Part 1: Into the Deep
In his Apostolic Letter “Novo Millennio Inuente,” JP II in recalling the gospel coined a clarion call for this new stage of journey for the church: “Duc in altum!” “Put out into the deep for a catch! “(Lk 5:4). Let us, for a while, dive into the deep and see for ourselves what we could catch. Then see for ourselves what we could learn from these precious creatures.
Our catch will come from about 4 kms deep. You will be encountering the fish you are about to see for the first time: legendary fish never appearing on the surface.
The Grenadier Fish. It is about 50 cms long. It travels long distances on the sea bed.
Its aim is to collect dead fish or dead products sinking down from the surface. In this way, it meets its food needs but also keeps the ocean floor clean. From it we learn Industry and Productive Work.
The Tripod Fish. It appears to stand on three legs, hence, a tripod. It stands for hours on the sea bed, patiently waiting for something to eat to pass by. Why? Because it has tiny eyes that are almost completely blind. Because of this blindness, it has two antennas that make it very sensitive to its surroundings. From it we learn Patience and Sensitivity.
The Flying Octopus Dumbo. The fins on either side of its head resemble elephant ears. It floats through the deep so gently and gracefully like a flying elephant. Even amidst turbulent currents, it consistently exhibits its serene calculated movements. From it we learn Gentleness and Grace.
The Angler Fish. A light emitting rod protrude above the head of this clever fisher of fish. This light looks like a tiny fish that attracts its prey like a fisherman’s bait. From it we learn Creative Ingenuity.
The Malacosteid Fish. Beneath its eyes come forth red lights which other fish do not see. An invisible light, as it were, that the Malacosteid Fish puts into good use as its night vision. From it we learn Resourcefulness: using the invisible spiritual graces we already possess into good use.
Part 2: Go F.I.S.H. Cycle
Here is the cycle of Dynamic Love Relationships. While we apply this in our own Relationship with God, let us examine our human relationships too using these guide. The cycle also follows the different stages/ types of love.
I. PAGHAHANGAD: Paghahanap-Paglapit-Pakikisama.
Eros: Need Love – Companionship
All relationships start in this stage.
1º First I Seek Him.
This first stage is PAG-LAPIT. Why is this important?
√because He first seeks for me. This is the heart of His Incarnation, His Passion, Death and Resurrection: He is God-with-us because He is God-seeking-for-us.
√ Do you desire for God, at least, in the way you desire to be with your loved one?
√ Do you thirst for His Love and Mercy?
√Lumalapit ka ba sa simbahan? O naghihintay kang lapitan ng simbahan o ng pari?
II. PAG-MAMAHAL: Pag-tingin-Pag-kilala-Pag-papahalaga.
Philia: Common Friendship
While pag-mamahal is generally used to refer to love, the Tagalog word conveys the nuance of putting value (mahal-aga, matimbang, precious) on the person and the values or virtues the person stands for.
It is in this context when we say Mahal Ko ang Diyos. What He values, I value. Simon was in this stage yet, in the gospel we heard (Lk 5:1-11). He cast his nets because he valued Jesus’ words.
2º Find the “I” in the Savior’s Heart.
After getting close to the Beloved one is invited into Friendship.
√One does not only need; one values the Beloved. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (Col 3:2-3)
√It is important to find our true value hidden in the very heart of God. God reminds us in Isaiah, See, upon the palms of my hands I have written your name; – Is 49:16 Here we regard, favour and observe the values and virtues of our ideal. A student studying to be a doctor is making real his/ her ideal. Then as he/ she progresses in the studies he/ she learns to appraise and observe the essential virtues attached to the ideal doctor. We say, unti-unti niyang pinahahalagahan ang mabubuting katangian ng isang ganap na doctor.
√Finding the “I” in the Savior’s Heart you cannot but catch the Forgiveness In the Savior’s Heart!
√Have you received this empowerment that comes from God’s mercy?
√ Have you gone to the Sacrament of Confession lately?
III. PAG-IBIG: Pag-ako – Pag-tugon – Pag-babago.
Pre-Agape: Sacramental Friendship
3º Foster Integrity, Seek Holiness.
Here, you say, “I don’t only value your virtues and goodness, I also make them my own! This Friendship heals me, makes me holy.” Remember that integrity is unity, purity, virtue, honesty, innocence, soundness, completeness, wholeness.
√We take on a new personality. Finding ourselves in God, we cannot but become new persons with a new attitude, new behaviours, new likes, and dislikes.
√As soon as Simon was confronted with his inadequacy / unworthiness he begs, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” ButJesus did not depart from him nor was he rebuked. He was instead forgiven, healed and empowered, “Do not be afraid; from now on, you will be catching men.” So was Isaiah treated likewise before being called to the prophetic ministry, purified and empowered.
√The mandate to seek holiness: But, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in every aspect of your conduct. – 1 Pt 1:15
√ May pag-ako ka ba sa Pag-ibig ng Diyos sa iyo?
√Ina-ako mo ba ang kaniyang kabanalan?
IV. PAKIKI-ISA: Pakikipag-kapwa – Pag-aalay.
Agape: Communion & Mission
There is communion:
√when friends decide to walk down the aisle and tie the knot in matrimony
√when even in anonymity one is faithful
√ when one achieves his/her ideals
√ when human will embraces God’s will
4º Fellowship In Search of Him
√ St. Paul beautifully expresses this Agape Communion love for God when he says, “yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me” – Gal 2:20.
Agape stage is when the “I” become conformed to the Image of Christ in morality: we must be in a right (i.e., moral) relationship with God and with other humans, using our authority to serve God and our fellow humans.
This leads us back to the first stage of paghahangad, this time the fellowship seeking Him, then, ever deepening pag-mamahal and pag-big in the relationship.Do you ever wonder why some teenage kids love to be together than be with their parents and siblings at home?