Pope Benedict XVI recently made comments about sports in general and skiing in particular. No, he was not condemning such pursuits but instead pointing out they are not empty activities. He started off by noting:
In all sporting activities, a person understands better that their body should not be considered an object … but that it allows them to express themselves and establish relations with others.
In this way, the balance between the physical and spiritual dimensions leads one not to idolise the body but to respect it.”
Our bodies need care, every much as do our tools and our things, but in that our bodies are much more than just things. Participating in sports and pursing excellence in those sports makes one realize what a precious gift God has given to us. Skiing and snowboarding eventually becomes an expression of the spirit in us and everyone has their own style and approach.
More importantly Pope Benedict XVI states:
an environment that in a special way makes us feel small, returns us to our true dimension as creatures, makes us capable of asking ourselves about the significance of creation, lifting our eyes to the top, opening ourselves up to the Creator.
That is being in nature makes us feel closer to God and in awe of His creation and invites us to come closer to Him.
Driving to the hill on a sunny day I (as long as I am not driving) I am awed by the millions and millions of brilliant snowflakes that burn with the brilliance of the finest cut diamond and the trees that reach to the skies. In the fall or early winter I view the colors and most impacting are the golden tamaracks (the larch, the larch,…,the larch) against the green fir trees.
I don’t often get to Mass on those weekends I am away skiing, but God is with me and I with Him.