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 published: 2008-08-19

Our life contains much of the Olympic games

The Olympic Games and the Covenant of Love


Anstrengung und Exzellenz warden belohnt

El esfuerzo y la excelencia tienen su premio

Effort and excellence have their reward

Anstrengung und Exzellenz warden belohnt


Olympiastadion in Peking

Stadion en Peking

Stadion in Peking

Olympiastadion in Peking

Auch wir träumen von der Goldmedaille  

Soñamos con la medalla de oro...

Dreaming of the Gold Medal...

Auch wir träumen von der Goldmedaille

Fotos: Pixelio © 2008


REFLECTIONS, Fr. Javier Arteaga. Friday, August 8th we saw the magnificent opening of the Olympic Games 2008 in Beijing. Words, songs, and dances, physical dexterity, creativity, and talent, colors, lights and forms. Thousands of men from all the world were there carrying out and participating in this wonder; the spirit of man was present there. As I was writing this letter I read that 75 gold medals have already been awarded along with many other silver and bronze medals. Effort and excellence have their reward.

A few days ago I read an article that said: "Each athlete trained for a long time, prepared his strategy and arrived at the games with the hope of gaining recognition and a victory. Everything is played out in a few minutes. Some go to the podium of the winners, others are happy that they could participate. Some will have second chance in 4 years others will not. History will mark some names and others, like many, will remain in the individual memories of the loved ones and close friends"

Our life contains much of the Olympic game: dreams, efforts, conquests, victories and defeats. Be it on the personal level or within the family, in a small group or as a nation, we are always in the race, leaps (sometimes very high or very long), lifting weights, hurling javelins, making goals or missing them, being first, second or last. In the Olympic games as well as in the game of life the important thing is to have clear goal: what do I want to accomplish?, adequate training: How do I prepare and will I accomplish it? And finally – transcendentally why do I do this?

Surely a soccer player will not win a gold medal if he throws discs.

Surely a soccer player will not win a gold medal if he throws discs. For this it is necessary to ask oneself what are the personal abilities and talents and consequently setting the goals that I want to conquer. Many frustrations in life originate in the false perception about oneself. Something similar happens with the life of a country: when its history and present is interpreted with a partial or deformed view we are determining a mediocre and frustrating future because it is not founded on the truth. In Argentina we have even more goals to reach; unity in diversity, respect of all human life, equal progress for all, etc., and to accomplish this we need men and women with a great and generous spirit, athletes of truth and of love.


But we will not get very far with just abilities; we should add the effort of training to personal talent in order to develop them. And for this many times we need the help of specialists, of trainers, of the best who want to add their knowledge in favor of the goal, for the common good. Why have the countries such as China, United States, Germany, South Korea or Russia won the majority of the gold medals up to now? The response is not difficult: because they have a clear objective and they have placed all their possibilities oriented towards this end, and evidently they have many possibilities, beginning with the organizational, economic, scientific, etc, etc. That happens in our personal life: we cannot do it alone, we are interdependent. Thinking about the Nation I recalled an excellent interview of Claudio Fernández Aráo, one of the greatest international specialists in search of business leaders, that was published in the newspaper The Nation last August 30th. When asked if there is a critical mass in Argentina that will help to take a qualitative leap as a country, Claudio Fernández Aráo said: "In the first place, for Argentina to take this leap we do not need geniuses or great ideas. It is never like that for any country nor for any organization that aspires greatness. More than great strategies, we need a conscious option to pursue greatness and disciplined work to obtain it. A first condition is adequate leadership at the maximum level. I have no doubts that we have potentially qualified candidates in the country, but we have to learn how to elect them. The second condition to take this leap is that the correct leaders build a good team. For this Argentina has a critical mass that is more than sufficient in talent. Our nation was built and was made great in its moment by the aspirations of greatness of our predecessors, in spite of the inevitable frustrations of every work of leadership".

The best trainer

But what good is so much effort and to finally reach the goal? Saint Paul, whom we invoke during this Pauline Year, clearly tells us in the first letter to the Corinthians 9,25: "Do you not know that the runners in the stadium all run in the race, but only one wins the prize? Run so as to win. Every athlete exercises discipline in every way. They do it to win a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one" Let us not lose sight of the ultimate end of our great Olympiad: Eternal Life in God.

Beloved brothers and sisters of the Covenant, with all the love and respect that the Blessed Mother inspires in me, I am encouraged to say that for the Olympics of our life we have the best trainer: Mary. She, full of grace, who followed that road along with her Son and has already arrived to the goal of Heaven, She is the one most interested that we also arrive and that we can all "ascend" along with Her to the podium of the blessed of God in Heaven. Meanwhile let us continue "training", working for the good, peace, solidarity and justice every day, building the culture of encounter and of the Covenant here. From Heaven Father Joseph Kentenich encourages us: "With hope and joy and confident in the victory we go with Mary into the newest times!"

Letter for the Covenant Day, August 2008, Argentina

Translation: Celina Garza, Harlingen, TX, USA



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