Within hours of the Chicago Cubs getting eliminated from the 2015 postseason, a devoted fan named Deric Brazill went online to share a revelation. The next season would mark 108 years since the Cubs had won the World Series.
In Buddhism, he wrote, 108 is a significant number. To mark the New Year, Buddhist temple bells ring 108 times. Strings of Buddhist prayer beads contain 108 beads. If the Cubs win the World Series in 2016, Mr. Brazill says, “the Dalai Lama should probably comment.”
Should the drought extend to 109 years, however, Cubs fans won’t be surprised, especially those who are Buddhist. “The Buddha is quoted saying, ‘Life is suffering,’” says the Rev. Patti Nakai of the Buddhist Temple of Chicago, located just blocks from Wrigley Field. “We always say, ‘Us Cubs fans know that real well.’”
All religions, to some extent, seek to understand the value, meaning and purpose of suffering. That includes everyday plagues, such as enduring a calamitous baseball losing streak. It’s no accident spiritual thinkers make the connection.
“All this attention on the Cubs has me thinking about hope, the most underappreciated Christian virtue,” Michael Laskey, a Yankees-loving National Catholic Reporter columnist, wrote last year.
Lauding Cubs fans for braving horrible weather in support of often-terrible teams, Mr. Laskey wrote that “this type of hope—showing up when things are hard—might be exactly the virtue the church most needs right now.”