Rev. Patrick Miller, rector of St. Mark's, Houston, has been a student of boxing since 2007, and as the Houston Chronicle reports, he's striving to integrate lessons learned in the ring with those acquired in the process of his work.
"Boxing is violent," he acknowledged. "You're hurting other people, trying to knock them out. It is the antithesis of what a priest is called to do. It is completely foreign to anything I've ever done in my life. But I've found the boxing gym to be a wisdom place."
"I remember a guy got his nose busted. He was told, 'You will feel better when that quits hurting,' " said Miller, who lives with his family in West University. "Grief is the price you pay for loving. You think you're going to grieve the rest of your life, but the pain will end.
"This is boxing. You do get hit," he added. "If you miss a combination, you come up on the fist side of things. In the real world, you get hit with stuff you don't expect."
Rev. Miller's story brings to mind Father Chalé Lopez, a clerical character in J.D. Robb's Salvation in Death, who had twenty-two wins, six by knockout. Perhaps this blogger needs to read more Norman Mailer; do you know of any other boxing priests?