Archive for September 24, 2011

FOOTBALL WITH ST. FRANCIS (de Borgia)

September 24, 2011

SATURDAY!  And   “This is your life” as the old television show used to begin.   Or at least,  I look at this and see my life.

It’s an empty football field, of course.   Before the game.  Full of expectations and possibilities.    It’s up to me to prepare, to make the game plan, to put the people in, and to pay attention!   Football is a Full Participation sport — even for the fans!

I wondered if a football field were worthy to be compared to something so precious as our life spans.   My wonderings were mixed up together with my current rereading of the life of St. Francis Borgia.

He was the cream of the crop of young Spanish knighthood.   He was self-disciplined and worked hard to achieve excellence in many of the skills that were expected of him.   He participated in the life around him (as far as his devotion to Our Lord would allow), and he used his keen intellect to draw lessons from the various activities of state, of courtly life, and sports.  His writings are full of wise and helpful advice that begins with observations from the world around him, a world which he soon turned his back on.  Much of his advice weighs heavily on my shoulders, probably because I need it.

But St. Francis is right:   If we live in the spirit, as St. Paul says, then we should always be drawing upon the Spirit, as St. Thomas Aquinas says.   It’s important to keep referring to spiritual things.

So, by the example of St. Francis de Borgia,  I can  look at an empty game field and look for meaning.    I had another chance to think about that today.   At first I was disappointed that the football game I wanted to see today wasn’t on television.   Instead I had to look at this:

It started out with an empty field.   But as the game progressed,   the Internet program put in little cartoon football figures, in the appropriate team colors — you can see them down at the far end zone —  and moved them around as the plays were made.   The lines for the downs were drawn.  Other lines showing the length of a pass or a drive appeared, and play-by-play statistics were shown.  It was really quite good!

It was like the football game was being created as I watched.

I think I can look at an empty football field and know that a  game is going to be played, and, if it’s more than a football game,  I’ve got some responsibility as the game unfolds.

“Football is so worthwhile.”

 

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