Giving the best of yourself

The Church values sport in itself, as an arena of human activity where the virtues of temperance, humility, courage, patience can be fostered and encounters with beauty, goodness, truth and joy can be witnessed. These kinds of experiences can be had by people of all nations and communities from across the world irrespective of the standard or level of sport. It is this dimension that makes sport such a truly modern global phenomenon and therefore something the Church is passionately interested in.

Therefore, she wants to raise her voice in the service of sport. The Church feels co-responsible for sport and for safeguarding it from the drifts that threaten it every day, particularly dishonesty, manipulations and commercial abuse.

“Sport is the joy of life, a game, a celebration, and as such it must be properly used […] and freed from excess technical perfection and professionalism through a recovery of its free nature, its ability to strengthen bonds of friendship, to foster dialogue and openness to others, as an expression of the richness of being, much more valid and to be prized than having, and hence far above the harsh laws of production and consumption and all other purely utilitarian and hedonistic considerations in life.” [John Paul II, Homily in the occasion of the Jubilee of the Redeemer, 12 April 1984] On this level the dialogue, the collaboration between the Church and sport, will be profitable.

As well the Church desires to be of service to all who work in sport either in paid roles or the vast majority who are involved as volunteers, as officials, coaches, teachers, administrators, parents and the athletes themselves.

. . . In doing so, it reflects on a definition of sport and the relevance of sport in and for the world. The document then in Chapter 3 dives deeper into an anthropological understanding of sport and its importance specifically for the human person as a unity of body, soul and spirit. Then the document treats how sport speaks to our greater search for ultimate meaning, and promotes human freedom and creativity. The experience of sport is one that involves justice, sacrifice, joy, harmony, courage, equality, respect, and solidarity on this search for meaning. Ultimate meaning from a Christian understanding is the ultimate happiness that is found in the experience of the all-encompassing love and mercy of God as realized in a relationship with Jesus Christ in the Spirit which takes place in and is lived out in the community of faith. — from “Giving the best of yourself” (June 1, .2018)