(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Wednesday morning, 10 April 2019)
Let us remember that we are in the Holy Presence of God.
For those of you who may not be aware, yesterday was Opening Day for the Red Sox at Fenway Park. Spring is a great time of year in New England as the temperatures begin to rise, the birds begin to chirp, flowers begin to bloom, and the spring sports season gets underway. This time of year often takes me back to my childhood years and reminisce about my days playing baseball.
While my passion for baseball is not quite what it used to be, I certainly learned a lot from the game. I learned how to be a teammate, how to be coachable, how to persevere through inevitable droughts at the plate, and how to bounce back from a costly error in the field. One of my favorite books, The Spirituality of Imperfection, begins with the following passage quoting former Major League Baseball Commissioner, Francis T. (Fay) Vincent:
“Baseball teaches us, or has taught many of us, how to deal with failure. We learn at a very young age that failure is the norm in baseball and, precisely because we have failed, we hold in high regard those who fail less often—those who hit safely in one out of three chances become star players (.333 average). I also find it fascinating that baseball, alone in sport, considers errors to be part of the game, part of its rigorous truth.”
Errors are simply part of the game. What a profound truth! No one is perfect, and Sacred Scripture attests to this reality. We can see this in the Lord’s response to St. Paul’s repeated pleas to remove his weaknesses:
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
St. Paul eventually acquiesces: “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me…for when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Perhaps we can come to see our weaknesses and our shortcomings in this same light, as opportunities to grow closer to and glorify God. In other words, when we accept our humanness and brokenness as simply part of the game of life, the Lord can do amazing things through us: sometimes granting us the strength to overcome our own particular struggles, other times helping us grow in compassion for others because of those very struggles. Perhaps we can make it our mission to grow in holiness and strive to become saints. After all, the saints are simply those we hold in high regard because they sought God’s grace to help them fail less often.
Let us pray,
Heavenly Father, thank You for loving each and every one of us just the way we are. Grant us the ability today to love ourselves and to extend compassion to our fellow imperfect brothers and sisters, accepting our imperfections as part of the game. And with Your Divine assistance, help us to grow into the masterpieces you created us to be.
Saint John Baptist de La Salle…pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts…forever.
Anthony Russo–Campus Minister