Thursday, November 6, 2014

At the End of the Season, Do They Know More About Jesus Christ?

All is calm in our house right now. Well, as calm as it can get anyway. I just returned from Lake Barkley in Cadiz, KY exhibiting at the Mid-South Leadership conference. I was fortunate to catch Mass on Monday, the Feast of St. Martin de Porres, where I heard a wonderful homily on humility. Of course, St. Martin was a wonderful example of humility, doing menial tasks and serving all around him with great love. The reading from St. Paul spoke of humility, "Do nothing out of selfishness...humbly regard others as more important than yourselves..." The priest shared that as leaders, as coaches and teachers and parents, we want our children to do well. We want them to win, we want them to have good grades, we want them to be the best and we want to be able to brag on them. Who doesn't? But in the end, are we not, just a little, really bragging on ourselves...the good job we did as the coach or the teacher or the parent? Aren't we apt to think, look what I did? Look what my kid can do because of all the time I have spent on him. And in the end, does any of it really matter except that he has learned the two most important things we are to teach our children...Love of God and Love of Neighbor? At the end of it all, does he or she know Jesus Christ? Is he or she closer to Him in some way?

This was the perfect message for me at the perfect time. We have just finished volleyball season and are about to enter basketball season. I love to win. I am way too competitive. Did I say Way? I mean Way! I cannot stand to see any of my children struggle on any court. When they do, I prefer to sit by myself in the corner of the stands. I do not want to hear the comments. I can see just fine. My children on the other hand, just love to play. They are not in it for the kill. They are out there to have fun with their friends, playing a game they love to play until it becomes too stressful and competitive. I am trying to be more like them because at the end of the season, really, what does it all matter but the way we treat one another, the way we accept our wins and our loses? That is truly the way I want to feel and I would be better at it, if we could just win all the time! But, we can't. We are not going to the big leagues. We are learning to get along with others and take care of our bodies. We are learning to work as a team. We are training for the long haul for which it would be good that in the end, we know more about loving God and loving others.

So, while all is calm in our sports world, I am in training for the next season, which is approaching quickly. Humility is not my strong suit. I have a lot to learn and Fr. gave me plenty to think about for the off season. This really has nothing to do with me. It has everything to do with my children.

Win or lose, at the end of the season, at the end of the day, of the month, of the year, do they know more about Jesus Christ?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

St. John Paul the Great Feastday...yesterday

As I read my Magnificat on the morning of the Feast Day of St. John Paul II, I could not help but imagine this picture my daughter took last week from her bed as she rose to get ready for school.

Prayer for the Morning - Psalm 19
For you who fear my name, there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays. (Mal 3:20)

"Saint John Paul II liked to quote Saint Augustine: 'We are an Easter people and Alleluia is our song!' Through years of painful unity with Christ's cross, he focused always on the Resurrection. Just as every Sunday is a little Easter, so is every single sunrise a reminder of God's glorious victory over sin and death."

"The daybreak from on high will visit us!" (Lk 1:78)

"You are our light and our salvation, Lord. Through the intercession of Saint John Paul II, grant us light to see your truth and wisdom and to love what we see, that we may walk in your ways today and all the days of our life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen"

Saint John Paul II loved our youth, spent time with our youth, talked with our youth. May the impact he had on our young people, and still has through his writings, give them and us the strength to share the light of Christ in our lives so that, as we read today, we may, like Jesus, "set the earth on fire."