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THE SPIRITUAL CORRESPONDENCE OF THE FISHING. - THE COMPOSITION OF THE SOUL. - MARTIN'S EXCUSES, AND THE LORD'S REPRIMAND.
20,1. The bishop does as told, and says: "I do feel a bit better since I have now, at least, an idea why I am doing this and what this seemingly futile work is good for.
20,2. As I see it now, these fish illustrate my follies: the big ones my cardinal follies, and the smaller ones my countless minor blunders. But how my follies and various shabby tricks managed to turn into big and small fish in this sea, I cannot figure out.
20,3. Most probably this sea has its origin in the deluge, whose waters absorbed the bulk of man's mortal sins, including mine in advance. This is the only explanation that seems to make any sense to me.
20,4. However, why the sins present themselves as fish in this deluge of water is beyond me! Only the Almighty, Who has stored away these waters from the ancient deluge for the spirit world in this endless basin, knows the reason why.
20,5. Therefore, I shall not ask any more questions, but carry on with the fishing in order to remove my share of sins as soon as possible."
20,6. (Now I speak): "That is right! Work diligently, friend! Rome was not built in a day. With patience, all difficulties can be overcome. This is not Noah's flood, nor are the fish we are removing from the water your anticipated sins. But this sea is nevertheless a deluge, though not of anticipated sins, but of all the sins you committed in the world.
20,7. The reason why your sins appear in the shape of fish and sea monsters in different sizes is that every sin causes incompetence of the soul, which then disperses its countless mangled constituents, originating in the water and perfected in the fire of love of God in the human heart, resulting in the attainment of God's image.
20,8. As a child you were endowed with a physically complete soul in your body. However, by not living according to God's order and only to bestial order from the elements of which the soul is originally composed, you lost a lot of your soul's components. And now, in order to make your soul plastically complete, we have to lift all that was lost from the sea of your sins. Only after this has been accomplished can we take care of your spirit and its unification with your soul. Therefore, be diligent and patient, and you will soon understand what a good pilot is supposed to do here.
20,9. As these sea monsters here represent your sinful actions, they must disappear the moment they are lifted out, to face the light of God, which results in the manifestation of which it is written:
20,10. 'The kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast 111 to the sea, and gathered of every kind: which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.'
20,11. We have already lifted out quite a number of your deeds in the form of various fish, but, as you can see, they do not last in the light of God. And why? Because your ruined soul consumes them in order to regain its full shape.
20,12. When will there be deeds in your sea that last? Seek to fill your heart and awaken its love. There is still going to be a lot of futile work for your hands before you experience love of God in your heart.
20,13. If you realize this and understand what you have to achieve, you will keep working in true remorse, humility, and patience, until you succeed in your aspiration, thus gaining a clear vision as to your own proper judgment - and from this the mercy of God. So be it!"
20,14. Bishop Martin ponders over these words, but keeps working. After a while, he again turns to Me and says: "Dearest Master, you seem to be able to see through my life on earth like a jeweler does through a diamond, and although I find you most kind, in your justified reprimand you are as relentless as the barest truth itself.
20,15. It is true that all my actions must be an abomination before the Lord, due to the fact that all my life on earth I moved in falsehood and, to a certain degree, was forced to do it. Consequently, my actions couldn't possibly be anything but bad, which I now see clearly. But even if you were an angel yourself, you must admit that man cannot be blamed for all his shortcomings and faults, considering that he did not create himself with all his various inclinations.
20,16. If I had created and educated myself, I alone would be the cause of everything I did and should, of course, be held responsible for all my actions, and be condemned accordingly. However, to condemn all my actions and brand them as deadly sins because I committed them, seems, if not exactly unfair, at least too severe.
20,17. If the son of a robber becomes a robber, too, having had no other background than robbery and murder, could he justly be blamed for his horrible deeds?
20,18. Or can the tiger be condemned because he is cruel and bloodthirsty? Who equipped the viper with his lethal poison?
20,19. Can you blame a cannibal in darkest Africa for eating men if he can hunt them successfully? Why doesn't an angel or other good spirit descend from heaven to teach him what is right? Or should God really have created millions of people merely for damnation? This would indeed be cruel tyranny.
20,20. My opinion is therefore: To everyone his due, but he shouldn't be condemned for what is not his, and he cannot be blamed for."
20,21. (I reply): "Friend, you do a great injustice to Me with your words. Don't you see that we are helping you with this work because I am quite familiar with your stoical principles of justice?
20,22. Whatever you blame on your alleged neglected education, Brother Peter has taken upon himself. And all the things you blame on your Creator, I Myself have shouldered.
20,23. Do you really believe that you are quite guiltless where your own part is concerned? Can you honestly assert this? Were you not taught God's commandments, as well as the laws of the civil code? Didn't you, in many instances, know exactly that you were planning to commit a sin?
20,24. And when your conscience warned you, did you not ignore it, but did evil against it's loud voice? Do you blame that too on your education, or on the Creator?
20,25. Although your parents were paragons of generosity, you were hard-hearted toward the poor. Do you blame that, too, on your upbringing?
20,26. Since you became more tyrannical than an eagle whilst your parents were humble in their hearts, as demanded by the Word of God, was that, too, the fault of your upbringing or even the Creator?
20,27. Do you see now how wrong it is of you to blame your Creator? It is better to realize this and be humble, for none of your excuses will have any weight with God. But if you love God above all and love your brothers, you will find justice. So be it!"
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