college football players who ostentatiously huddle in prayer before every game: do they really think that the Ancient of Days gives a hoot who wins? Yusuf Yohanna, as he then was, of the Pakistani cricket team used to cross himself just as ostentatiously before he got the word from Imran Khan that if he didn't lift his act and forswear the infidel in favour of Islam his career was going nowhere; now he performs a raka on his knees with his forehead to the ground at appropriately festive moments during every game. One presumes of course that the Almighty's involvement is being solicited with a view to defeating the other team; it could be that they are merely praying for honour and integrity and no doping....

Gashwin said...

Oh please -- the article said nothing about asking God to have one's team win, or using God/religion as a superstitious good luck charm.