Bishop Martin - The Progress of a Soul in the Beyond

- Chapter 19 -

his vanishing of the fish gradually gets on Bishop Martin's nerves, and he mutters angrily: "What a stupid job! I am almost exhausted from all the lifting out and throwing onto the shore of these fish, and all in vain, as they all melt like butter in the sun!
I must watch carefully to see where the fish are getting to. Hmm, I can't see a thing! Another throw by my colleague and nothing is left in this realm of immortality! A nice immortality - this! On earth, not much is left of the things that have been, but here -nothing at all!
I have been looking forward to a hot, cooked salmon or other fish, but I haven't much hope now. I am not really hungry, but even thinking of hot, cooked salmon makes my mouth water.
Of course, it is a million times better here than where I was before, but I don't fancy this breezy fisherman's work for all eternity. It is also strange how it has been dawning here for a considerable time, yet there is still no trace of a rising sun.
What a strange world! What a strange existence! Whichever way you look at it, it doesn't make any sense. These, my only friends, are wise enough in their speech, but all the more stupid in their actions. If you take this senseless fishing, what a silly, unrewarding work it is; yet still these two go about it as if eternal salvation depended on it. But what can I do? I cannot expect anything better, and so I must be satisfied in God's name; I'll just have to carry on with this fishing; maybe later on something else will happen."
(Peter asks the bishop): "What are you mumbling about? Could you already be tired?"
(The bishop): "I'm not exactly tired, friend. But I must admit that I find this work rather funny, although I have no doubts that you and the Master are very wise men.
Look, we have been laboring for quite some time now, and all for nothing! The first big fish is gone, and I cannot see a trace of the second one! The small fish vanish into the air before they even hit the ground! Tell me, what can such idle work be good for?
I do know you as wise men, and most likely this work will have some wise purpose too. But could you tell me why we are doing all this and what it is good for?"
(Peter): "Now look here, dear brother, when you were a bishop on earth, how much even idler work did you perform? Would anyone have been allowed to question your actions' real value and importance? Take for instance, the baptism of a bell, the consecration of an organ, or the various so-called priestly vestments.
What significance and efficacy would all the different vestments have? Or the various monk's cowls? Why is one image of Mary more miraculous than another? Why is Florian for fire, and Johan Nepomuk for water, since both were thrown into the water - one in Austria into the Danube near Linz, the other one in Bohemia, into the Moldavia in Prague?
Why is Jesus not found among the fourteen helpers in need? And why does the holy supplication-litany appeal to God's mercy first, when in the following the saints are appealed to for their intercession? Is it in order to induce God to listen to the saints? But if God listens, why then appeal to the saints at all?
Why is Mary addressed with the Lord's Prayer ten times in the so-called Rosary, but God only once? Why does a church hold such a great number of large and small, wooden and metal crucifixes, and at least as many different images of Mary?
What is the difference between Solemn Mass and an ordinary low Mass for the spirit? When did Christ, St. Peter, or St. Paul institute the so-called unbloody sacrifice with different rates of fees? What must God's heart be like, that it can watch with goodwill the millionfold daily slaughter of His Son?
Look, my dear friend, in the world you performed countless futile and absolutely senseless rituals without believing in them at all! And still, with such futile actions, you didn't even ask yourself to what purpose. You were paid for it, you will say. Well, you will not have to work for nothing here either. What more do you want?
But I can tell you that this work is not half as futile as your work on earth. Therefore, refrain from mumbling to yourself in future. Tell us frankly what worries you and our futile fishing will soon come to an end. However, as long as you play the Roman mystery-monger, we'll have to go on fishing, and our catches will keep coming to nothing, exactly like our advice in your heart. Try to understand this! Now take the net and resume your work patiently."