If you’ve listened to any number of Bishop Robert Barron’s homilies or lectures, you’ve likely heard him use sports analogies to create a vision of the spiritual life. In this episode of “The Word on Fire Show,” Bishop Barron discusses how the world of sports and athleticism can help us grow in faith and understanding. The listener question asks about leisure and the Sabbath.

Topics Discussed

  • 0:05 – Introduction
  • 1:30 – What is Bishop Barron’s background with sports?
  • 4:00 – Why does the culture hold sports in such high regard up and down the ages?
  • 6:00 – How do the rules in sports relate to religion?
  • 10:30 – What do coaches teach us about real love?
  • 15:00 – How do the rigors of sports offer insights about the rigors of the spiritual life?
  • 20:00 – Does athleticism and fitness ever do harm to the spirit?
  • 22:47 – Listener Question: Why is leisure important on the Sabbath?

Bonus Resources

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6 comments on “WOF 104: Sports and Spirituality

  1. your Emenence,
    St Josemaria Escriva uses sports and a sporting spirit in many of his teaching! Also maybe a future ’’pivotal player” for WOF to highlight????: ) thnx for all that you do! You’re part of my morning regimen! Praying for everyday!! Peace!

  2. Michael Greenan Dec 6, 2017

    Interesting discussion–in particular when you said that we are competitive in sports probably because of our evolutionary background. Sometimes I wonder: When did original sin enter into our evolution? At the beginning, the middle, or perhaps when we evolved into homo sapiens.

  3. Carla Dec 7, 2017

    When I was listening to this, it reminded me of the times I’ve had to let an employee go for repeatedly poor performance, after lots of training. However I’ve never thought that a hospital for sinners, ie., the church, was a place where I had to worry about cutting someone, or being cut from the team. It seems contradictory to the meaning of Catholic. If I was in a position to have to cut someone from the faith, I would feel as though I was stepping over the boundary from being a “child” of God, to stepping into trying to “be” God. It isn’t my place. I can’t, and I will never want to be in that position.
    Faith is directly tied to hope. To take away hope in a process of sending someone away from a practice where they are learning faith, with a possibility that this “sending away” could be for eternity, is not something I ever want on my conscience.

  4. Good afternoon Bishop,
    I enjoy listening to your podcasts, most often while driving. Thank you for your devotion to our Lord and your evangelization work. You are inspiring!
    I thought I heard you referring to a walk on the beach with the Papal Ninja. I was wondering who that is.
    Thank you,

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