Monday, September 17, 2012

Getting to Know St. Peter – A Man with a Great Capacity to Love!

by M. J. Joachim

Picture, if you will, an ordinary man working and being a productive member of his community. He is married, has relatives and friends he hangs out with and strives to live a good life, doing right by others, serving his family well and being faithful to his God. It’s easy to relate to this person, and even easier to embrace him as a friend.

One of the biggest things I personally struggle with about being Catholic is our ability to eliminate ourselves in the equation of Catholicism. It’s almost as if we’re saying, Christ birth, death and resurrection isn’t enough for our salvation. Yet, the Catholic faith clearly teaches that our salvation depends on nothing else but accepting Christ as our Savior, the Son of the Living God who was born, died and resurrected to save us.

Elevating certain people is not a bad thing, in and of itself. Common sense dictates the need for it to create a sense of order, and without leaders, much of life as we know it would turn to chaos, and destruction might all too quickly rule the day. The choice then isn’t as much about having leadership roles in society, as it is about choosing those leaders with insight, care and intelligence.

St. Peter is a leader in the Catholic Church. Christ Himself chose Peter and numerous biblical verses explain and help the rest of us understand why Peter was chosen and favored by God. Peter and Jesus became friends. This relationship certainly wasn’t an easy one for Peter. As much as he loved our Lord, he still struggled with the necessary soul work associated with being a true follower of Christ.

Peter was a man with a great capacity to love – a messy and highly volatile personality trait at best. The more one loves, the harder it is to see the forest for the trees sometimes, which often allows fear and emotion to rule the day. Love conquers all, but first we must conquer ourselves to respond effectively to it.

Peter is a person who is easy to like and understand. We all know how hard it is to do what we must do at times. We’re not perfect and seek counsel from our friends and others who will help us make the best choice possible in any given situation. We are responsible – even enough to admit when we are wrong. And we can be bullheaded, especially when we know we are right.

St. Paul was one of St. Peter’s closest friends; their feast day (June 29) is celebrated together in the Catholic Church. Why did I mention this, you might ask? Oh, that’s another blog post…stay tunedJ

Until next time, kind followers, I wish you every good thing!

M. J.

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Photo Credit: Wikicommons, Creative Commons Attribution