Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Former USC, now NFL Steelers star Troy Polamalu (from USC), on family, football, trying to grow orchids and...ORTHODOXY??? He went to USC, too.

I caught Get Religion's link to this amazing and uplifting human interest piece from Pittsburgh Magazine. Really, go read the whole thing. Football? Yeah, there's some. Family life? Lots. A rags to riches story? Yes. Gardening? Some of that.

But what really leaps out is Polamalu's journey into the ancient depths of Greek Orthodox Christianity. Too many great quotes and insights from which to choose, so I'll just toss one your way:

(Pittsburgh Magazine) Can you give an example of what inspires you?
"There are so many, and I don't mean to imply that everybody needs to live like a monk in order to be saved. For the Greek Orthodox monks, examples would be: they wear beards to cover their face so they're not vain; they don't have mirrors because they don't want to look at themselves from being vain; they wear black because black is humility; they seldom talk because they don't want to be proud or arrogant; they keep their eyes down because they don't want their eyes to wander; they pray constantly.

The struggle between good and evil is very materialized with them. A lot of people have an understanding of this but it's really just an oral proclamation that there is good and evil. To the monks, it's hard as rock. It's something they grasp daily. This is what I see in them and it amazes me: they've taken their struggle so seriously and in turn there's so much grace in it. When you sit down with these monks, so much peace and love exudes from them."

NPA note: Sorry 'bout the shameless USC plugs. Football's on the way...


David Wilson+ said...

As a PSU Nittany Lion grad let me send you to this link from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette on Troy Palamahu and his Orthodox faith written by an Anglican

Jill C. said...

"Former USC . . . and he went to USC too!"

Yeah, just a wee bit overboard, Fr. Tim! ;)