Friday, June 29, 2012

Wisdom Gained from Fishing

The Catholic Times desk columnist recounts a fishing trip that he made with some friends, during which they caught few fish but came away with some interesting insights. On arriving at the island and seeing the color of the water, they made some judgements on what was to be the result of their trip.

The water was muddy, and one of his companions blurted out:  "Ouch, the water is disturbed, and we have been away from fishing for a long time; it will not be a good day."

The journalist, who admitted to not being an expert, came to the same conclusion. They started fishing at 3:00 in the afternoon and finished at 10:00 that evening, catching one flounder the size of a person's hand. One of the companions took time off to take a nap.

They had something to eat and returned home. One of them said that when the water is so muddy the fish can't see the bait, which means there is going to be a problem. They had picked the wrong day, he said, for fishing.  

Another said that it was not all bad; when the water is turned upside down, as it was on that day, it's time for a  cleaning; the top is exchanged with the bottom. The garbage at the bottom comes to the top and becomes food for the seagulls.  Fish also will be removing the edible material floating on the water. 

When things are disturbed, reflected the journalist, we  know what peace and  tranquility means. The journalist had come to the same conclusion in his own life: when things are upside down it is then that he makes the step to renew himself.

He wonders if this is not also true of the Church. When the Church appears to be too much at peace and too comfortable, he questions whether this is the reality. He sees the disturbance 'at the bottom' and wonders if this is being overlooked. He is left with the question: Is it a good thing to have what is happening at the bottom come to the top so that something can be done?

This is a question, he says, we all can ask ourselves. When we don't have transparency, we may be fooling ourselves into thinking all is well. That which bothers us, if not allowed to see the light, does not always leave us unharmed.Bringing to the light what is 'down below' can be the effort required to  remedy many of our troublesome issues.                                    

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