A Boy and His Fish
(And His Mother and Her Rosary)
By Kelly Wahlquist (May 29, 2012)
I don't know about you, but there's always something that makes me more in tune with the Creator when I'm surrounded by His beautiful creation. Prayer becomes more intimate, more sincere, more focused.
Sitting on the deck on a gorgeous Sunday morning, I experienced just that — creation drawing me in to the heart of the Father. I was praying my Rosary; the birds were chirping, loons calling, butterflies and chipmunks all around me. In fact, to an outsider, I must have looked like a mystical Snow White. However, though I was completely relishing this time of prayer, I'm still a mom, so while my heart was speaking to my Creator, my eye was on my little "creation" who was fishing at the end of the dock.
As I entered the midway point in the 4th Glorious Mystery, I could see Myles' fishing stance intensify and knew he was concentrating deeply. Though my meditation was quietly on Our Lady's Assumption, I knew my son needed my words of wisdom at the moment, so I yelled, "Set the hook!" With a snap of his wrist, the hook was set and the small mouth bass that had been eluding him all weekend was firmly on the end of his fishing pole!
A joyous victory for all! "Now back to meditating on my Rosary," I thought... until I heard those all too familiar words, "Moooooom, can you come down and take the fish off the hook?" So placing my rosary on my chair, down to the lake I went, and as I walked barefoot on the wet grass, I wondered if the Blessed Mother ever heard those same words. After all, her Son was a fisher of men.
It's kinda like that, huh? Jesus sets the hook in our hearts and Mary gently takes hold of us, protects us, and brings us lovingly to her Son. When I handed the fish to Myles he had a smile from ear to ear, and he bent down to gently let the fish go. I suppose here I could say, "Myles let the fish go... go therefore to make disciples of all nations," but that might be stretching the analogy a wee bit. (And, you lose a little credibility if you stretch a fishing story.) But I can tell you this, at that moment as I watched my little guy release and root for the fish, I saw the Blessed Mother, as the mother of a 9-year-old boy, who through her every action prepared her Son for His ministry. And, as a mother, I realized that's exactly what I should be doing! Every action I have with or for my son should be done to prepare him for his ministry in life.
As Myles is only nine years old, I do not know what his exact ministry in life will be, but I do know without a shadow of a doubt that it is one which will always encompass going and making disciples for Christ. Today I realized, as the earthly mother of this little creation, I am called at all times through all my actions to prepare him for this ministry, for the life God has planned for him — even if it means once and a while my hands smell like fish Eeeewww!
Kelly Wahlquist is the assistant director of the Evangelization and Development Office for Parish Evangelization for the Association of Marian Helpers in Stockbridge, Mass., where she works for the Marians of the Immaculate Conception. She manages and advises for the Hearts Afire Parish-based Programs for the New Evangelization. Visit allheartsafire.org.