Los Angeles Rams kicker Greg "the leg" Zuerlein, an outspoken devout Catholic, says a father's "most important" job is instilling his children with faith and Godly morals in order to best assure that they ascend to heaven.
Speaking with the National Catholic Register, Zuerlein, who helped to propel his team this year all the way to the Super Bowl, said that even though he loves playing football, he knows it will come to an end. The kicker says that therefore makes faith his top priority.
"I enjoy playing football but also know that it will come to an end one day," the 31-year-old Zuerlein said. "The older I get, the more I see that it is not who I am, but what I do for a job."
As a husband and father who lives his Catholic faith devoutly, Zuerlein said that the salvation of his wife and children are his top priority.
"The most important goal of a single Catholic man is to get his soul to heaven, but the most important goal of a married Catholic man expands to getting not only his own soul to heaven, but also those of his wife and children," Zuerlein stated. "It’s almost as if, as a result of the love that you share, you have one soul as a family."
According to LifeSiteNews, Zuerlein and his wife Megan have four children together, which Zuerlein said is the whole point of marriage. "[The] whole point of getting married is to raise good children — first giving them natural life and then giving them supernatural life in the Church," he said. "Children are supposed to be valued highly, but not in the sense of being a scarce luxury. The default setting for a family is to have children, so it shouldn’t be considered odd when children come about."
Zuerlein credits his parents for his devoutness, saying they took the grace of God seriously in his youth.
"In our family, it was made clear that certain things are required of us in order to get to heaven," he said. "The Church is there in so many ways for us to achieve that goal, so it is a matter of whether we want to cooperate with the grace available through the sacramental and devotional life of the Church. It’s all centered on Christ and radiates out through Mary, Joseph, the apostles, angels, and so forth. I learned that growing up, but it’s becoming even clearer now."
Zuerlein's frank admission of faith recalls that of recent statements made by Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, another outspoken Catholic, who said that faith has been the bedrock of his life since college.
"My faith has always been very important to me," Rivers said in 2017. "When I went to college is really when it became my own. I had to get up out of that dorm room and go to church, go to mass on Sunday. That’s when I took ownership of my faith."
"I think that the center of our marriage and the foundation of our relationship was on Jesus," he said. "That is why it’s worked to this point."