Thursday, July 05, 2007

When the night is catchless

The last Choice meeting was not the first time we discussed the lack of numbers; that caused three weekends this year alone to be canceled. The big question seems to be whether to concentrate on recruitment, or to concentrate on improving the quality of the weekends offered.

Personally I'm in favor of renewal of the program itself; because nothing works better than the word of mouth from "satisfied customers". 'Marketing' still needs to be done, but I believe that in apostolate, it is the Lord who sends us souls. So renewal and lots of prayers are in order! At the same time, I was reading a couple of chapters from Georges Chevrot's "Simon Peter"; and an excerpt here (heavily edited by me) seems very applicable:

"Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing, but at Thy word I will let down the net." (Luke 5:5)
Men of any craft can never stand laymen giving them advice on matters relating to their profession. First of all, there weren't any fish; secondly, what a time to go fishing, in the middle of the day! They had just spent a wasted night and tiredness made them feel even more than they had given themselves bother to no purpose!
Jesus has to convince [Peter and his companions] that with Him they can even undertake the impossible. Simon had already understood it: "in verbo tuo (at Thy word)".
Begin again... the secret of all progress and of every victory is, in fact, to know how to begin again, to learn from a failure and to try once more. [Common sense and experience alone] should be enough to convince us that one needs to begin again. But there is the terrible contradiction of the facts, the 'bad luck' that dogs our footsteps, the very faults that are repeated, the failures that regularly bring our enterprises crashing down. There are also the days when one has a good mind to chuck the whole game. What good is it beginning again only to founder every time? Let us repeat [St Peter's] three little words: " In verbo tuo."
Yes, humanly speaking, everything is finished. I can do more, and I do not want to do any more. But it is You, Lord, who order me to set out again. I will set out again therefore, not because it seems reasonable, but because You order me to do so. We begin again, not in order to succeed, but to obey. It is not my work that I am accomplishing, it is Yours.
If we wish to obey God only, then we are on the true road to holiness. God raises us higher than our hopes. St Paul says it: "He whose power is at work in us is powerful enough, and more than powerful enough, to carry out His purpose beyond all our hopes and dreams." Similarly, He will perform marvels through our apostolate & ministry, if we are not preoccupied with succeeding but only with obeying.
When the apostle is not ambitious, when he is only absorbed in the sorrowful thought that precious souls are being lost, souls redeemed by Jesus Christ like his own, it is no longer the man who acts, but Christ Himself, and the unlikely [catch] is no longer impossible!

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