UP Catholic 11 18 2016 E Edition Page 6

6 November 18, 2016 THE U.P. CATHOLIC COMMENTARY www.upcatholic.org VENISON & BEAR PROCESSING Custom Smoking Quality Homemade Sausage The Buck Stops here!" We also specialize in Farm Animal processing. 1370 Commercial Ave Crystal Falls, MI 49920 Pat & Chris Sommers (906) 874-6032 N ov. 29, 1992. It was a typi- cal NFL Sunday afternoon. Unlike so many Sundays, though, this one will forever be etched in my mind. The New York Jets were hosting the Kansas City Chiefs when the un- thinkable happened. Defensive line- man Dennis Byrd slammed headfirst into a teammate as they both tried to hit the Chiefs quarter- back. Byrd dropped to the stadium and couldnt move. Ill never forget the TV coverage, the ambulance, teammates kneeling in prayer as he lay motionless on the ground. He was paralyzed with a broken neck. His wife was pregnant with their second child. Many thought he would die. Over the next two decades, though, Byrd lived and gave others countless reasons to do the same. Thats why it was incredibly sad to learn Byrds life came to a tragic end several weeks ago when the car he was driving was struck head-on by a 17-year-old. He was 50. A deeply religious man, Byrd rehabbed and moved back to Oklaho- ma. He never once cast blame, never once felt sorry for himself. He led a quiet, unassuming life, and through his actions, inspired many. He did a little coaching, dabbled in television, but for the most part, he was off the grid. Yet, from time to time, he would do things that would make any Chris- tian proud. At halftime of the Jets season opener in 1993, Byrd courageously came onto the field by himself, and looking up at all those in attendance, said God has given me many things to be thankful for. I miss you and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Ill never forget it. I get chills just writing about it. Then, in 2010, when the Jets took on the Patriots in the divisional round of the playoffs, Byrd sent the Jets the No. 90 green jersey he wore in the game he was injured, the jersey that had to be cut off him. The symbolism to me is priceless, he would later say. That jersey was an essential part of my recovery. It helped me get my life back. Then-coach Rex Ryan invited him to address the players at a team meeting the night before the game. He stood in front of the team, that ripped No. 90 jersey in hand. A man has a body, a mind and a spirit, Byrd would later say. There are times in a mans life when his body will tell him it cant continue on, where his mind will tell him that the task set for him is too hard for him to accomplish. Those two dont matter. Its a mans will, a mans spirit, that will tell him you can do it and will make the mind and the body follow along. If that doesnt get you, nothing will. The players, deeply moved by the man appearing before them, cried. I cried when I watched it on television. The Jets hung his tattered jersey outside their locker room at Gillette Stadium. It remained on the Jets bench during the game. And, using that as motivation, the Jets upset the Patriots, 28-21, in one of the biggest upsets in NFL history. No. 90 remains on the shelf. The Jets officially retired the jersey in a ceremony in which he attended in 2012. I cant help but wonder how many lives he touched, how others benefited from his indelible courage. Too young to have his career cut short. Too young to die. Editor's note: LaJoie is a mem- ber of St. Paul Catholic Church in Negaunee. He welcomes reactions to his column at jlajoie@charter.net. Inspirational ex-Jet touched many before tragically dying FROM THE SIDELINES Jim LaJoie M ost readers will remember learning that the Third Commandment obliges us to remember to keep holy the Sabbath. Most of our Jewish brothers and sisters keep this precept strictly. They gather to worship, for fellowship, do very limited work, and use the time for personal and family renewal. Where did we go astray? Christians, es- pecially Catholics, had the precept of the Church which obliged us to assist at Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation. In time the word assist was lost or changed to go to Mass. The Mass became more of a spectator sport than an action in which a person participated. The prayers were in a language which only the educated understood. Many persons compen- sated by praying the rosary during Mass and that became the whole of the Sabbath. This situation prevailed until Vati- can II with its emphasis on liturgy and worship. The changes were welcomed by many Catholics who could now pray in their own language and un- derstand. However, this view, while very good and important is only the beginning. The Sabbath is primarily a day to worship God, to refocus our faith and hope. We do not attend Mass to tell God how holy we are but to celebrate and give thanks for Gods holiness. We renew our hope for an eternity with God in glory. The Sabbath is intended for the re- newal of the whole person physical rest, mental stimulation, family fun and enjoyment, social interaction with other believers and neighbors. Here I share a few ideas of how we can restore the Sabbath in our lives: Do things differently. There was a time when people wore their Sunday best. Choose garments appropriate to visiting a dignitary we are enter- ing the Lords special presence. Plan a breakfast with something out of the ordinary unique to this day. Do any heavy work that needs to be done on Friday or Saturday so that only essen- tial work is done on Sabbath. Play, whether it be outdoors with family and/or neighbors or indoors. Try var- ious games and projects such as story time or working a jigsaw puzzle. Every person and family is differ- ent and so adaptations are always in order. For example, how I, as a retired older single person observe the Sab- bath will look very different from that of a family, whether with few or sever- al children, whether young or growing into the teen years. Be creative. Be patient. Make one change or improvement at a time. Be aware of how more at peace and relaxed you become. Note, too, the biggest barrier we all face. We have so much to do that we use Sunday as a catch up day. I found freedom in accepting the fact that no matter how hard I worked or if I worked 24/7 Id never get everything done. Once I de- cided what could be omitted or post- poned it all became much easier. Try it. It may be a solution for you, too. What happened to the Sabbath? REFLECTIONS FROM NORTHSTAR Regis Walling

Previous Page
Next Page