Sport and Virtue

Spiritual Reflections

Belmont Abbey alumnus Fr. Richard Sutter serves as Parochial Vicar at the Cathedral of St Patrick in Charlotte and is a highly-competitive triathlete. He combines his love for sport and his religious calling to provide spirtitual reflections for coaches and athletes.

 


Friday

We all enjoy winning - on & off the field of play!  Winning is a goal for any competitive sport, but it's not the end all - be all - otherwise a season would be "a wash" if we didn't go undefeated or have at least a winning record.  The ultimate victory is what happens in our hearts and those we battle alongside as teammates or coach as athletes. 

The real battleground is our heart where character is formed.  A great aide in winning the daily character formation battle is our prayer.  My five favorite pages in the Catechism of the Catholic Church entitled "The Battle of Prayer!" Easy read and great means to "spice up" your prayer! 

CHALLENGE: In an effort to engage in this BATTLE TODAY, let us pray one mystery of the rosary for the needs of college coaches & athletes worldwide.

PRAYER: Dear Mother in Heaven - watch over us, protect us, and help us better know, love, and serve your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in this life - so as to be with HIM forever in the next!  Help us to take to heart (ON & OFF the field of play) your final words in Sacred Scripture: "Do whatever HE tells you." John 2:5

 

 


Thursday

"Jesus went up to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God.  When day came, he called his disciples to himself..." Luke 6:12
 

FOR EACH ONE OF US A NEW DAY HAS COME!

1. "He spent all night in prayer..."

- Yes, he prayed for his Apostles mentioned, but he must have also prayed for me - his disciple living in 2016.  For it was his desire then as it is now - that I be his disciple. (John 15:16)

- What did you say to your Father JESUS?   What was your hope for me then? What is your hope for me now (today)?

2. "He called his disciples to himself."

- Yes, he called all mentioned by name in today's scripture passage - yet he also calls me to be his disciple in this present moment!

- What is this call Lord?  I am a young adult still trying to find my way - striving to keep the ears of my heart open to you amongst the noise of my world.  What does it mean to be your disciple?  For you TRULY have called me to yourself!

3. A Universal Call To LOVE!. 

-  From living out this call in our daily life we encounter a JOY that only our Lord Jesus Christ can give.  (John 15:11-12; Luke 6:38).

- JESUS, you call me to yourself this day to be you disciple... to love as you love... to complete my JOY!

 


Wednesday

While out running this morning, the Holy Spirit encouraged me to send each of you this Gospel message from Matthew 6:25-34. It is the perfect Gospel Message to counter the big "W" -- WORRY!

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

 


Tuesday

Matthew 6:6

"...when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you."

Reflection from St Ambrose:

"Go into your room." By "room" you must understand, not a room enclosed by walls that imprison your body, but the room that is within you, the room where you hide your thoughts, where you keep your affections.  This room of prayer is ALWAYS WITH YOU, wherever you are, and it is always a secret room, where only God can see you.'"

PRAYER: Lord Jesus - this day, this week, help us to see you, encounter you, and converse with you in the innermost room of our hearts!  Amen!

This room of prayer was with me this weekend when I took my new car for a spin (pretty fast)....

St. Patrick - PRAY FOR US!

 


Monday

This past week, I went to the voting both with Bishop Peter J. Jugis and our Cathedral Parish Pastor Fr. Christopher Roux.  Like I am sure it will be the case with a vast majority of voters this election year I entered the voting booth “holding my nose.”  Though my nose was pinched I did not let my senses, feelings, sentiments, or even personal opinions of candidates guide my decision. 

Let me tell you WHAT I voted for after looking myself in the mirror this past Monday morning… I voted for our Catholic Faith vs. Politics!  I voted for a Culture of Life versus a Culture of Death! 
Brothers and sisters, the 2016 election is really about one dominant issue: who picks the next Supreme Court justices and lower Federal court judges over a four to eight year period. All other issues follow from these court appointments, including protection of the right to life from conception to natural death, Catholic religious freedom, and Catholic freedom of speech, as well as anything else you think matters! Four or eight more years like the past eight suggest, too, that we Catholics may even be voting to be persecuted if we make the wrong choice.
So, look yourself in the mirror before you vote and consider which is superior: your faith or your politics. As Pope St. John Paul II consistently told youth during World Youth Days: you decide ... but then, live with it, maybe for all eternity! More than 60 million intentionally aborted babies and countless euthanized seniors are praying that you will make a "moral informed Catholic choice," so you can say on judgment day, as did St. Paul in our Second Reading last Sunday: "I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith" (2 Timothy 4:7). God help us!