With so many New York transplants in Lower Bucks, it's disappointing that the Courier Times shies away from coverage of New York sports. We do have an interesting history….
Despite being the most popular franchise in the National League, the Dodgers abandoned New York City's boro of Brooklyn in 1957, quickly followed by the Giants' abandonment of upper Manhattan. Though they had spent nearly three quarters of a century in the town, the Brooklyn Dodgers only captured the World Series in 1955 (the same year, by the way, that Morrisville, Pa won the Little League World Series). So, Brooklyn Dodger popularity had little to do with on-the-field success. And even a half century after their departure, they maintain a mythical hold on the town. Brooklyn Dodger attire sells like hotcakes in Brooklyn's sporting goods stores.
After the departure of the Dodgers and the Giants, didn't New York City still have a major league baseball team in the phenomenally successful Yankees? Yes, but for those without New York connections, it's hard to understand the sentiments of many New Yorkers toward the Yankees. Historically, there have been 107 World Series with the Yankees appearing 40 times and winning 27 times. No other team has appeared in more than 18 World Series! For many New Yorkers, rooting for the Yankees is akin to rooting for gasoline prices to rise or to rooting for the hare in its race against the tortoise. The Yankees just can't tug at our heartstrings as underdogs or teach us about the character building which can come from long suffering.
In 1962, the Mets entered the National League, to try to make up for the loss in the hearts of Dodgers' and Giants' fans. Over the years, the Mets have nurtured phenomenal pitching talents in the likes of Tom Seaver, Dwight Gooden, and David Cone, only to see them pitch no hitters - AFTER they have left the Mets. Most painful is the Mets' experience with the CEO of the Texas Rangers. Though he began his Hall of Fame career with the Mets, Nolan Ryan pitched NONE of his major league record 7 no hitters for the Mets. On June 1, 2012, the Mets finally saw their first no hitter, in the 8020th game in franchise history. As a famous Brooklyn native would have said, "How sweet it is."
Something about the popularity of the Brooklyn Dodgers and the extra sweetness of the Mets' first no hitter speak to what we inately know about the value of suffering. Though we try to run from pain and suffering, the Bible indicates that we can actually "glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope" (Romans 5: 3, 4 - NIV translation). Now don't get me wrong - I am not intending to suggest an equivalence between a baseball fan's frustrations and the genuine human suffering associated with such things as serious illnesses. It's just that to a culture which finds the slightest inconvenience to be anathema, the value of enduring suffering seems to have become increasingly difficult to understand.
Though the phrase has become unfamiliar from disuse, many Christians can recall their parents and/or their grandparents admonishing them to "offer up" their sufferings. As per the Apostle Paul, "Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church" (Colossians 1: 24, New American Bible). In a mysterious sort of way, our elders better understood that we are allowed to use our sufferings to gain graces for ourselves or for others. While some will try to discredit this perspective by suggesting that it is tantamount to massochism, that's NOT what God has in mind in any manner, shape, or form.
Our failure to appreciate that there can be a meaning in suffering goes a long way toward explaining the selfishness of being unwilling to make sacrifices for the benefit of others. It goes a long way toward explaining the failure to appreciate the absolute dignity of each human being, no matter how vulnerable she or he may be. It goes a long way toward explaining how we could rationalize ending human lives at their very beginning or at their end.
Maybe, sports analogies can help us to recover certain truths which we know at our core.
Moral Decision Making 101
- "Natural law" is Not a Defense of the Status Quo
- A Truly Golden Compass
- Even Masterpieces Can Have Serious Blemishes
- Father John C. Ford, SJ Deserves Better!
- Like It or Not, We are Still "Cooperating" with the Heinous Sins of Planned Parenthood
- NOT a Stand Alone Survey of Philosophy
- Not Only Unethical But Impractical, Too!
- re: the Natural Law (Bucks Cty Courier Times, 3/6/03)
- Remote Cooperation
- The Compendium of the Catechism, Part 3 (a study guide)
- The Courage to Stand for Truth
- Truth is a Many Splendored Thing
- “Loyal Dissent” or “An Overall and Systematic Calling into Question of Traditional Moral Doctrine”?
The Church, the Culture, & the Treatment of People with Disabilities
- * A Wonderful Education About Down Syndrome
- * The Catholic Church & People with Disabilities
- * For the Deaf & Hard of Hearing: Their Lives are Sacred
- * The Catholic Families of Individuals with Disabilities
- * How should we proclaim the Good News to those who cannot hear?
- * An Ethics Chair for Springer?
- * re: "Prenatal Test Puts Down Syndrome in Hard Focus"
- * We Can Recapture the Spirit that Cherishes All Human Life
- * "Well Done. Good & Faithful Servant"
- * Cherish Children with Disabilities
- * This Book Needs 'the Church'"
- * Ethical Treatment of People with Significant Cognitive or Psychiatric Impairments: Two Issues
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- The Nobility of Honest Work
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- Whose Conscience Is It Anyway?
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- Restoring Catholic Identity in Catholic Hospitals?...
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- Suffering in Baseball and in Real Life
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- Bioethics and More!
- I am an enormously blessed husband and dad. In regard to my Catholic theological background, I have a certificate in social ministry & a master's degree (moral theology concentration), as well as a catechetical diploma from the Vatican's Sacred Congregation for the Clergy (Nope, I am not now - nor have I have ever been - a seminarian, deacon, or priest.). I feel particularly proud to have a mandatum. I also have a doctorate in Christian counseling psychology.
Remarkable resources discovered on YouTube & the net:
- "28 Days on the Pill"
- "A Baby Changes Everything"
- "Angry 'Dr. Death' on defensive"
- "Let's Talk About Natural Family Planning" (an interesting perspective)
- "Let's Talk About Natural Family Planning" (an interesting perspective)
- "Life Will Triumph"
- "Terri Schiavo Remembered"
- A Newsanchor Proclaiming Christianity as the Path to Redemption
- Amazing NFP video!
- Bonanza's "The Quality of Mercy" (1963)
- Brian Gail
- Catholic Annulment, part 1
- Catholic Annulment, part 2
- Dietrich von Hildebrand
- Dr. Daniel Greene Answers Common NFP questions
- Dr. Hilgers & Dr. Raviele
- Dr. Hilgers at Ave Maria University (May 2009)
- Grisez, Germain. Christian Moral Principles, Franciscan Press, 1983
- Grisez, Germain. Difficult Moral Questions, Franciscan Press, 1997
- Grisez, Germain. Living a Christian Life, Franciscan Press, 1993
- John & Yoko on So-Called "Over" Population
- Kennedy Protege Coakley's Opposition to Conscience Protection & Religious Freedom
- Mother Teresa Quotes
- NFP vs. Contraception
- Stop Abortifacients
- Symposium for Catholic Medical Professionals (includes Drs. Janet Smith & John Bruchalski)
- The Billings Method & NaPro Technology
- The Catholic Church - Builder of Civilization
- The Silent Scream
- The Vatican's Archbishop Burke Discussing Canon 915
- Trading on the Female Body
- Truth Booth: A Window to the Womb