Inspiring Faith is a featurette written by parishioners. Check back for fresh content posted periodically.
Watching sports on TV, is one way we humans exhibit our need to look up to our heroes. We are quick to celebrate when “our teams” are winning. Aware of this need, St.Paul used sports imagery in 2 Timothy, 4: 7 when he compared his spiritual life to that of an athlete; he wrote:
“I have fought the good fight to the end; I have run the race to the finish; I have kept the faith” – Was he showing his pride in all of his accomplishments? Is it an accolade for his ability to “beat” all the others? Are we all really in a great race to become number one? If we look more closely at St. Paul’s words, we may better understand them.
I have fought the good fight to the end–What is this fight? Do we feel a fierce superiority toward others? Or is our fightan interior one; one in which we count on God’s love and power within us to lead us to goodness and truth?
I have run the race to the finish – Against whom are we running? Are we competing against our spouses, children, parents or everyone we know? Or, are we encouraging others to avoid sin, to thank God for their victories over darkness and error, to pray, choose friends wisely and avoid the people, movies or social media which can lead us farther away from our Lord?
I have kept the faith – Are we the sole caretakers of our souls? Do we take pride in our own spiritual steps or are we grateful children of our Creator and acknowledge his love, strength and grace working within us?
St. Paul was not bragging about his works during his life on earth, but showing us that the great gift we receive at the end is worth every effort, spiritual, physical and mental. This patron saint of our Church and many other saints, have shown us that it is possible to lead the Christian life. It isn’t easy but with the grace of God we can be filled with His peace, no matter what our circumstances.
On our own spiritual journeys, we need to be prodded and pulled by others, both those who are living now and those who are with our Lord. This is the team that we should not only root for but belong to; it can be the one that helps us become happier in this world and blissful in the next.
Our prize won’t be a gold medal but an everlasting life of basking in the love of the Trinity. We were made by and for God; He wants every one of us to be with him always.
“Our hearts were made for you O Lord and they are restless until they find their rest in you.” St. Augustine