Three years ago, the person responsible for Creideamh uttered a prayer of thanksgiving that has since transformed my prayer life. It started like this:
"God, thank you for the European Championships..."
As an homage to that simple utterance of gratitude, here is a prayer of my own ahead of the Champions League final:
God, thank you for soccer. Thank you that it is neither more important nor less important than "real life", but rather a part of it. At its best, it is a reflection of your playfulness, your creativity and artistry, your bringing of order out of chaos and establishment of principles and strictures that enhance enjoyment rather than diminish it. Thank you also for Lionel Messi, who demonstrates to us -- in small part -- the wonder of embodied existence. When we watch this remarkable creaturely display our relentless desire for explanations evaporate and we are left to marvel. But Messi himself points to where our marvel ought to finally be directed - towards the heavens, towards the Creator who gifts his creatures, leaving none to boast.