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 him at the plate. Francis also means that prayer can be unusual, odd, even weird. That’s another connotation of “left field.” I’m delighted that Francis, a soccer fan, knows baseball too, but I’m not surprised. Baseball is God’s game.

Francis made many other excellent points about prayer in his homily. Read about it here.

Image by Zane Hollingsworth under a Creative Commons license.
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Jim Manney
Jim Manney is the author of highly praised popular books on Ignatian spirituality, including A Simple, Life-Changing Prayer (about the Daily Examen) and God Finds Us (about the Spiritual Exercises). He is the compiler/editor of An Ignatian Book of Days. His latest book is What Matters Most and Why. He and his wife live in Ann Arbor, Michigan.


  1. I appreciate the Pope’s emphasis on tenacity in prayer as well. Pope Francis speaks to us where we are to help us in our everyday lives. It will be exciting to hear what he shares with the youth at WYD. Thanks for sharing this homily.


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