athgarvan (athgarvan) wrote,


I suppose some of my lucky readers are still skiing on the slopes. I've never had the experience myself but I have being reading that Pope John-Paul II was a real dab at it - he was still at it at 66 - nine years into his papacy! He believed that the beauty of skiing is that it’s not only an exhilarating sport, but also a spiritual activity.

He, himself, was known for not taking the easy way up the mountain, choosing to climb up with his skis rather than take a ski lift. “The way Jesus shows us is not easy", he said, "Rather, it is like a path winding up a mountain. Do not lose heart! The steeper the road, the faster it rises towards ever wider horizons. When you’re up at the top staring down at the slope in front of you, you can have that sensation of feeling oh so small. We’re little dots in the landscape and we’re reminded that our place on Earth is fleeting compared to the solid ancient mountains we’re skiing down—it can be a little overwhelming".

When Pope Francis spoke to the Austrian Skiing Federation last year he, too, spoke of the “commitment, perseverance, determination, honesty, solidarity, and team spirit” the sport represents. These are all values that will help one on the slopes, and also in one's daily life to be the person one wants to be.
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