Kind of embarrassed to ask this question


no, its not that bad, or maybe it is… meaning, I’m wondering and a bit worried what this question would say about me and how I would be perceived asking it…

well,anyway, here it is…

Why would anyone want to become ‘fishers of men’?

I mean that. I don’t get it. Maybe its just the introvert brain I have. I’m quite used to being alone and do fine just by myself- I do enjoy being around people, but I get very tired being around activity. I’m very sensitive. I just don’t understand why that would be such a ‘wow’ factor for anyone to want to join up with Christ. I don’t understand what that phrase means.

I just don’t know why the apostles would be like “wow, that’s something I want to do!” I see the phrase used in vocation ads and videos, but I never understand it, it doesn’t grab me, wow me, or anything. I don’t understand why that would be such an ‘exciting’ or wonderful thing you’d want to drop everything for it. I DO understand why one would drop everything for Christ, and for the sake of His Church, but the 'fishers of men" part… !!!. Why anyone would want to do that, because it kind of sounds like to me, that you want to be the center of attention and you want to have power over people… and that sounds kind of sick to me and doesn’t jive with how I know God in my own faith walk and how I think we are supposed to be. So I’m confused about it.

I realize though that that could just be me, and that no everyone is called to the same purpose.   But still, can someone fill me in about that phrase and what it means to them?  If that attracts you or sounds like such a great thing, can you describe to me what it is about that that calls you?   Sometimes, with me, I don't understand a passion another might have about something until I see their love for it shining through their eyes.  

I guess that is what I’m asking for- some sort of glimpse of it, so I could maybe understand, because its been bothering me for a long while now. Maybe I just never looked at that Scripture the right way. Maybe its a ‘man’ thing only, I dunno.

Please someone fill me in. (and please don’t judge me too harshly for asking. I know its kinda central to the whole business, but still… I don’t get it.!!!)


Well, for one thing, I think it’s a Grace that God puts into some men’s hearts. He places that desire there.

I too am an introvert to a very large degree so I sort of know where you are coming from. I do very much love people and want to help them and bring them to Christ in the way that God wants me to do that.

Jesus wasn’t making a sales pitch when he said that. It was a statement. :slight_smile: God called them out on mission and put that burning desire in their hearts. He’s God, you know, he can do that kind of thing! :stuck_out_tongue:

It’s a good question you ask, though, I think. No need to be embarassed.

If we love our brothers and sisters truly we should want their salvation. It all starts there, I think.


Becoming fishers of men is an essential part of being Christian. You must draw other people to Christ. It is what Christ meant when he said on the cross ‘I thirst’. There are many things that can capture a person’s heart - many things of this world. But their hearts must be captured by Christ - that is the mission of the Church and of every person in it. That is why the church is militant in this world - it is a battle to make Christ head of every person’s heart.

There are those who do not officially know Christ - but they do the right thing and lead moral lives, and without knowing it, Christ, the Word is head of their hearts too.

If people won’t hear your words, then show them via behaviour.


Jesus was trying to appeal to Peter who was a fisherman. Have you ever met someone who only knows how to do one thing? All they talk about is what they know. If Peter was a car mechanic, Jesus would have said, “I will make you a mechanic of men.” If Peter was a computer programmer, Jesus would have said, “I will make you a programmer of men.”


There are many ways to be Fishers of Men. Take the luge of St Therese of Lisieux who is the patron saint of missionaries, for example.

One does not have to go and stand on a street corner with Bible in one hand and bullhorn in the other. A simple, quiet prayer for conversion of the hearts of others may be what you are called to do.


Ok, I think that was how I was seeing it… I mean, I always see it in ads for vocations, and so it kind of sounds like that, and it puts me off for some unknown to me reason.


This is cute… I had a chuckle… A very good way of seeing it, thanks. I never thought of it that way. This really helps clear it up for me… I wasn’t looking at the context, I guess. Again, the whole vocational ads thing was what was confusing me, I think.


This is cool, and I do understand this. I think what was messing me up were the vocational ads (you know, for like say a convent asking for people to come join them) The ads use the phrase, to me at least, as if there is some sort of deeper meaning to it that I just wasn’t getting.

When I think of fishers of men- again, it seems like someone standing up on a podium and talking in a pompous way about how great they are and what great things they do and people falling for it. I dunno… that’s just what I “get”, and I just never thought that was how we should be, so it was confusing. I do understand sharing about Jesus and doing our best to glow for Him, letting His love shine through us, or praying and making sacrifices for people… that, I understand. :thumbsup:

Just that the term ‘fishers of men’ seems like someone putting hooks in unsuspecting victims (fooling a fish into thinking its an offering of food) whom they are going to let die on a dry hot boat, skin alive and eat later. … It sounds kind of horrific and doesn’t sound loving to me. :confused: :shrug::blush:


Wow! I had never thought of that imagery before. Not I have a clearer understanding where you’re coming from.


Just that the term ‘fishers of men’ seems like someone putting hooks in unsuspecting victims (fooling a fish into thinking its an offering of food) whom they are going to let die on a dry hot boat, skin alive and eat later. … It sounds kind of horrific and doesn’t sound loving to me.

I really love animals very much too. When I was a kid, I fished. But now, I can’t do it myself. If I were really hungry I would obviously, but I like the fish. They are beautiful and Gods creatures.

But Jesus meant the apostles would be catching men in the sense that they would be bringing souls to Jesus who is THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE and that’s a very good thing!!:slight_smile:


Ask away! By all means! :thumbsup:

I ask the same question, and I’m a seminarian. Why would anyone, of their own volition, aspire to the priesthood? :shrug:

My personal answer is this:

I don’t want to be a priest. I want to have a wife, kids, and frankly (although many like to shove it under the rug) sex; to accomplish certain life goals, and to have enough money to enjoy certain aspects of life a little bit more. These are normal aspirations for someone in their 20’s.

However, the reality of the situation is that I believe God has called me to become a priest; or at least give it a go. If I am to believe in God, our Lord, and His Holy Church, then it follows that I should (if I believe there may be a call) follow through and see what God has in store; even if this conflicts with my wants. It may end in ordination, it may not; but I am certain it will get me to where I need to be in life. Many have termed this “holy indifference”.

I myself am of the mind that while it may be an admirable notion, entering priesthood of one’s own volition (that is to say, without any sort of call) can only end in disaster. How could one persevere in this way of life without His Grace?

I think you and I would agree that one going because they want to may not have the purist of motives, as you have so well described (that’s not to say that there aren’t some that are pure in motive, of course).

The phrase comes from Matthew 4:19, and I just take it to mean that you are fishing men out of the sea of despair and darkness, bringing them to the surface, essentially, to the Light of Christ.

I don’t think the whole “fishers of men” thing really does it for me, but I do have an attraction to helping others, especially bringing God’s peace in the way only a priest can (that is to say, through the sacraments). I think, as previously stated, that without help from Almighty God, you aren’t going to get very far in that aspiration though.

No, it’s not a “man” thing, and honestly I really didn’t care much for the “Fishers of Men” video (nor the “catchphrase” for that matter, although it obviously comes from Christ Himself). :shrug:

Now I get to ask questions! :stuck_out_tongue:

Why has this been bothering you for a long while? (if you do not wish to continue here, you are most welcome to PM me)


Imagine yourself leaning over the side of something like Noah’s Ark, pulling people out of the fires of Hell, and getting them safely on to the Ark (which is to say, into the Catholic Church) so that they can live forever and be happy forever. :slight_smile:


Its basically what I said in post #8- I’d say ever since I read the line in Scripture I just didn’t get the right picture, didn’t jive, didn’t mesh. I didn’t understand where the Scripture was coming from, but the poster mikeeh helped clear that up.

Thanks for your input.


So why do I want to be a priest? Well, to be honest it’s not something which is easy to put into words - as one of my former co-workers (who incidentally isn’t religious) said when I told him what I was going to do: “it’s calling; it has to be. You don’t wake up and, because it’s Tuesday, decide to do it.” I previously had a job and a well-paying career yet, somehow, I just didn’t feel satisfied. I wanted to do more with my life and do more to help people and the idea of becoming a priest was one which just kept coming back to me. Eventually, I reached a point in my life (when I was about 30) when I decided that, if I was going to do it, it was then or never.

Granted, it’s not something which everyone is called to do; I know a number of people who, although you might think they’d make great priests, have absolutely no desire at all. to put it another way, it’s simply not what they fell called to do. I’ve also meet a few people (admittedly, not very many who, while they respect my decision, just can’t understand why I want do become a priest. Granted, viewed from the normal standards of society in general, it’s crazy. The culture most of us live in values success in material (or at least measurable) forms - so things like a nice house, a good job, a decent salary, or an important sounding title. Even having a wife and kids is, in a sense, something to be proud of. At the same time, most people are mindful of the well being of others (even if it’s only their nearest and dearest) and realise that they’re not just living for themselves. Similarly, in a sense, just about anything in life can be a vocation in a sense, if you’re willing to treat it in that way. A calling to priesthood (or for that matter, religious life) simply takes these common features of life to another level. For me, if anything, the “craziness” simply goes to prove that this something from God.

it kind of sounds like to me, that you want to be the center of attention and you want to have power over people

Granted, there are people who do have that motivation but thankfully most if not all) get screened out at the earliest stages, or elsewhere along the way. The same also goes for those with careerist ambitions who see it effectively as another job, or for that matter, people who are looking for the Church to be a sort of surrogate-mother to take care of them. Having been on the vocations “circuit” for a while before entering the seminary, I’ve heard more than a few “call stories” and so am well familiar with the common themes. Essentially, it comes down to a deep-seated longing that just won’t go away, along with a desire to give of oneself for others as well a faith of course. Often, those who experience this call turn out to be those you’d least suspect which underlines the mystery of it all.


I think you misunderstand my post and question and thank you for your post. My question is not why do you want to become a priest… no. I well understand that. A vocation is a beautiful gift!

My question was that I just didn’t ‘get’ the ‘fishers of men’ part- meaning, I took it the wrong way. I was seeing it in a very graphic and kind of twisted way (see post #8) and never understood how it jived with the rest of Scripture and how Jesus is supposed to be.

I should note that last night I did some homework and looked up the phrase in the notes in my Bible. And it said what basically all the other posters here are saying. I should have just looked there so as not to take up anyone’s time, but I didn’t think it would be in there. Thank you to everyone!


Yeah, thanks, this is basically what the side notes in my Bible said… that’s a beautiful thing and that connotation beats having images of Jesus calling men to be deceivers, hunters and killers of ‘fish’ (men).

I should note I’m not against fishing.


Sorry, I didn’t mean to be repetitive. Glad you got it sorted out. :slight_smile:


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