Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Running and the Grace of God

Today, I just wanted to write a brief note on my thoughts about running and the grace of God.  I have mentioned how I experience or feel grace when I am running.  Looking back at the definitions of grace that the Catholic church uses, I thought it might be useful to push that a little to see what conclusions I could come to.

I found an entire section on grace in the Catechism of the Catholic church online (http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s1c3a2.htm). 

What does it tell me?  Well, what strikes me most is that grace is participation in the life of God.  There is also a sentence about grace being the free and undeserved help that God gives us to respond to the call to become children of God.

How does either of these relate to running.  First, I am using a talent that God has given me.  Later in the section it talks about how individuals called to specific vocation should do it well.  I'm nor sure that running is a vocation, but I hope that my running well is a sign that I also take my vocation seriously.  Second, I am experiencing nature--another gift from God and this would seem to be participation in the life of God.  Third, there are many teachings in the Catholic church about the need to take care of oneself.  Running is a great way to do that--to feel the vitality of life that God has given.  Fourth, there are times when quiet is needed.  Running is a great time for quiet.  Sometimes there is conversation but in other cases it is just the footsteps and breathing of individuals running side by side.  Fifth, running can be done in service--to help others, as a fundraiser, etc.  Sixth, running can strengthen friendship or be a time to listen to another.  

I am sure if I thought harder, I could find other examples.  But running and participation in the life of God and all the things that God has intended for me seem to go hand in hand. 

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