Fr. Dan White, S.J.
October 4, 2015
Yogi Berra died last week at the age of ninety. This proud son of The Hill in St. Louis was a three-time MVP, ten-time World Champion, and member of the baseball Hall of Fame. Yogi was perhaps even better known for his way with words. He had a genius for merging the silly with the sublime. He said about a certain restaurant, “No one goes there anymore, it’s too crowded.” Or, when being honored once at Sportsmen’s Park: “I want to thank everyone for making this night necessary.”
My favorite, however, is from his time as a manager. Describing his style, Yogi stated, “You can observe a lot by watching.” What a perfect blending of the obvious and the insightful. The problem is that most of us fail to watch or notice. Our ability to observe well suffers from being unwilling to do that which is most basic: pay attention.
St. Ignatius Loyola believed that finding God was actually not that difficult. God is eternally present, and desires to be known by us. The struggle is to enable ourselves to recognize this. An intentional watchfulness is integral to the spirituality of Ignatius. God is all around us, so pay attention!
All of us can indeed observe a lot by watching. In fact, such a perspective is essential for our growth as Christians. Maybe another title needs to be added to the list of Yogi’s accomplishments: spiritual guru.