Yesterday was one of my favorite days of the year, Opening Day. After we celebrate the great joy of Easter nothing reminds more that Spring has finally arrived than enjoying a beautiful day of baseball with good friends. Now I love baseball because I believe that it helps us to learn the virtue of courage. As you stand in the batters box with a baseball coming at you 80 or 90 miles per hour, you know the only way for you to succeed is to take a swing. If you are afraid to swing at the ball you will strike out, and go no where, but if you have the courage to swing eventually you will land on base and follow the path to home plate.
In our lives as Christians, God is constantly throwing balls in our direction, calling us to be not afraid, and to have the courage to swing at the baseball of his grace. Once you get on base and start to follow the path home, you may discover that you can't make it home on the path that you are following. You might get called out and have to start all over again, but if you have the courage to to keep swinging you will find the path that leads you home. Maybe that path is priesthood, maybe its marriage, maybe its consecrated life, or maybe it's the deaconate. Whatever God's path for you is, as long as you are true to it and follow it God will lead to the true home plate, Heaven.
This year we saw a great story about a young man named Grant Desmse. A young man who was playing baseball professionally, but he had the courage to leave that profession when he felt that God was calling him down the path of priesthood. We all need to pray for Grant as he discerns if this truly is the path God has called him down. (I hope this is his true path, because I think he will make a great priest.) Of course Grant is not the only person to leave baseball to find their true path in the priesthood. Fr. Burke Masters, the Current Director of Vocations for the Diocese of Joliet, IL and a classmate of mine at Mundelein Seminary, was himself a baseball standout at Mississippi State University. I encourage you to read their stories of how they found their path to God's home plate, and I encourage you to keep swinging until you God's path for you.
Peace and Blessings,
Fr. David Muenchrath
Your post reminds me of my high school religion teacher, Fr. Mike. A lifelong baseball fan, he got to experience umpire school a few years ago. Umpire Priest