They catch an awful lot of fish, which end up in markets.
But there are very many fish that nets will never take.
Some fish are far too heavy. The nets would surely break.
Some fish are so small, the meshwork they elude.
Other fish are clever and regard all nets as crude.
And that’s why there are fishermen who arm themselves with hook.
You’ll find them on the deep blue sea or in a babbling brook.
Patience is their virtue, and cunning is their trait.
They know what kind of lure to use and where to lie in wait.
The fisherman with loaded net—what gladness he must feel!
But so does he who takes a bass with cunning, rod, and reel.
Our Lord for Him a fisherman each one of us does claim.
He wants us all to do our part to catch souls in His Name.
To some, He gives well-crafted nets for multitudes to catch.
Some preachers will win throngs of souls whose numbers few can match.
But never has there yet been made a net to catch all men.
The most eloquent of preachers nets only three in ten!
So Jesus gives to most of us a hook with bait and line.
With these it is our job to catch one soul at a time.
Supplicating prayer’s the line. Good example is the bait.
The Gospel is the hook we use, and with patience we must wait.
Many souls in heaven no preacher ever caught,
But by the loving witness of the faithful they were taught.
So go forth now and catch the souls that slip through Father’s net.
Don’t worry about numbers or how many you can get.
One soul at a time, if the job’s to be done right!
For every soul is precious in the Eternal Father’s sight.
He who nets ten thousand souls on Judgment Day will laugh.
But no less will the man rejoice who knows how to wield the gaff.
By the way, remember the old saying: “You catch ‘em. God ’ll clean ‘em.”