Today Padre brought something up in his homily and I’ve been picking at it all day long – while I was mowing, while we were at breakfast, during the car ride, as we visited friends. He said that in baseball, a hitter who fails 70 percent of the time, a 300 batter, is Hall of Fame material. Thirty percent success is all it takes to get into the baseball Hall of Fame.


Now, I’m a bit of a perfectionist, and I’ve been thinking about this 30 percent business as it relates to my cluttered-desk spirituality of late. I’m doing good to get a decade of the rosary out in the morning before I get my coffee fix, and it’s never a sure thing that I’ve prayed all ten Hail Mary’s (some mornings I think it’s more like twelve, and others it’s probably eight, so maybe the average is good for Mother Mary). I often fall asleep before I can get “thanks, God, for a great day” out of my mouth in the evening, and morning prayer, though scheduled and rigorously attempted, is sometimes also hit-or-miss. I’ve been OK about my prayer journal (thanks to Kimberly Hahn for that stroke of brilliance), but I’m giving God credit for that one (and it’s something relatively new, so maybe the luster hasn’t worn off yet). As for my daily rosary, well, let’s not talk about that.

I’m failing at least 70 percent of the time. And that’s been my focus – my failure. I’m beating myself up about it, feeling like the prime example of human weakness and in the meantime, not really getting farther ahead.

Let’s turn the situation around.

Do I succeed 30 percent of the time? Interesting question, and certainly where we should focus our efforts. This is where the Holy Spirit comes in, isn’t it? Oh joyous Pentecost! On the mornings I crank out that decade and keep my mind from wandering beyond my ability to pray my morning prayers and all the other little through-the-day items, I’m batting 1000. That’s my goal. But just because my goal’s 1000 doesn’t mean I’m going to average 1000. To average 300, there are going to be some 100 days and some 700 days and maybe even a 1000 or two. God’s OK with that, and so what’s my problem? Why don’t I just focus on batting 300 and not worrying about the 700? Maybe if I turn the 700 over to God, I’ll bat better than 300!