The Heart of a Champion

Morning Prayer:
December 18, 2017
Prayer by Fr. Rowland, S.M., Acting President

I want to begin this morning by acknowledging the disappointment we all feel as a result of Friday’s football game, but that is felt more keenly by the team and coaches. I would like to speak to them directly.

I consider myself somewhat of an expert at dealing with defeat given that my woeful Cleveland Browns lost their fourteenth game on Sunday. It is the youngest team in the NFL, and after each loss, you will hear one of the players talk about how hard it is just to win one game. If they ever do, they will celebrate it as if they had won a championship. True, it is only one victory, but it will be the one victory that, in their eyes, will make them champions at least for one game. And they can live with that.

I know you would prefer to have won the championship trophy, but that was not to be. But you have won our respect, admiration, and gratitude for the many thrills and wonderful memories you provided us under those Friday night lights. You can stand with your heads held high when you take your place in the Long Blue Line. You should know that in the lore that is Marist football, this team will be remembered as one of our finest. We who watched and cheered for you know that a champion is not only determined by the record but also by guts and grit that make up the heart of any champion. You had that in abundance together with fourteen victories. In our eyes, you are champions. I hope you can live with that.

I want to thank our students and fans for the many gestures of welcome and hospitality they extended to the fans from Blessed Trinity and for the many expressions of congratulations extended to them for having won their first state championship. On Friday night, Blessed Trinity was the better team. There is no shame in saying that. Sometimes, all we can do is tip our caps or, in this case, our helmets in the direction of our opponents and give them the credit that is due them. In doing this, we are practicing the Marist value of humility.

And now, we turn our attention to preparing for the coming of Christ, the Prince of Peace, at Christmas. May his peace reign in our hearts so that we can be at peace with whatever is not to be and with whatever is, trusting that both are part of a grander plan in which we are privileged to have a role – however small and insignificant it may appear to be. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Mary, seat of Wisdom. Pray for us.

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