Thanks to ESPN, a former basketball star brings the love of Jesus Christ to the world — without leaving her cloister
By Fr. Roger Landry, National Catholic Register, 8/7/19
As a former athlete and lifelong sports fan, I visit ESPN.com a couple of times a day. There I get more than box scores, videos and articles on recent happenings in major sports. I also receive inspiration from the heroism of various teams and athletes, who overcome seemingly insurmountable life situations to make the pros, or mount incredible comebacks under pressure to win games or championships, or handle crushing defeats with grace and maturity.
Sports have always been one of the great practice fields for human growth — for cultivating preparation, perseverance, leadership, teamwork, poise — and even in an age in which many star athletes fail to live in an exemplary way off the field, the character of those who strive to be role models can have a profoundly positive influence on others in various walks of life.
That’s one reason why St. Paul regularly used sports — like running and boxing — in his preaching of the Gospel, because what’s required to fight the good fight and finish the race in athletics is akin to the discipline needed to be faithful disciples. In my priestly work with men, young people and increasingly with women, sports have not only been a good conversation starter but a school of spiritual lessons.