Written by: Michael Simoes
The events of the last couple of weeks with His Holiness Benedict XVI’s resignation, Cardinals heading to Rome, the Conclave and the election of Pope Francis have caused me to sometime forget that we are still in the season of Lent, a time to deepen our relationship with God through penance, fasting and mortification.
A few days ago, I was praying with the passage from Luke (5:1-11) in which Christ gets into Simon Peter’s boat. Listen to what Christ initially says to Simon Peter: “Put out a little from the Land”. I think most of us are happy with still being in the shallow end of the pool, close enough to land that if the ship crumbles and falls apart, we could swim to land, no problem. Christ teaches us from this ship just a little out from the land, and yet He later tells Peter, “Put out into the deep”. This is the example that Peter sets for us today, that although he had toiled all night and caught nothing, he will do the will of Christ and go out into the deep and fish there.
What does this mean for us? Today, are we ready to be heroic in our practice of the faith? Usually this passage is used as a meditation for those who discerning a vocation to the priesthood, but really, it is for everyone who wants to deepen their relationship with Christ. We cannot just stay in the shallow end of the pool, we have to trust and jump into the deep. We cannot be satisfied with just penance, fasting and mortification. We have to go deep into our lives and let Christ who has worked through the sacrifice of the cross, use His grace in those areas. We have to be heroic, heroic in our virtue, heroic in our example. It is only when we go into the deep will we find the catch of fish, that is our life will bear much fruit.
We all want reform, but that reform has to begin with us, to allow Christ into our boat, for us to listen to Him and put out into the deep of our lives so that the practices of our faith can begin to bear fruit. Let us not forget this during Lent.
I am sure that the Cardinals in the Conclave were weighing on this as they choose for us the successor of Peter.
Pope Francis is going to shock us all. He is heroic in his example and in virtue. He lives poverty, he is extremely prayerful and although he looked shocked on that balcony (who wouldn’t 100,000 people staring at you, cheering for you…) he looked like this was a conscious choice for him. The one though that has been occurring in my head since his election is: a sign of contradiction to the nations. In a time where we live in decadence, pleasure and instant gratification, Pope Francis is going to show us the life that leads to Christ, to holiness, to sainthood. Viva el Papa!!!! Deo Gratias!In the News, Lent, Pope Francis, Prayer, by Catholic Chapter House.