I wrote Stations of the Cross for Baseball Players as a prayer aid. The baseball player journeys through the season with varied experiences. At the beginning of the season the weather can be cold and by summer’s end the games are in sweltering heat. Traveling brings inconveniences. The regular ups and downs of practice can become monotonous. Games naturally mean wins and losses. Where does the faith life of the ballplayer fit into the challenges?
As the wife of a career Major League Baseball scout and sons who played and coach, I wanted to write these reflections through the eyes of the ball player. Baseball families will be able to identify with the reflections. The player is part of many communities: church, family, and a team. The baseball player is balancing the routine of baseball practice and games within these communities. Student athletes must keep up academically to be eligible. Time management is critical. I wanted the prayers in the booklet to help the player “connect the dots” and see God’s presence in the moment.
Stations of the Cross for Baseball Players was written with attention to the reader. Our dear Lord gives us many opportunities in our faith journey to receive grace. Reminders about the sacraments and the beauty of the Catholic faith are interwoven in the reflections. An example is the reminder of the gifts of the Holy Spirit received at Confirmation at the eighth station reflection. The magnitude of the sacrament is overwhelming. Life is busy. One can easily forget the holy assistance ready available for the asking. Jesus met the women on the journey. We encounter Jesus everyday when we meet others. Treating our neighbor with respect, dignity, and showing mercy is crucial for the Christian. The gifts of the Holy Spirit make this possible.
The bottom line for the player is the fact that baseball is fun! Players want to be on the field. The springtime renewal of the earth is often heard by birds making new nests, the light rain of a morning shower, and the sound of the baseball coming off a bat! The smells of popcorn and freshly mowed grass stir something in all who love the game. The player brings something to the fans.
I remember how my father loved supporting his grandsons’ teams. He grew up in a small rural community in the 1930s, where organized sports were not common. He recalled how a visiting priest introduced baseball with a few pieces of equipment. This memory was refreshed in my father when watching games later in life.
Players can help others simply by playing baseball with sportsmanship and joy. Admittedly, some may not think of practice as “joyful,” but this is what we are called to do as Christians. We are to use our gifts and talents for the Lord. I hope prayerful meditation on the reflections in the booklet will be a reminder of the call to be a Christ-follower.
Recently I issued a revised second edition of this booklet, available now as a download on Lulu.com.
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Copyright 2018 Martha Winn
About the author: Martha Winn is married to Earl Winn. They are active members of Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Bowling Green, KY. They are parents to four adult children, three who are married. They enjoy time with their family and 6 grandchildren. With her background as a registered nurse, Martha became interested in the natural family planning ministry and has been Certified BOMA-USA Teach for 15 years. She enjoys writing and is delighted to share Stations of the Cross for Baseball Players with others.