A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

The Right Kind of Training

Posted on: September 21, 2015

My son has always enjoyed playing sports. As he’s gotten older, the training has become more intense: four days a week for a couple of hours each day when he played football last year and three days or more each week, several kilometres a day, for cross-country this year, for example.

running to catch the ball

My son at practice before a football game last fall

Athletes know it’s important to train their mind and muscles to respond quickly and their team to work as a unit. We see the results of their dedication and hard work on the ice, the court, the soccer pitch, the track, and so on.

We know we need training to face athletic challenges, but do we give much thought to our training as people of faith? Consider these words in 1 Timothy 4:7-9*:

Train yourself in godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance.

When our children are of the age to receive First Eucharist or be confirmed, they don’t simply show up at Mass; they learn first what it means to receive the host, and they learn what it means to stand up and say, “This is my faith.” Engaged couples learn through Pre-Cana classes what it means to be a married couple in the Church. And each week, as we listen to the homily, take part in the Mass and get involved in our parish and community, we learn what it means to be Catholics who try to live out their faith.

With the influence of our culture and peers, we can’t take it for granted that our children will instinctively know the right path to follow—or that we will. We need to read the Scriptures and the Catechism, regularly take part in the Mass, follow the RCIA program if we’re new to the Church or we didn’t go through the confirmation process, pray for knowledge and guidance and wisdom, and seek opportunities to learn more about our faith—whether we were raised as Catholics or came to the faith later in life.

May we never assume we know all there is to know about God or his plans or the faith but keep our eyes and ears, our hearts and minds, open to being trained in godliness.

Put off the old man that belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new man, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

~ Ephesians 4:22-24

(*Scripture quotes taken from the Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition.)

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Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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