24 March 2013

Peter's failures... enabled him

"...And after some days of reflection, they will enter the Sistine Chapel to elect a successor to Peter.

What keeps me going these days is a remembrance of Peter, a personal friend of Jesus of Nazareth, who had to remember his own failures as he undertook leadership within the church.

Rather than incapacitating him, his remembrance enabled him to be a merciful and compassionate leader.  Peter learned his lesson well; he would imitate Jesus the rest of his life even to the point of giving that life as a martyr, dying upside down on a cross on the Vatican hill.  The last thing Peter would have seen before dying was the obelisk that now stands in the middle of St. Peter’s Square.

This reality we call Catholicism does not rest on some kind of pious myth, a pie-in-the sky story from long ago.

It is a story that has weathered many storms, and withstood the fury of the gates of hell.

It is a story about real people and real things that happened to them.  People who staked their lives, and continue to do so, not on fables and fantasies, but on what they came to understand as the truth.

It is that same truth that we are trying to serve these days as we tell the world an ancient, at times incredible story that continues to excite and entice the whole world.  It’s ultimately about Peter and the one he loved so much that he gave up everything to follow him."


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