At Least This
The Football World Cup has just ended and, if you like the French, you will be happy.
Two little observations prompt themselves at the end of the games.
The first: every player stands when the National Anthem plays. No one, and I mean no one, “took a knee”. Yes, this bunch of tattoed, secular players do the decent thing and honour their flag. All of them, with no exception. It is actually moving to see some of them singing their anthem with all they have, even if they are tragically out of tune. You cringe and smile at the same time.
The second: the number of players crossing themselves when getting in and out of the field, or after a goal, is now so high I wonder how long it will be before FIFA tries to ban it. This is, to this extent, a fairly recent phenomenon. I am quite sure 20 years ago there was nothing like that, at least not to this extent. Yes, this bunch of tattoed, secular players direct their thoughts up above, and show it not only for everyone in the stadium to see, but very clearly when they know the camera is on them.
Superstition? For the one or other, maybe; but… so many? Besides, superstition normally expresses itself in other ways, the most famous of which is universally known in Italy and is, emphatically, not the sign of the Cross.
There isn’t much of Christianity remained in the Old Continent, which, once again, dominated the games. When one sees small signs of decency and religious feelings, one cannot but notice.
At least this is clear : there is only so much bad Popes can do to destroy the Faith, because God seeds it in the hearts of men: and even tattoed, worldly people get a feeling of it.