Contemplata aliis Tradere

A meagre contribution to the mission and work of the Order of Preachers: my reflections, thoughts, ideas and the occasional rant on matters mainly theological, philosophical and ecclesiastical, drawn primarily from my reading and experience of life and the world. Striving to be always Catholic, firmly Christian and essentially Dominican, flavoured with dashes of Von Balthasar.

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Location: Oxford, United Kingdom

A son of the English Province of the Order of Friars Preachers (Dominicans); born in Malaysia but have lived in the USA, Singapore, the UK & the Philippines for varying durations. A pilgrim and way-farer, a searcher for Truth on the journey of Life... "Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine, There’s always laughter and good red wine. At least I’ve always found it so. Benedicamus Domino!" - Hilaire Belloc

Saturday, June 10, 2006

For God, Queen and Country?

Bro Paul Mills and I watched England's first game in the FIFA World Cup this afternoon, which produced a not-great-but-satisfactory result... however (as usual) my mind was ticking over with other thoughts. I have long wanted to research and write a thesis on 'Elements of Ritual, Cultus, and Liturgy in Football' and could not help noticing how many 'religious' or 'devotional' aspects there are to the cult surrounding the game. But it also struck me as somewhat incongruous that the fans lustily sang out the first verse of the National Anthem, which invokes God and extols the monarchy: Both the Deity and the Sovereign are less than popular and not quite revered in England these days... and yet (as in medieval pilgrimages and celebrations) both were raised up in song. Anyway, I thought this phenomenon ought to give one pause and, perhaps, cause one to pray for the day when the cultic expressions which surround Football may be also justly rendered to God in worshipful devotion.

And of course, this stray thought also gave me an excuse to write something about the World Cup which is attracting even my interest!


Blogger William said...

Yeh well, maybe God needs to deliver a positive result if he expects his fans to really come through for him. So far the divinity has been strong on own goals with his tsunamis - which combined with his non-intrventionist policy with regard to his children's troubles like Iraq - means that his supporters have been staying away from the game of late.

10:04 pm  
Blogger Br Lawrence, O.P. said...

Thank you for your comment, which repeats a deeply flawed theodicy... Let's begin with this teaching from the Liturgy:

"You [God] have no need of our praise, yet our desire to praise you is itself your gift. Our prayer of thanksgiving adds nothing to your greatness, but makes us grow in your grace..." (Preface for Weekdays IV)

Hence it is right and fitting and just to worship "the Divinity" as you put it. Stay away from the game by all means, but it is the one who stays away who penalises oneself! As for me, I'd choose to get into the 'game' and come to know the God who in whom we "live and more and have our being"!

1:21 am  
Anonymous None the Wiser said...

48 hours late I can confirm that the flag undulates vigourously

11:23 am  
Anonymous brandon field said...

My country has no queen, and we are quickly eradicating God from public life, but at least we do now have a soccer team! (And a number 5 ranked one, at that!)

I am also quite intested in the socialogical impact of sport and game on the culture, so I would be interested to read your 'Elements of Ritual, Cultus, and Liturgy in Football', if it ever gets underway. (I know too well how a great idea never turns into an actual essay).

3:35 pm  
Anonymous brandon field said...

Also, just heard on BBC Sport. The reporter was saying that a Ghanan preacher says that God is on their side and they will win 4-0. The announcer said something to the effet of "We're hearing that about all of the teams." The reporter responded: "I guess God must be on everyone's side".

He's just about right.

4:48 pm  

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