Thanks for all the birthday wishes and kindness! I got to spend the evening of my birthday out on a parishioner’s boat on the Potomac. We didn’t fish, but just enjoyed the sunset. It has been years since I fished at all and my skills as a fisherman are sketchy. Once I was deep-sea fishing with my brothers, they both caught 25+ fish, standing shoulder to shoulder with me, I caught none. This led to some good natured ribbing about my being a ‘fisher of men,’ but not of fish!
All of that time not catching fish led me to reflect on how the enemy of our souls is clever, calculating and patient in the baited traps that he sets for us:
Calculating: Like a good fisherman, Satan knows what bait to use for each and every fish that he is trying to catch, our individual weaknesses and disordered desires.
Clever: Of course the hook is hidden in the bait. But there is always a hook to ensnare, trap and enslave us.
Patient: He sets the bait before us, and waits. Souls aren’t taking the bait?…. Just wait, they will come.
Did you ever wonder what goes on in a fish brain?… Likely not much more than “looks good… Yum… yum…Ouch…Oh no!” I pray that much more thought and wisdom be engaged in our struggles to resist spiritual bait.
On the other hand, the Lord does not deceive in inviting us into His boat (the boat being an ancient image of the Church). He reveals to us our deepest desires for Love, and tells us of the cost (the Cross), but carries it for and with us. And we fill up His boat by willingly jumping in at His invitation.
I guess that is the kind of fish I need and have, ones willing to jump in the boat!
pax et bonum,
Fr. John Mosimann