Suffering and Chicago Cubs’ Fans

Like many Cubs’ fans, I’m sick over their most recent collapse. Now, I know that baseball is just a sport and I am in no way comparing the “suffering” of Cub’s fans to the real suffering that people face in life.


We Cubs’ fans do suffer. Losing makes us sick. And, of course, the Catechism teaches us about illness and suffering:

Illness and suffering have always been among the gravest problems confronted in human life. In illness, man experiences his powerlessness, his limitations, and his finitude. Every illness can make us glimpse death. (1500)

And so, for the 100th year in a row, Cubs fans have been reminded of our powerlessness, our limitations, and our finitude. Yes, each year, we “glimpse death.”

Thanks, Cubs, for keeping us so well-rooted and so well-pre-disposed to grace. The point is well taken.

For some reason, the phrase “beating a dead horse” comes to mind.


About Joe Paprocki 2748 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at

12 Comments on Suffering and Chicago Cubs’ Fans

  1. Thanks, Joe!
    I’m amazed that you can make a theological connection to the futility of millionaire athletes and millions of broken-hearted fans!
    Well, as they say… Wait ’til next year!

  2. I might be willing to be just a LITTLE bit less well-pre-disposed to grace if it meant a Cubs World Series title in my lifetime.

  3. Janet, if the Cubs losing is for our own good (keeping us well-rooted and well-pre-disposed to grace), I wish they would stop being so good to us!

  4. As a life long red sox fan I can assure you all that the other thing rooting for a team that causes us to “suffer” disappointment gives us is the gift of hope.

  5. Joe,
    I am reminded of that dearly departed writer and Cub fan of yore, Mike Royko, who anticipated the Catechism long ago when he said that being a Cub fan had moral benefit because it reminded us of the inevitability of death. RIP Cub (and White Sox) dreams, 2008.

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