Merciful Jesus, I consecrate myself today and always to
Your Most Sacred Heart.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus I implore, that I may ever
love You more and more.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I trust in You!
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I believe in Your love for me.
Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like
With Mary and with the whole Church I pray especially for the Pope’s intentions this month:
That sports may be an opportunity for friendly encounters between peoples and may contribute to peace in the world.
That Christians may live the Gospel, giving witness to faith, honesty, and love of neighbour.
Glory to God for ‘dappled things,’ sang the Jesuit Poet, Gerard Manley Hopkins, ‘for all things counter, original, spare and strange’. Sport can give glory to God too. Bill Shankly, the legendary Liverpool manager once said: ‘football is not a matter of life and death; it is more important than that’! But is it? Sport has also been described as a ‘profound triviality’. A profound paradox, it surely is. It can bring out the best and worst in people.
Books have been written on sport and spirituality, with a particularly good one being by an Irish priest, Kevin O’Gorman. The Vatican has its own department dealing with sport as a means to advance peace, co-operation and harmony among nations.
Sure, sport has its dark side: concussion is a serious issue, not to mention gambling and alcohol, but the wheat in the field is greater than the weeds, and both must grow together, live side by side. Killing off one side in a conflict is no resolution to any tension.
Socialising, and the making of life-long friends, is how sport helps us accept the ups and downs. There would be no resurrection without Calvary. The Paschal Mystery is mirrored in sport.
Brendan Staunton SJ, extracted from Living Prayer