All That I Have Written Is Straw. . .

Meanderings of a Catholic Devout

“Get up. I am only a man myself.”

with 2 comments

Happy Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul!

I was briefly reminded by the Pope’s pre-Angelus message of what St. Irenaeus of Lyon, who also had a feast day this week, says about the Catholic faith, “[The Roman Church] must be the point of convergence of all other Churches, because it has always guarded the tradition that comes from the Apostles.”

It is easy for me to identify with St. Paul. Unless you were gifted with blind faith, who doesn’t identify with his conversion? More so, it is his zeal that appeals to me. He was often on the verge of rudeness for the sake of piety. He so adamantly defended the faith, unceasingly converted hordes of believers, Jewish and Gentile alike, and even admonished other apostles, especially Peter, in the acceptance of Gentiles.

But Peter is more a mystery to me. I have never spent much time studying the man and have only read his accounts from the Gospels and Acts. I have very little reference in regards to the background of his writing, except when Paul admonishes him for hesitating to enter the home of a Gentile. I expect that my graduate studies will soon cure me of this lack of knowledge.

I was, however, enlightened on a theory as to why Jesus chose Peter to be the foundation of his church, even though he understood that Peter’s denial of him would ultimately result in crucifixion. Peter makes mistakes but he is never concerned that his mistakes are uncorrectable.  He denies Jesus, not once, but three times near the commencement of Jesus’ Passion. He mourned and suffered for that, but because of his faith in realizing that our God is a forgiving one, never once doubted that God would remedy his shortcomings. Thus, Peter held hope, unlike Judas Iscariot, who took a course in the other direction, not understanding the fullness of God’s forgiveness and, as such—haunted by his betrayal—took his own life.

Peter, an allusion to the Body of Christ, is broken, bruised in spirit, in thought, but one who heals to be better in form, to be resurrected.  And so Peter is the head of the Church, the living Body of Christ. The Church keeps the apostolic tradition to this day, sometimes hurting from individual ailments of her human members, but always mending and never losing hope to emerge more unified, more glorious, because of the Spirit within.

A few of Peter’s words, most powerful for me:

  • “You are the Christ, the son of the Living God.” (Mt. 16:16)
  • “Get up. I am only a man myself.” (Acts 10:26)
  • “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” (Lk. 5:8)
  • “You know, Lord, that I love you.” (Jn. 21: 15, 16, 17)
  • “Whether it is right in the sight of God for us to obey you rather than God, you be the judges. It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:19-20)

Written by Written Straw

June 30, 2011 at 10:35 am

Posted in Catholic, Faith, Life

2 Responses

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  1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I really enjoy studying and reading about Peter in the Gospel, the Acts of the Apostles, and the letters of Peter.

    My favorite is 1Peter 3:15

    “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope…” (NAB)

    “Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you…”(RSV)


    June 30, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    • Seems like I am always having to defend my hope these days! Great quote. I haven’t “studied” the letters of Peter in depth, yet, but I’ll get to them soon.

      Written Straw

      July 1, 2011 at 7:38 am

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