SPORTSMEN BELIEVERS IN THE GRIP OF ATHEISM
Fr. IRENEUSZ SKUBIŚ
Many of us remain impressed by the opening celebrations of the Olympics 2012 in London. The bells of all Christian churches sounded very significantly. Later there was an impressive parade of participants of the Olympics with the flags of particular countries. They were shown to the world as young, beautiful people presenting the culture of their countries, full of joy, strength and eagerness for a fight for the highest podiums. The wonderful show, with the usage of the most modern contemporary technology. And speeches. At least one of them was essentially full of teaching both for the sportsmen and sport-fans. It was stated in it that sport which is connected with a lot of work is not only medals and victories but, first of all, showing efforts of sportsmen. The whole essence of the Olympics lies in it. It is difficult not to agree with it and in regard to it, sportsmen participating in the Olympic games should be congratulated and given the highest respect. The sport effort conducted in fair play is really a beautiful matter. It teaches a well-planned work, requires a lot of training, professionalism. There is no place for trivial things. Moreover, rest, a suitable diet, hygienic are also important – all this composes the final result.
But let’s return to the inauguration ceremony of the Olympics which was surely watched by millions of people. Here I would like to express my opinion which comes from the consciousness of the presence in God’s world, the Creator of Heaven and Earth. Although different religions will have specific features, God’s presence will always be the most important here, it is a basic religious media. And let’s note that people of sport are mostly people believing in God, practising their faith, which is often shown in some fragments on pitches and arenas. I will not mention sport fans and everybody watching the Olympics. The inauguration of the Olympics in London, despite being beautiful, it was stripped of God, even completely cleared off from a religious element – some religious elements were maybe only in a patriotic message of Great Britain. Everything was well-planned, prepared and presented. And, after all, God is over everything and it is Him who should be respected. He, as a Creator, has the right to the human adoration. Atheists and those who want to organise the world according to their vision, managed to conduct this celebration in a godless way. This way and this form, however, lose the sense of everything. It was beautiful but in what name are these great things happening? For example, let’s take a scene of lightening the Olympics candle. The Olympic fire itself, apart from the historical reference and esthetical sensations, means very little without God who gives sense to the expectation of millions of people, who inspires to a real human unity. The Olympic fire itself remains only an ordinary symbol.
In God, Who is, the man ‘lives and moves in Him’ (see Acts 17.28). He gives the sense to our life. Only realising oneself the presence of the living God can raise every single man and humanity in a real development, only it is what allows for a better references also those having a global meaning. Therefore, we should claim for God in every place and every time, also in sport because He is really the only purpose and sense of every man’s life.
I will conclude with a significant quotation of Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski: ‘Heaven did not stop being holy. But we want the land to become holy, so that we could peacefully and trustfully look, from the holy land which realises evangelical ideas, not only at the Moon, space, in the infinite constellations which adore the Creator but where God-Man sits on the right of Father’ (‘A loaf of bread’).
And also John Paul II: ‘Everyone of you wants to live fully. You are enlivened by great hopes, beautiful future plans. However, do not forget that a real full life can be found only in Christ who died for you and rose. Only Christ can satisfy human heart. Only he gives strength and joy of life, no matter what out limits or obstacles are’ (SDM 1989).
Listen to the speech of the chief editor of ‘Sunday’ online: www.niedziela.pl