First Down with Fr. Eric (January 19, 2020)

Dear Friends,

January 12, 1969 is the day that my heart was broken. My Baltimore Colts, a team that I fell in love with, were heavily favored to beat the New York Jets. Joe Namath led the Jets to an upset over the Colts 16-7. I was so disappointed, a team that I gave my heart to lost, and for the next 25 years I could never read or watch highlights of that game. I refused to relive that event. What a lesson I learned, even though it would take a long time for me to realize that.

How often do people, a group of people or an institution disappoint us or break our hearts? We risk believing, we risk our entire love and then something happens that causes great pain for ourselves.

Even as a boy experiencing such sadness in my early life, for some reason, did not stop me from offering my heart again and again. Maybe the innocence of being young helped me not be paralyzed in my heartbreak. Sometimes it feels, as we get older, we hold on to the brokenness much longer than we need to. Over the years my heart has been broken, and at the same time I experienced great love and joy that would have never happened if I had let fear grip my life.

At times the pain can take a long time to go away and we strive to be sure that it does not consume us in unhealthy ways. As we begin this New Year, our prayer might be that we are not afraid to risk loving others, even though there might be the possibility of heart break.

I was so thankful that as a boy I did not stop living life afraid of heartbreak, I guess I was too naive. Maybe we need to know that our youth can teach us experienced people a thing or two.

Peace in Christ,

Fr. Eric