Consider the iceberg

It’s the Fourth of July and summer has come in hot. So let’s think about ice for a minute. Specifically, imagine an iceberg floating in an ocean.

What is seen above the surface, we’re told, is only about 10 percent of an iceberg’s actual size. Ninety percent is unseen below.

It’s good to think of an iceberg when someone accomplishes a goal. On page two of this issue, for example, are four examples of athletes who achieved big dreams — high school state championships or, in the case of Jenna Fesemyer, making Team USA for this summer’s Paralympic Games. But their public competitions in the state finals or at the Paralympic Trials were like the visible part of the iceberg. What is unseen, and must be celebrated and appreciated, are the countless hours of training and practice away from the crowds that formed the foundation of their success.

The iceberg metaphor works in almost every aspect of faith as well. The Springfield Dominicans (see page 3) were a visible fixture in Rantoul for decades, doing wonderful work in both St. Malachy Parish and School. But how much unseen private prayer and study did these remarkable women do that fueled their teaching, leadership, and service? The same is true of our priests marking milestone years who were celebrated at the recent Jubilarian Mass. We may see our priests for an hour a week. But how much of their 60, or 50, or 25 years of service were spent drawing nearer to Christ privately so they can stand in persona Christi for us?

How about us? We want to be seen as good Catholic Christians, but are we spending all our time on the surface or are we committed to doing the unseen training, prayer, and service necessary to deepen our faith’s foundation and reach the goal of sainthood? Learn from the iceberg. — Thomas J. Dermody

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