The NHL and Natural Law

I have a problem with the NHL. It is now June, and the Stanley Cup Final has just begun. (In case you care, and you probably don’t, the L.A. Kings lead the series 1-0 over the New Jersey Devils.)

My problem with the NHL is religious in nature. The Catholic Church teaches that

The “divine and natural” law shows man the way to follow so as to practice the good and attain his end. The natural law states the first and essential precepts which govern the moral life. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1955)

Natural law is present in the heart of each human being and established through the application of correct reasoning. As Cicero wrote,

For there is a true law: right reason. It is in conformity with nature, is diffused among all men, and is immutable and eternal; its orders summon duty, its prohibitions turn away from offense….To replace it with a contrary law is a sacrilege; failure to apply even one of its provisions is forbidden; no one can abrogate it entirely.

Here, then, is the source of my problem with the NHL: ice melts in June.

By extending the Stanley Cup Playoffs into the late spring and early summer, the NHL does not conform with nature. For if they did, the players would drown (or they would be playing a perverse form of water polo).

No wonder why nobody really cares about the NHL playoffs.

Let’s Go Hawks!

The Blackhawks are down 0-3 to the Canucks in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Tonight is a must win for the Hawks.

I was planning to go watch the game with a friend of mine at Bannerman’s Sports Grill. But I have a conflict. My Church is celebrating Tenebrae as part of its Holy Week schedule. So, here I am, face to face with a spiritual dilemma:

Do I go to Church, or do I go and watch the Blackhawks in a pivotal Game 4?

In defense of watching the Blackhawks game, may I present the following argument:

  • There will be just as much praying at the bar (such has, “Dear God, please let the Hawks win!”) as there will be at Church;
  • These prayers will be held in common, and didn’t Jesus say, “Wherever two or more gather in my name, I will be there?”
  • Therefore, going to Bannerman’s is just like going to Church.

Besides, Jesus must be a hockey fan: “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ …When someone strikes on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well.” (Mt 5: 38, 40) Does that not sound like Jesus is describing a hockey player? (Well, had Christ witnessed a hockey game, He probably would have said, “seven teeth for a hockey puck.”) And if someone can pole dance for Jesus, can’t I watch hockey for Jesus?

I took a long look at myself in the mirror. What do I see? Do I see a die-hard hockey fan, wearing a Blackhawks sweater and a goalie’s mask, or do I see Jason Voorhees?

Taking off the mask and sweater, and returning the machete back to the tool shed, I decide to head to Church.

My guess is that Jesus is a New Jersey Devils fan, anyway:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?” (Mt 5: 43-46)

The sacrifices I make for my faith.

Pax et bonum.

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