Warning: Blog post may not be quite what you’re expecting….
On Monday evening in the US, in a country in which the Church is often deeply divided, there was the chance for liberal and conservative Catholics, charismatics and traditionalists, to come together for a common cause. But as they rallied around the altar that is the television, the hopes and aspirations for Catholic unity were dashed.
Many people outside the US will be wondering what the heck I’m on about. Many in the US might also be a tad bemused.
I’m writing about the national championship of college football (grid iron), as the bastion of Catholic universities — Notre Dame — sought to once again stand at the summit of college athletics. Most Catholics across the US, and even around the world, seem to have a deep affinity for Notre Dame, though many Gen X and Y folks have been fed on the stories of stellar teams of decades long passed now, such has been the inconsistency of teams in recent years.
In unexpected fashion, the Fighting Irish (the Notre Dame team name) had navigated through an undefeated season and were on the brink of glory. Catholic nation was gearing up for an appropriate amount of pride to fill their hearts and minds.
But Alabama, Notre Dame’s only peer in the upper echelons of college football history, had vastly different ideas and blew Notre Dame out of the water. So now, as Catholics — and other Notre Dame fans — wake up across those United States, the reality of prayers unanswered will have set in. A last-gasp win by Catholic Boston College a couple of decades ago became synonymous with the term Hail Mary pass. Such prayers couldn’t spark Our Lady into another moment of intercession last night — not even for the university that bears her name.
And so, Catholic unity must wait for another day….
PS This post was written on the 8th (Australian time), but didn’t publish for some reason