Until recently, perhaps the only other baseball fans who possibly could understand what it means to be a Chicago Cubs' fan are Boston Red Sox fans. It's not just the idea that "There's always next year!"--living in hope--but savoring each day of the baseball season for the joy it might just bring--a win!
This hope overcomes what in most other major league baseball fans would surely generate despair. To wit:
  • The Cubs haven't appeared in a World Series since 1945.
  • The Cubs haven't won a World Series since 1908.

How about these post-season losses:
  • 1998 NL Division Series:  Atlanta Braves                   0-3
  • 2007 NL Division Series:  Arizona Diamondbacks     0-3
  • 2008 NL Division Series:  Los Angeles Dodgers        0-3

And that's to say nothing about:

  • The 1989 NL Championship Series, when the Cubs lost to the San Francisco Giants in embarrassing fashion, 4-1.
  • The 2003 NL Championship Series, when the Cubs lost to the Florida Marlins, 3-4, due to fan interference.*

Let's not even bring up 1967 or 1969.

* The video of this game is particularly instructive of the dejection that Cubs fans could rightly feel. Going into the 8th inning ahead 3-0, what surely would have been an out and an appearance in the World Series instead opened the flood gates to a stunning loss in the 7th game of the NCLS at Wrigley Field:
But, despite all of the adversity and like all loyal Cubs' fans, The Motley Monk still loves the Cubs!

Over at The Campion, Matthew Petesch posted how Catholics might learn something about the theological virtue of hope by analogy of being a loyal Chicago Cubs' fan. For example:
  • Cubs fans can endure the hardships of baseball and continue to be zealous and passionate about their team.
  • Cubs fans endure defeat after defeat, because it is reasonable for them to believe that one day they will see their team win the World Series.
  • Cubs fans have continued to support their team even after a century long World Series drought.
  • The Cubs have failed more times than they’ve succeeded and yet fans continue to flock to Wrigley Field every year.
  • Although losing has become a part of Cub culture, Cub fans have never given up hope.

Petesch is correct when he distinguishes between the theological virtue of hope and the type of hope that sends the spirits of Cubs fans soaring each Spring training, each day of the season, and omigosh...this 2015 post season!

The theological virtue of hope is sheer grace, given by God to assist human beings to persevere during difficult and tumultuous times in life.

Will 2015 be the year when the hopes of Cubs' fans worldwide are fulfilled? Let's hope so!

Let the discussion begin...

To read Matthew Petesch's post, click on the following link:


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