Sunday, January 15, 2012

My Post-Game Tebow Thoughts

I have a lot of nerve to make them since I only tuned in for one minute in the second quarter to see the score but the whole phenomenon is so fascinating, it's worthy of continued observation.

The New York Times kicks off the passive/aggressive gloating piece HERE.

Here's the reader's digest: Tebow may have a huge fan base that knows nothing about foozball, but his God isn't all that powerful because Tebow may not even have a future in foozball. It also mentions the embarrassing taunting chants of the New England pagans and drunks:

“What stung the worst Saturday night was the sarcasm as thick as New England chowder when fans derisively chanted the name of Tim Tebow.”

When I tuned in to catch the score, I confess there was a brief moment of prayerful intimacy with Christ and Our Blessed Mother trying to talk them into giving glory to God through this young man's talents with a win.

Ok. I had a weak moment. But as soon as the words were out of my mouth, I felt foolish. Not to mention repentant.

Isn't it captivating though, that the spirit of mockery of God two thousand years ago manifests itself in exactly the same way today. Where is your God now.

I know where He is and I know how He manifests His Glory. In everything, we are a witness to the Reason for our hope and our joy.

I saw His Glory in a pregame interview with Mark Whalberg who gracefully witnessed to what drives him in his life, in all he is and does: His faith in Christ and the treasures of Catholic religion. He had the opportunity to say that he starts his day off, everyday, with a visit to Church. He tries to make daily Mass but even if he can't, he makes a visit to Church every day. Wow, was I impressed with his conversion story.

I saw His Glory in Tim's post-game remarks:
“They had a great scheme. They came out and they played well and they executed well. You’ve got to give them a lot of credit.
I just want to thank my lord and savior Jesus Christ and thank my teammates for the effort they put forth not only tonight but the entire season. I also want to thank the Broncos fans for all their support this season and it definitely meant a lot.”


The Pope had a beautiful reminder of God's glory this week in a reflection during the Angelus.

“I’d like to stress the decisive role played by the spiritual guide in the journey of faith, in particular in the response to the vocation of special consecration in the service of God and his people. The Christian faith, in and of itself, posits the proclamation and witness. In fact, it consists in participating in the Good News for which Jesus of Nazareth died and rose, namely that he is God. And thus, the calling to follow Jesus more closely, giving up one’s family to dedicate oneself to the great family of the Church, normally requires the witness and proposal of an ‘older brother’, usually a priest. This does not mean however forgetting the fundamental role played by parents, who, through their genuine and joyful faith and conjugal love show their children that building a life on God’s love is beautiful and possible.”

Thank you Lord for the love that sustains us through our talents, flaws, challenges, victories and defeats. Thank you for our Popes, our priests and the many people who are witnesses to Your love and your Church ever day. We wouldn't mind ponying up on the victories and miracles but we love You and we trust in You. Lead us. Thank you for inspiring us through the fire of this young man's love and faith.


StevenD-Jasper said...

The Patriots played really well last night, tough for any team to beat. I thought the Patriots players handled it with class with Tom Brady praising TT after the game. I didn't hear any Tebow chanting thru the TV. The NYtimes are a bunch of snakes.

Liam said...

Let us not mistake the finger for the sun.

Tebow has been classy not verbalizing much. His detractors and even many of his ertswhile "supporters" not so much, because both have focused on him (one expects this of heathen, but believers should know better - the problem is, in our instant-gratification celebrity culture, a celebrity who is willing to act as a public finger has to be more prudent about actions that his or her "fans" may confuse with the sun by celebrating the celebrity).

We are so used to having our appetite for "human interest" sated by our media (btw, this is not only the media's fault - the media follows its audience's direction in this regard), we are deaf and blind to more ultimate realities. News and blogs and what not that get caught up in the narratives of the news cycle intensify this bondage. And Christ came to liberate, not to enslave.

I don't care for professional sports, so I have no particular dog in this, other than to say this "human interest" story has been un-edifying, especially when it's been pushed into the service of being edifying, because that's the point at which things will naturally get uglier, because things and people are getting objectified, to the cheers and jeers of the crowd.

Carol said...


Interesting food for thought. For me, it invites a call to order for clarity. In a world trying to push God, and in particular Christ, under the radar, I am celebrating this young man's courage, witness, his love and example.

People in this country are hankering for a return to innocence, truth and love for God. Tim Tebow's leadership has been more than edifying but I am definitely not celebrating a personality.

Liam said...

You may not be, at least intentionally, but the emotion surrounding him is not good.

A desire for heroes is usually borne of an essentially agonistic perspective. While we are indeed called to struggle with evil, we need to heed the lessons of the desert Fathers who fled the luxury of the cities of Late Antiquity only to discover that you can never escape the temptation to get caught up in the insiduous self-dramatization of egoism that such a struggle entails. Hence the need to drain things of their emotional charge (that emotional charge is a cheap consolation, designed to help us escape the dryness of desolations we prefer to avoid). We must be ever aware that our culture is designed to make us dread dryness and seek forms of religious experience that console us just by the mere fact that we palpably feel (even bad feelings feel better than dryness). The Internet as a medium can be very dangerous for this, particularly if we gravitate to places that reinforce our pattern of consolations.

(To clarify: This is not to denigrate emotion: emotions are a form of information, and at their best they are a form of accumulated wisdom about our patterns of success and failure in the past. Human reason, as neurologists are increasingly discovering, is actually founded on emotion, not logic; logic tends to be a reverse-engineered path back from a conclusion our emotions guided us to.)

Liam said...

I should perhaps explain why dryness is the normal (though not universal) state of a maturing soul in midlife: it makes us more aware of our unmet desires, and that itself is the very sign of God's presence, as Ignatius of Loyola might point out. We can only create room for God when we allow such a space to exist and not rush to fill it with other things (and it's very tempting to fill it with good things that are not quite as good as theosis itself). Again our culture hates this.

When was the last time you heard a priest preach about dryness on a Sunday?

We are terrified by it. More than by death itself. Only active pain is more terrifying.

This, btw, is a problem in our culture from well before Vatican II; it knows no conciliar boundary, as it were.

Carol said...

hmmm. This is quite interesting. From my own perspective, I do not look nor need heroes, but I very much enjoy the gifts of the holy spirit in others and as a blogger, I enjoy recognizing and praising them as they are gifts to us from the Lord. I would feel like an ingrate to ignore them. Further, pointing it out to others when cowardice of men is so paramount, it is a way of encouraging them to hear and respond to God's call in their own life.

I am definitely unaware of the emotional subterfuge of Tim's apostolate, public gifts to Christ in the ways he knows.

Emotions are our friends but they can also be a detriment to hearing Christ, our intellect, the Holy Spirit. They take on a life of their own if we let them. I think I did a whole post on emotions a while back. I'll see if I can dig it up.

Liam said...

Just notice how much energy we (and I don't mean only opponents) focus on Tim. Not so much on God, except as a justification (or rationalization) for focusing energy on Tim.

Just my impression from observing this awhile.

It's part of the general pattern of celebrity in our culture. (It's most definitely not Mr Tebow's fault or responsibility as such, just good.)

Carol said...

I definitely do not see it as a focus on the man but on the virtue of courage. Living in a land of men with no kahoonies, there are an awful lot of women and mothers for whom this is a breath of fresh air.

I think you may suffer from a misunderstanding of exactly what is being celebrated.

Jack O'Malley said...

There is only one lesson to be drawn from this ignominious defeat of the Brocos. God does not answer the prayers of Protestants.

Now, were he to come home to the Catholic Church (O'Malley is leaving the light on just like Tom Bodett and Motel 6) he would learn at least two things: (1) how to say a Hail Mary and, (2) how to throw a Hail Mary pass. Just ask Doug Flutie.

Heresy always loses.

Carol said...


Anonymous said...

Jack, it's not that God doesn't answer the prayers of protestants, it's just that He hears "Catholic" prayers first!

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Anonymous, I would be willing to bet that Tebow is more faithful to Christ than the current archbishop of Boston and his immediate predecessor combined.

Carol, I think you would even admit to as much.