Kansas City – March is always a big month on the calendar. It’s the Trinitarian month, the month when the activities of Winter begin to give way to their Summer counterparts. It’s a month of change. Often, for my fellow Catholic and Orthodox Christians, March is completely consumed in one of the holiest seasons of the year: Lent.
If you want to know my views on Lent, don’t worry, I’ll be brief: Yes, if it is in your tradition do observe it! I take a more simple route compared to some of my fellow Catholics: no meat on Fridays, and fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. This means only 2 big meals and 1 small meal on those days, and no meat. Also, key is the giving up of something which you feel can keep you from Christ. I tend to take this more spiritually than physically, meaning that I don’t give up sweets or chips (fries). Rather, in the past few years I’ve given up negative emotions and mentalities such as hate, irrational fear, and this year excess and unnecessary worry. Yes, I haven’t always been successful with these: hate was simpler to give up than irrational fear, but I find it to be a good exercise in self control, which is a habit that is necessary in any and every social setting.
A huge part of this is foregoing the self, not focusing on one’s own person as much, and instead focusing that energy upon the wellbeing of society in general. We should try to challenge ourselves to forgo having “I” at the top, favouring “We” instead. Many Christian mystics have argued that the first step towards a fuller relationship with the Divine is to forgo one’s own self in favour of the will of another, in this case God.
Now that’s sorted out, onto some of the articles you can expect to find on this website in the coming weeks.
Thursday evening for us in the States (Friday morning for Europe and the Middle East, and Midday Friday for Australia and New Zealand) marks the start of the official race schedule for the 2014 Formula 1 World Championship! This weekend’s Australian Grand Prix, taking place at Albert Park in Melbourne, is sure to be a thriller. With longtime contender Mark Webber out of the running, the starting grid will seem a bit more empty, and without the old V8 engines it’ll certainly be a wee bit quieter, but undoubtedly it’s bound to be an eventful and exciting race weekend from the capital of Victoria. I’ll begin my coverage of it on Friday afternoon with thoughts on the Practice sessions, continuing Saturday and Sunday with the qualifying and race results in due course.
One thing to make note of regarding Formula 1: considering that I’m writing from North America, most of these races take place in the middle of the night my time, as I’m on Central Time (March to October GMT -5, November to early March GMT -6) I’ll probably be posting my articles up to 24 hours after the actual events occurred, in part because I’ll be watching tape-delayed, and also because as much as I do enjoy F1, it’s not generally something that I’ll get up at 3 in the morning to see. Now, I will write on the races in Western Europe and the Americas closer to time, but I’ll let the lads at NBC Sports do the graveyard shift for the rest of us here in the States.
Next, and closer to home, is the start of the summer sporting season here in the US and Canada. In particular, I’m referring to Major League Baseball’s Spring Training and Major League Soccer’s season’s start. I highly recommend to anyone who enjoys baseball to watch the season opener between the LA Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks in Sydney, Australia. It’ll be broadcast as a double-header on Saturday 22 March at 3.00 and 22.00 CDT, and will be nationally broadcast in the United States on MLB Network. The Cubs’ home opener will be on 4 April vs the Phillies at 13.20 CDT, and will be broadcast as per tradition and reason on WGN (hopefully nationally as well.) The Royals’ home opener will also be on 4 April at 15.10 CDT and will be broadcast locally on Fox Sports Kansas City.
Major League Soccer began its 2014 season last weekend with much gusto! Though Sporting KC didn’t leave Seattle with a win, they still played quite well over the course of the 90 minutes. I was also glad to see the Vancouver Whitecaps give the New York Red Bulls a stunner, beating the Supporter’s Shield winner 4-1 on Saturday evening in Vancouver. Hopefully tonight Sporting KC can return home and play for a win over Mexico’s Cruz Azul in the CONCACAF Champions’ League. We’ll just have to see…