This is a syndicated post from Daily Meditations with Fr. Alfonse. [Read the original article...]
Jesus saw two boats alongside the lake…Getting into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon…he said to him…“Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” Simon said in reply, “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.” When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets were tearing…When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.”…Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.”
Put out into deep water. As we approach Lent, what can we do to get closer to the Lord? Put out into deep water.
We like the shallow end of a pool for a variety of reasons: we can see the bottom; we can touch the bottom; and we can stay in it for hours without working hard at it. Lots of little children stay in the shallow end. But God is not in the shallow end. He is in the deep end.
Some scientists (materialistic scientists) like the shallow end. They like crisp formulas and exact results. But life is not crisp or exact. It is natural. It is full of subjectivity, feeling and striving.
Georgetown University Professor John F. Haught notes that natural science achieves exact results by restricting itself to measurable phenomenon, ignoring deeper questions about meaning and purpose. By its method, it filters out subjectivity, feeling, and striving, all of which are essential to a full theory of cognition. Hence, Materialistic Darwinism is incapable of explaining the universe, for the universe gives rise to subjectivity, feeling, and striving. (First Things Article, October 2007)
These sciences are little puddles that kids stamp their feet in; whereas, philosophy and theology are sciences in which you can’t even see bottom! Their object is way too profound! They need some help – a little revelation.
Sure, the natural sciences appear to explain a lot, but always at a very superficial level: the material and efficient cause level. Their discoveries may appear to be profound, but they are actually very shallow; near the surface, at the molecule level. And even their calculations may appear to be exact and to the point, but they are actually ignoring and missing all the main points: formal and final causality; that is, purpose and meaning.
“How I came to be” is very shallow compared to the profundity of “why I came to be”.
Now like I said above, some people actually prefer to stay in the shallow end and encourage others to go there as well. They say, “Oh, it’s so nice over here!” (I personally think their afraid their missing out on something better.) I call these folks “Atheists of the gap”; for they dismiss, ignore and laugh at all that is profound. They wish to drain the pool of all its water! In other words, they attempt to empty the life out of life and make it appear shallow.
What they need to do is not empty the pool but leave the shallow end and jump into the deep end.
Jump into the deep and see what you find. In the shallow end, we find those who believe that man is just an animal, made out of the same stuff of skin, bones and organs. Now lots of kids feel this way. It makes life so much easier. But if they were to jump into deep water, then they would find so much more to life; that is, that which only humans can have and do: faith, hope, sacrifice, modesty, purity, poetry, paintings, music and love.
From the deep, it soon becomes clear that humans are more like aliens than like animals.
In the shallow end it’s all about sex, impulses and urges. But in the deep end, we find love, romance and fidelity. Now that’s deep!
In the shallow end, we find survival-of-the-fittest. In the deep end, we find mercy, compassion, forgiveness and sympathy. In the shallow end, we find adaptation. In the deep end we find justice, conversion, a change of heart, not adaptation! That’s not deep. That’s profound! And that is where the Lord can be found.
Go out into the deep! In the shallow end nothing is deep. There is no need to hard work or to tread water. In the deep end, everything is deep, everything is work. In the shallow end, marriage is shallow. In the deep end, marriage is work. Marriage requires vows, hard work, sacrifices, compromise, perseverance and dedication. In the shallow end, living together requires little to nothing, except two people. And no requirements, except self-gratification.
I am a sinner. When Peter said these words, he took a plunge into deep cold water. He could have said to the Lord, “Look, I make mistakes. I’m only human you know.” Instead, he preferred to jump into the deep and relate his life to the Lord’s life. To call oneself a sinner means to reunite one’s life back to God. That’s deep. But what’s even deeper is the Lord’s response: Do not be afraid. From now on you will be working with me.
Deep waters always bring us to surprise and wonder. The realm – the Kingdom – of God.
Incoming search terms:
- luke 5:1-11
- luke 5:1-11 deep water
- for i am a sinful man
- how difficult is it to get into georgetown university