March 18, 2009

Fishers of Men

Recently, Redneck Catholic had a couple posts about fishing that made me long for my fishing pole. If you are not reading Redneck's blog you should be!

Scripture is full of imagery of the Apostles casting out into the deep and hauling in so much fish that their nets are full to bursting. Several of the Apostles are, literally, fishermen. Jesus vows to make them "fishers of men"

We are the fish in the nets-rescued from the deep by the Apostles and brought into the boat-the Church.

When I was a kid I spent a lot of time fishing and netting with my paternal Grandfather on the Leech Lake Reservation.

Grandfather's philosophy of fishing was that it didn't matter how you caught them as long as you got them into the boat: snagging, spearing, netting, hooking thru the lip, the belly, just plain dumb luck. Whatever. Get 'em in the boat.

Sure, some of his tactics were probably illegal but 'we gotta eat' was his justification.

Evangelization is probably the same way. Not illegal (well...ok, debate amongst yourselves!) but probably just as sloppy as Grandpa and I fishing. It's probably totally dumb luck that I ever manage to evangelize anybody. In any case, it's not me, it's the Holy Spirit working thru me. I'm sorry to the Holy Spirit that I'm such a poor host. He probably spends a lot of time shaking his head and sighing. Well, if he had a head and could sigh-he would!

But, get 'em in the boat is the goal!

But, how do we treat them once they are in the boat? No, I'm not weighing anyone and throwing them back (I stink at catch and release anyway!) but I feel like my crankiness and lack of charity can be a big deterrent, rather than a lure, at times. Sure, sometimes it's funny. Well, but is it?

I know I tend to lean towards the Trad side of Catholicism but I hope I'm not so far right that I forget to be charitable. I rely on people to tell me when I've gone too far and, inevitably, someone does. Thank you.

Honestly, I've learned more from newbie Catholics or people who send me emails asking honest questions than I feel like I've taught anybody else. That's probably horribly sad but there it is.

I guess, like fishing, we need to adjust the bait to fit the situation.


Blogger Chris said...

Speaking as a newbie Catholic, your "crankiness and lack of charity" might have been a big deterrent, except that you are only cranky some of the time and certainly one of the most charitable people I know.

And why, the then-Protestant asked herself, would someone so (occasionally) cranky be so charitable? Hmmmm... there must be something to this whole "Catholic" thing. Could the Truth shine through even a Recovering Dissident Catholic?

Why yes, I believe it could.


March 18, 2009 9:02 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

Sometimes "crankiness" = truth.

Besides, I've really never known you to be cranky and you certainly don't lack in the charity department. Don't fall for all that PC stuff...You're absolutely perfect just the way you are!

March 19, 2009 12:46 AM  
Blogger Terry Nelson said...

I have never known you to be uncharitable - ever. Well maybe to rabbits. Did you know fish feel pain?

March 19, 2009 11:07 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

My favorite posts are when you are cranky! LOL

Seriously, you are spot on my friend...

Whatever works!

March 19, 2009 11:39 AM  
Blogger Ray from MN said...

"Catch and Release" when it comes to evangelization is not a good idea. You need to go into nurturing mode after you catch them.

Speaking of Catch and Release, fishing division, my first catch, when I was about 6 or so was only about 4" long. Too small to even determine what kind it was. I have a photo! I thought my Dad had put a minnow on my hook as bait when we were fishing in a tiny stream.

He didn't put up much of a struggle.

March 19, 2009 4:16 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Thanks everyone-and Ter. LOL!

March 19, 2009 8:57 PM  
Blogger Vincenzo said...

"You're absolutely perfect just the way you are!"
I agree!

March 19, 2009 10:25 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Aw, Vin! I know I'm lookin' awesome in my avatar shot!

March 20, 2009 8:43 PM  
Blogger Vincenzo said...


March 20, 2009 10:41 PM  

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