Coach “J”

Fr. Kevin Dillon

Fr. Kevin Dillon is the Pastor of St. Boniface Martyr Parish, Sea Cliff, Long Island, NY.

A few months ago, I invited my Trainer, Jonathan and his friend (Johnny) to conduct a metabolic and cardio-core exercise training session to my sixth graders at All Saints Regional School in Glen Cove.  I introduced them to the class as Mr. Sorto and Mr. Cordova, but they suggested the students refer to them as “Coach J” and Coach Johnny.  I was thinking about the term COACH, and the various connotations that come to mind when one hears the word coach.  A coach can be a guide, mentor, trainer, advocate etc.

Most of you already know that I regularly employ the services and expertise of Jonathan (Coach J) in my own workouts.  Being a knowledgeable and excellent trainer, he not only guides his clients in physical fitness and agility but also in nutritional counseling as well.  One of his expectations for clients is that they must submit a weekly food log.  It’s simply an account of everything one eats in a week.  There are two “cheat days” where he doesn’t want to know what a client has eaten.  The objective of this endeavor is to make clients think twice about what they eat and do not eat and to make them conscious of what is referred to as mindless eating, (like sitting in front of the television with a bag of chips or candy and simply shoving one after another into one’s mouth).  It can be said that Jonathan’s goals for all his clients are to EMPOWER them to live a healthy and active lifestyle!

One week, Jonathan said to me “Fr. I don’t like what I see on your food log; I am not at all happy, but you are honest.”  I said, “Well, I get invited to a lot of social functions and it is not easy.”  He then gave me some advice and suggestions for overcoming this challenge.  Any of his suggestions and counsel is always in my best interest.  He urges, prompts, corrects and comforts his clients when necessary, so they may keep moving forward and achieve maximum results in both weight loss and strength.  In essence, he helps and pushes people to do what they might not want to do and thus realize true results that will make them feel and look better!

William Barclay in his classic book New Testament Words writes, “That the function of the Holy Spirit is to fill a man [woman] with that Spirit of power and courage which would make him able triumphantly to cope with life….”  Again, the Holy Spirit is the one who makes an ordinary man [woman] cope gallantly with a perilous and dangerous situation.”  The root word for this power is the Greek du-namis from which we derive the English word dynamite-an explosive force.  It can then be concluded that the Holy Spirit is NOT passive but an active, dynamic and explosive force to encourage, to empower and to engage.

In some ways the Holy Spirit can be thought of as a PERSONAL COACH/TRAINER too!  Not in the physical realm, but in the SPIRITUAL REALM. The Holy Spirit is probably the least prayed to person of the Holy Trinity, and yet the Holy Spirit is an excellent role model because we, too, like the Spirit can affect other people’s lives by encouraging, urging, comforting, being an advocate for, or interceding on behalf of another.  The role of the Holy Spirit helps us do what we can but do it even better; someone who can make us do what we would rather not do and to achieve what we hope to achieve.  Simply put, the Holy Spirit EMPOWERS us to achieve things we could not possibly do on our own!

At Confirmation every Catholic receives the Seven Gifts of the Spirit; they are given freely and generously by our God.  Learn to use them and rely on them often.  Ultimately, they will help all of us achieve what we hope to achieve, our ETERNAL REWARD, UNION FOREVER WITH OUR GOD, JESUS CHRIST!


Fr. Kevin’s letter appears each week in print and online in the St. Boniface Martyr Parish Bulletin.

 

 

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