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Sunday, 24 May 2015

Defending The Wicket

Recently, a certain seminarian shared with me his stand at the wicket, creating a needed draw for his team. To protect the wicket for thirty overs and getting not our for naught demands patience and focus.

One does not try for flashy shots when one's captain has asked one to go for a draw. One is not concerned with one's personal score, but the good of the team.

One bats "cautiously" in order to make it impossible for the other side to get the team out.

With a fast bowler at one end and a left-handed around the wicket bowler at the other, defense becomes an intellectual game, as well as one of patience and stamina.

The batsman does not slash out or go for the big runs, but plays calmly and with great assurance that he can meet the demand of his captain.

Too often, some batsmen fall into egotism, wanting to add to their own personal scores instead of thinking of the team. A team player goes for the good of the whole.

Sport can teach and also reveal, virtue. To be a good team player not only means doing one's best, but sometimes, not trying to score, unless one is absolutely sure of not getting out. This attitude is an humility.

What does this mean for the Catholic team player in the Church? Sometimes, one does not have to
"be seen" doing things, but work quietly, steadily. Praying for others either alone or with a prayer team may seem like a hidden job, but prayer is actually more important than activity. Prayer not only sustains, but guides and underpins action.

Like the batsman who stays in for thirty overs to obtain the draw for the team, those who pray defend with wicket with patience and perseverance. Now is the time for defending the wicket, but not merely for a draw. The match has already been won, but the innings must be played out.