While this blog has been left sadly unattended, our little domestic church has been off playing in the mountains. I super-duper *love* so many things about home schooling, and one of the top 10 on my list is our freedom to take off on trips and explore and experience life in ways we couldn’t when public school was our life. This past week, we went skiing! It was perfect timing; most people had finished their Christmas vacations and were back to work and school. The prices for staying at the condos were low again. The weather cooperated, as well. (Thanks, God!) And so off we went for our second big ski trip!
We all had a blast, with so many amazing experiences. I learned to ski, the kids constantly zoomed past me urging me to “hurry up, Mom!” and “if you want to go fast, you should tuck and make french-fries with your skis!” Sorry, kiddos, Mama does *not* want to go fast-yet. My girls would have loved to do more green runs, but since I was learning and we still have the baby with us (conveniently carried in a backpack–but not while skiing!), the girls and Daddy only managed to grab a few runs on the regular slopes. Still, they had a blast. Chickadee-our oldest- and Daddy even went night-skiing! It was an amazing trip.
On our ride down the mountain in the gondola at the end of our trip, I remembered that Bl. John Paul II used to ski, and that he urged athletes to thank God for the gift of sport. Taking advantage of the time together, the quiet, and the moments as we finished our trip, I told the kids about Bl. John Paul II.
They were amused to know that a Pope used to ski. We talked about how awesome it is that God has given us good health and working bodies so that we can take advantage of the beauty of the mountains, that we can learn to ski, that we can enjoy winter sports. Since we came home, I found the text of one of Bl. John Paul II’s homilies, given during the Jubilee Year 2000, specifically about sports!
I will be using the words and wisdom of the soon-to-be saint in teaching my children about the gift of sport, as Bl. John Paul II has said, “It is a fitting occasion to give thanks to God for the gift of sport, in which the human person exercises his body, intellect and will, recognizing these abilities as so many gifts of his Creator. Playing sports has become very important today, since it can encourage young people to develop important values such as loyalty, perseverance, friendship, sharing and solidarity” (from the homily given on Oct. 29, 2000, section 2.) Our family enjoys sports, and being able to participate in sports and enjoy them together is certainly a gift! Bl. John Paul II is already a “patron saint” of sorts for our family; we ask him to pray with us each night. Knowing his love for sports, we can add one more special intention: that he will pray with us as we enjoy any sport we try, and that our children will be safe and do their best, keeping their bodies healthy and strong with athletics.