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Do We Have Anyone For Tennis?


Guido Reni's archangel Michael tramples Satan. (in the Capuchin church of Santa Maria della Concezione, Rome) via Wikipedia

Guido Reni’s archangel Michael tramples Satan. (in the Capuchin church of Santa Maria della Concezione, Rome)
via Wikipedia

I have an English priest friend, the Pastor of the Parish that encompasses the famous Wimbledon tennis courts, just outside London, England.  My friends Parish has an unusual name, Our Lady and St. Peter, about 20 minutes from London.

One September evening, after our supper, we left the Rectory to walk through his Parish to these world renowned tennis courts.  For several weeks every year, the attention of the world centers on these courts where the best players in the world compete for the Wimbledon title.  In the setting sun, the seats of the stadium stood empty, with not a sound to disturb the twilight peace of the complex.

What splendid victories and heroic struggles had taken place on these grounds where we stood.  Within our own spirit stands a playing field – picture it as a tennis court.  Unlike Wimbledon, used only a few weeks for the grand tournament, this court in our spirit sees action every day of the year!

As we step out onto the court for the contest of the day, we see to our dismay, across the net at the other end, world class players – The World, The Flesh and The Devil!  All the publicity in the newspapers tells of the artistry and the skills of these talented athletes.  We stand and watch with sinking hearts as these strong, youthful players send cannon-like shots across the net at us (150 miles an hour!)

Almost on the verge of running back into the locker room, we think of our Sponsor – God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit!  Across the front of our shirt Their Emblem announces to all Whom we represent.  Only God can help us win this seemingly impossible struggle against these slick players, The World, The Flesh and The Devil.

While the overflowing crowds in the stands, numbering all the saints in Heaven, shout encouragement to us, we take to the court with supreme confidence.  With almost unbelievable dexterity, we return the rifle shots of our enemies of the spirit, and close out the game with thrilling victories!  “If God is for us, who can be against us?”

Fr. George Mc Kenna

August 29, 2016 - Posted by | Bulletins | , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. This is a very engaging and, for me, effective retelling of the great cloud of witnesses passage from scripture. The personifications of The World, The Flesh and The Devil remind me of Bunyan’s epic Pilgrim’s Progress. Your extended metaphor of the opponents, the world class players, and the court within our spirits speak to my heart as only one other sermon has. Thanks for continuing to share from the depth of your experience on your blog while you serve the tennis ball at the Wimbledon courts within you. Love your succinct messages which are like seeds yearning to sprout into a full harvest of spiritual growth among your readers.

    Comment by Ed Miskovic QN '64 | August 30, 2016 | Reply

  2. Hi Fr. George!
    Thanks for the great post today! This was so cleverly written, I really enjoyed it! As usual, you have such a way with words and the imagery is so full and rich, I can place myself there on those courts! Thank you for the shepherding of us, your flock! It was wonderful talking with you on the phone the other day. I love you, dear friend!

    Love,
    Nancy

    Comment by nancywest22 | September 5, 2016 | Reply


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