Welcome Message

Welcome to my blog about Catholic life and family values.
This blog will center around the beauty of Catholicism and how to raise families, evangelize our faith, and fight the ongoing spritual battles that challenge us daily.

You are invited to share your wisdom on these pages with all the readers. Together we will address important life and faith issues and how to enhance our Catholic identity.

Key areas that you will find me addressing regularly will be about important Catholic doctrine and beliefs and how they help us raise strong Catholic Christian families. My hope is that you will learn, enjoy, and be challenged by my posts. You may be informed, amused, or even annoyed, but I hope it will in some way improve your Catholic faith.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

The Hail Mary Play Into the Hall of Fame

What do professional football and Our Blessed Mother have in common? On the face of things…not much other than she has a pass play named after her by Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach. But, if you hang in there with me on this article, you may find the same similarities I did on this very special month.

Those of you who know me well know that I’m a HUGE football fan. On Saturday, I found myself at the gym working out on the treadmill and watching ESPN’s coverage of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Induction in Canton, OH (just down the road from Steubenville, but that’s for a later time). I watched as Roger Wehrli and Thurman Thomas gave their speeches and spoke about how faith played a major part in their lives (Note - Gene Hickerson, Michael Irvin, Bruce Matthews, and Charlie Sanders were also inducted but they were introduced later). Both men’s speeches started me thinking about what the REAL Hall of Fame might look like. In reality, it’s the only Hall of Fame we should be dying to get into…that eternal Hall of Fame in heaven.

Think it’s a stretch? Let me put it to you this way. Pro football players come and go over the years and toil for different lengths of time. The truly great ones are sometimes blessed with exceptional skills, but you would agree that all of them had to work hard to meet the demands of their job and be able to excel. For instance, newly inducted Hall of Famer Thurman Thomas was a second-round draft pick for the Buffalo Bills. As a 5’9 running back who weighed less than 200 pounds, he could not be categorized as a prototypical pro back. His exceptional work ethic and strong supporting cast led him to become one of the great running backs in the history of the game.

What about us? As people, we all come in different shapes and sizes and live on this earth for different lengths of times with different supporting casts. We all have skills that God has blessed us with and must work hard to improve our game – being faithful servants of God. As St. Paul so eloquently proclaimed, “I have competed well; I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me, which the Lord, the just judge, will award to me on that day…” (2 Timothy 4:7-8). Sounds like a great induction into the eternal Hall of Fame, huh? Heaven is the ultimate Hall of Fame and we are charged to lead our family into it.

So what does all this have to do with Mary? It dawned on me as I was “fighting the good fight” with the treadmill, that this month we celebrate the Feast of the Assumption (August 15 – don’t forget to go to Mass). Arguably, the greatest “player” in the Hall would be the Mother of our Lord. Okay, before my non-Catholic brothers and sisters start calling me a “Mary worshipper”, let me explain my thinking. Jesus was both fully human and divine. As the Son of God, nobody else walking the face of the earth can compare. Mary, a human like the rest of us, was born without sin and remained that way throughout her life. Jesus so loved us that he gave his Mother to the world as our Mother on Good Friday. God rewarded her for her “career” by calling her body and soul into heaven. As Catholics, we honor Mary as our mother and an intercessor.

As parents raising Catholic children, we must constantly point to Our Blessed Mother as an example of true faith, obedience, and humility. A poor, young Jewish girl was given the grace to be the mother of our Savior. Not only didn’t she back away from it, she lived it to the end, standing below the foot off the cross while most everyone else fled (see my blog on St. Mary Magdalene). As we recite the Rosary, fifty-three times we ask her to pray for us “now and at the hour of our death”. My ultimate hope is that on my day of judgment, Our Blessed will be my introducer into the great Hall of Fame. Who better to walk into meet Our Lord on the most important moment in your existence, than with your Mom!

No comments: