Football and the Examen

I am a huge football fan. When my team is playing, I am dressed in team colors and cheering with great enthusiasm. I go to great lengths to catch the game when my team is playing. While I definitely prefer to watch the games on TV or at the stadium, occasionally I have had to settle for tuning in to the game on the radio. It’s when I listen on the radio that I become […]

What the Examen Has in Common with Sports Commentary

As I was writing the Olympics post, it struck me that the Examen prayer has much in common with sports commentary. One version of the steps in the Examen reads: Become aware of God’s presence. Review the day with gratitude. Pay attention to your emotions. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it. Look toward tomorrow. Look at those steps through the lens of sports commentary, especially in an ongoing event like the […]

Seven Things the Olympics Have in Common with Ignatian Spirituality

I love watching the Olympics. Summer or winter games, the spirit of camaraderie and competition draws me to the television. As the countdown to the next Olympic Games shortens, I’m thinking about what the games have in common with Ignatian spirituality. History—The modern Olympics date back to 1896, but the games originated in ancient times. Ignatian spirituality is a tradition dating back to the 16th century. Magis—Seeking the greater, the excellent, the best: this is […]

Ignatius and the World Cup

As the World Cup continues to draw international attention, we might stop to ponder how God works for our good in all things, even sports. More than any other sporting event in the world, the World Cup has become a truly “catholic” or universal tournament, uniting peoples across the globe in a spirit of friendly rivalry. That should come as no surprise to the many fans of soccer (or football, for our non-U.S. readership). Before […]

Spirituality and the Olympics

With the Winter Olympics starting this week, we point you to several articles that consider the Games in terms of spirituality. Seven Things the Olympics Have in Common with Ignatian Spirituality—Among these are magis, imagination, and discipline. Watching the Olympics as a Spiritual Practice—Tips suggest how to watch the athletic contests actively with a spiritual sense. Sport Unites Us—When he met with Olympic delegates, Pope Francis suggested that sports—at their best—unite us. Image of ski […]

Football and Discernment

Now that I have a son, I find my lingering doubts about football coming to a head. With the Super Bowl upon us, I find myself wondering whether it is for the greater glory and praise of the divine majesty to watch the game. Consider these two well-wrought essays: the first, by Steve Almond at the New York Times: Medical research has confirmed that football can cause catastrophic brain injury — not as a rare […]

Sport Unites Us

This past week Pope Francis met with delegates from the European Olympic committees, in advance of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, next February.  He suggests that sport unites us, and provides fertile ground for thinking about the spiritual life. Indeed, the practice of sport stimulates one to healthily overcome oneself and one’s own selfishness and to train oneself in the spirit of sacrifice and … promotes loyalty in interpersonal relationships, friendship, and respect for […]

Jesuit Basketball

There’s a terrific new video from the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, just in time for the 2013-14 college basketball season. It features classic teams as well as new ones from the 28 institutions in the United States, and highlights the unique mission of this consortium. Check it out even if you are not a basketball fan. If you’re receiving this through e-mail, click through to watch the video Jesuit Basketball.

The Pope’s Baseball Imagery

Pope Francis says that we should be tenacious and creative in prayer–and he’s used baseball lingo to make his point. At a recent daily Mass, Francis said that we should pray in surprising, unexpected ways “even coming ‘out of left field’ as Jesus teaches us.” He means that prayer can be a surprise; a runner trying to score can’t see the left fielder behind him, so he will be surprised if a good throw nails […]

Best Ignatian Songs: Centerfield

Lent, Easter, our new Jesuit pope, and other weighty matters have distracted us from a truly momentous event—the return of baseball to warm a cold and weary world. Celebrate with John Fogarty’s masterpiece “Centerfield.” Is this an Ignatian song? Indeed it is. The refrain—“Put me in coach. I’m ready to play” —is a perfect expression of the Ignatian disposition of wholehearted generosity of spirit. (Click here to watch the video on YouTube.)

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