Sayin’ a Lil’ Prayer

WGN News stopped by the church on Friday and spoke with some of the staff and student’s from Sweetie’s school. Friday was the Feast Day of St. Viator, so there was an all-school Mass. Of course, that was also the day before the Cubs played what turned out to be game that clinched the National League Championship.

The news piece was about the Cubs and the school saying a prayer for the team. Sweetie was at the Mass, but the rest of us did not attend. It was great to see the students and the staff represent the school so well. They picked out real fans too, not just the fair weather type. The Principal made a good point about, “We always want to pray for everyone to do their best, and we want for everyone to be safe…but meanwhile we want a little something extra for this city.” And that got me thinking about my response if asked about saying a little prayer for the Cubs.

My answer would of course be, “Yes, I am praying for the Cubs,” but not just for the team’s sake. I think cities tend to pull together when one of their teams* is slated to win big – that’s a good thing for a city. Chicago is in need of some good news, and something to pull us out of the slump that is 2016 so far. The economic divide in our city is growing (one of eight big cities where that’s the case); gun violence is hitting record highs; we barely avoided a Chicago Public School strike; taxes are some of the highest in the nation – you get the point. Again, some good news is welcome. And I like to think that the Cubs’ good news is pulling us together as a city.

Now for a quick reality check before I go full-“Kumbaya” in this post. I know a baseball series isn’t going to fix all the ills of our city. I know many of our problems are multi-faceted, politicized, socio-economic and however many more adjectives you want to stack on them. But the Cubs going to the World Series is something. We’ll come together to watch as groups of fans, as families, as Chicagoans. We’ll watch a bunch of players come together as a team and work toward their common goal.  We’ll see them manage the lows and embrace the highlights. And as the Dodgers demonstrated, we will probably see some poignant lessons about good sportsmanship.

So this is something. Honestly, it’s something we are not getting from the elected leaders who are preparing for the November 8th election. It’s something we don’t get from our everyday lives, either, so hopefully it will move us above our everyday issues. Some think this is something of a miracle. And if the Cubs can go to the World Series (for the first time since 1945), then maybe Chicago can put down the guns for just a few days. And that would be something good.

So, I know this is a lot to put on one baseball series, but like I said, I got to thinking this weekend. If you want to check out the story, here’s the link:

Chicago Catholic students pray for a Cubs win

Go Cubs Go!

*One note here about Chicago baseball. Since Chicago has two teams, the city is often split by which team supports. The Southside tends to root for the White Sox, the Northside tends to pull for the Cubs. This split runs deep, so not everyone in Chicago is celebrating, but I like to think the majority are pleased. And to all the Sox fans out there: it’s okay to cheer – we are all Chicago.

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