Perhaps one of your favorite recreational “hobbies” is to watch or play sports. Although sports may, in and of itself, not have any connection to our faith, there is a “spiritual theology” about sports that can be associated with our faith to keep us “treading” along the path toward God. We know St. Paul’s had an understanding of this as we read him say in his first letter to the Corinthians “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.“(9:4). I have come across a powerful “commentary” on the spiritual relationship between football and our spiritual life. I think this will benefit us as the NFL Superbowl will soon approach. May we always play on the team of Holy Mother Church with Jesus Christ as our coach.
1. Our life on earth resembles a football game.
2. We are playing against a powerful team: the world, the flesh, the devil.
3. Our invisible Coach is Jesus Christ, our God and Savior; our visible coach is our Holy Father, the Pope.
4. Our assistant coaches are: the bishops, the priests, the sisters, good parents, Catholic schools, Catholic
books, Catholic newspapers, Catholic magazines.
5. The invisible coach of our opponents is Lucifer, the prince of devils.
6. His assistant coaches are: atheistic schools, bad men and women, bad movies, bad magazines, bad taverns, bad night clubs, bad environment, bad company.
7. The referee is our conscience, which tells us whether we are right or wrong.
8. Our cheerleaders are: the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Angels and Saints, our priests, our sisters, our Guardian Angel, our parents, our sincere friends.
9. The opposing cheerleaders are: all the devils of hell, our enemies of religion, the spirit of the world and of the flesh.
10. The football field is the whole earth.
11. Our goal is to the right, namely, heaven.
12. The opposite goal is to the left, namely, hell.
13. The kickoff begins when we are about 7 years of age. That’s when we begin to know the difference
between the two goals. That’s when we begin to gain or lose (our purity).
14. Our signals are: the Ten Commandments of God, the Six Commandments of the Church, the laws of our
Country, the duties and obligations of our state of life.
15. If we obey these signals, we are sure to win.
16. Our quarterback is the bishop who relays to us the signals conceived by God and our Pope.
17. The ball is sanctifying grace.
18. Every time we do good, we gain yardage.
19. Every time we commit sin, we lose yardage.
20. When we commit a mortal sin, we lose the ball, and the other team takes over.
21. By making a good confession, we regain the ball.
22. The Sacraments refresh us during the game. They help us gain yardage.
23. A retreat is time-out, a time to get our bearings again.
24. Half-time resembles our summer vacation, when we rest up and come back rejuvenated and determined to do better.
25. We play only one game.
26. It lasts a lifetime.
27. There is no clock to tell us how much time we have left.
28. Death will mark the end of the game.
29. There is no chance of a tie score; we either: win or lose.
30. If we win, We Win forever. The whole court of heaven will rush to congratulate us. Our reward will be so great that no one has ever seen, heard, or conceived of anything to equal it.
31. Our names will be inscribed in the Hall of Fame forever.
32. If we lose the game we lose forever. All of hell Will be loosed, and all the evil spirits will rush to thrust us into the abode of the damned souls. The pains of loss will be immeasurable and everlasting.
33. And our names will be inscribed in the Hall of Shame forever.
34. Therefore, play the game: be alert, play hard, play with confidence.
35. We have the best coaches: if we follow their advice, our victory is certain.
—Rev. Msgr. Donato G. Valente.
Blog by Fr. Jewel Aytona, CPM