Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Catholic Defender: The Catholic Hall of Fame

When I was growing up I use to have my favorite heroes on the screen, those who fought for right and who dispelled the evil in their midst.

The past 26 years, I have been fortunate to have served with many heroes some of them who gave the highest sacrifice for their Country.

I held some of them in my own hands at the last moment praying the Divine Mercy.

I was raised with heroes and I have been blessed to have served with many of them.

I was raised with sports heroes who had an impact shaping who I am.

I am very thankful for the athletics I participated in school and college. I played with some of the best. I have been very fortunate to have met some of the best.

We have our favorite teams and players, we recognize them in their particular Hall of Fame. The Baseball Hall of Fame is in Cooperstown, New York. There you can see Babe Ruth, Roger Marris and others who made the game what it is.

The Football Hall of Fame is in Canton Ohio, I loved my 1969 Superbowl Champions, the Kansas City Chiefs.

It has been a long drought in Kansas City since then.

The Basketball Hall of Fame is located in Springfield Massachusetts. Who can forget those key match ups between Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russel?

These are some of the sports heroes I grew up with. Today, I wonder where did Joe Dimaggio go?

Where have all the great ones gone? Today, with all the supplements, with all the advanced training, with all the strength being added to the average player, what has happened to the moral character?

Despite the advances in technology, the human heart has not changed. It only changes when the Lord is able to transfigure the heart with the gospel.

Christian Soldiers make great Soldiers because their faith inspires commitment. Christian Athletes make great players because they have discipline.

God gives people talent, it's always best when we see the fruit of their labor manifested in their lives. Today, we are in search of heroes that use their ability to inspire young people to excel for good.

Many of the musicians are preaching the world telling everyone they can go for all the lures and temptations of the world. Young people will imitate whom they admire and grow into those they imitate.

I have found another great Hall of Fame that has the best examples possible. The Catholic Hall of Fame! We celebrate our heros on 1 November each year. Here is but a small sample:

St. Sebastian is the Patron Saint of Athletes who gave his life for those suffering persecution.

St. Anthony is the Hammer of Heretics, a Saint after my own heart! He is mostly known as the Patron of lost and found articles.

St. Francis of Assisi I took for my Confirmation name many years ago. He is a true hero of the Faith.

I love the stories of the Early Church Fathers such as St. Ignatius of Antioch who was a follower of St. John. He would be thrown to wild beasts in Rome between 107 and 110 A.D.

The Catholic Church has many Saints who make up Heavens Hall of Fame. These are the ones who lived the Commandments of God.

They loved God above all else many of them paying the highest price of martyrdom. Heaven is our highest goal, salvation has come to the world. I encourage you to reach out to Christ finding that his yoke is not burdensome, he gives us such heroes to imitate!

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