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Sacrifice and Sports

May 10, 2013

Continuing a series of reflecting on old articles and how certain aspects of their content holds true four years later, I’d like to reflect a little on sports.

The shortest version of my vocation story is that I wanted to be a sports journalist, thought about the priesthood, didn’t want to be a priest, tried religion journalism, entered the seminary.

All of that never meant that my love of sports disappeared. It does however mean that I have able to step back and evaluate my priorities. This doesn’t mean no sports, but rather, sports when I can, but other things must come first.

Since coming to Rome this sacrifice has taken on a different tone. While we are still able to play sports, such as softball on our wonderful field. Most American sports take place during the night, while we are asleep.

Sometimes when the games start really late in the U.S., then they will be finishing as we wake up for prayer. The most memorable such moment was without a doubt Game 6 of the 2011 World Series.

That morning when I woke up the Cards were down in the bottom of the ninth, and so I began to go about my normal morning routine of getting ready for prayer. I kept the “Gamecast” up on my computer screen and checked again when I saw that they had tied the game in the bottom of the 9th. Then as the game went into extra-innings, the Cards fell behind again. By then it was time for Morning Prayer. So I grabbed my breviary and headed down to the Chapel.

After prayer I got back to my room to learn that the Cardinals had pulled off one of the greatest comebacks of all time.

I was reminded of all this when I came across the following article I wrote on March Madness and the Eucharist. Once again there is a great continuity throughout my seminary experience.

March Madness and the Eucharist

March 22, 2010 by Geoffrey A. Brooke Jr.
The other day I blogged about a great message from Archbishop Dolan of New York who wrote about the need to attend Sunday Mass. The last four days I’ve spent a rather unmentionable amount of time watching college basketball, I absolutely love March Madness, and the Mizzou Tigers.

However, as I was reflecting back on the past couple of days, and all the fun I had sitting in the TV lounge with 20 other seminarians for hours watching basketball, I was left with a definitive conclusion. The best part of the last four days was not any of the amazing buzzer beaters, Cinderella stories, or even Kansas losing to the University of Northern Iowa (although this is probably moment #2). The best part of the last four days was being able to attend Mass each of those days and receive the sacrament of the Eucharist.

As fun as sports and the camaraderie surrounding them can be, they can’t even come close to the Eucharist. So if you’ve got something on your mind, or you are struggling with your faith, or maybe you’re good with your faith but are having trouble with discerning God’s call in your life, go to Mass, receive this blessed sacrament, your life will be changed. If you think everything is great, then, go to Mass, and receive this sacrament in thanksgiving for the many gifts God has given you.

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