Is Sunday Mass an appendage in our lives, something to do if nothing else interferes, or do we build our lives around this weekly celebration of faith?
Certainly, Michael Phelps could not hope to win as many gold medals were he not tenaciously single-minded about his training regimen. Neither could he claim the gold if he violated the rules, even one as seemingly insignificant as flinching before the start of a race.
Yet somehow we boast about being good Catholics even if we do not follow all the rules of our faith.
We boast about being good Catholics even if we are less than single-minded about our practice of the faith.
How many of us read the Bible as frequently as we read the sports section?
How many of us memorize obscure statistics regarding our favorite team or athlete but cannot recall the mysteries of the Rosary or repeat the Ten Commandments or recite a single Bible verse?
How many of us know the rules and intricate strategy of a sport better than we know the meaning of the symbols used at Mass?
St. Paul himself used an Olympian analogy in his second letter to Timothy: “I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith.” (2 Tm 4:7)
Let the Olympics teach us that God’s call to holiness is not unattainable. But like top athletes, we have to work tenaciously to reach our goal, investing body and soul and every waking moment into the practice of our faith.
We supply the desire and the willpower. The rest is by the grace of God.
Printed with permission from Florida Catholic.
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