Running and the Spiritual Life

Photo by  KEEM IBARRA  on  Unsplash

Photo by KEEM IBARRA on Unsplash

Sisters in Christ, have you ever pondered the ways running and the spiritual life parallel one another?  

We set goals for ourselves in running and work hard to achieve them.  This can be likened to our striving for holiness, in which we work to conquer ourselves - our temptations, weaknesses, and evil inclinations - to reach our goal of seeing God face to face.  

The way we go about preparing for a race or reaching a fitness goal is similar to the way we prepare for heaven… We draw up a ‘plan’ that will help us achieve the desired outcome - step by step, day by day, year by year - whether that is a run at race pace or a prayer routine.  We see the fruit of these activities in the results produced by them over time. Achieving that longed for PR, or perhaps not needing to confess the same ole sin in the sacrament of Reconciliation yet again.

Over the course of our lives, we may experience setbacks through injury or falling back into an old sinful pattern, but if we resolve to do what is needed, we will rise again stronger than we were before.  Our ‘baseline’ of strength increases each time we make it through the cycle.

I am so grateful for the beautiful way our physical lives mirror our spiritual lives, that our God is a God of second (and third, etc.!) chances, and that no matter where you start or may find yourself at any given time in life, you can always begin again and improve upon it.  

So sisters, in the words of our saintly friend Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, who was a great lover of physical activity and our Lord, “Verso L’ Alto!”