A few days ago I picked up a book entitled Church History in the Lives of the Saints by Fr. Joseph Dunney. It was written in 1944. Fr. Dunney has a wonderful way of describing things.
One line that stuck out when speaking about St. Peter was: “The chief disciple might, yes, would, falter under sudden onsets of trial, yet never was there question of his abiding allegiance.” I hope that might be said of me when I’m no longer on earth.
Another great description of St. Peter’s qualities goes as follows:“Peter was affectionate but of quick temper: brave, yet not seldom wavering: rough and ready, none the less sincere, single of eye, clean of heart. Heir to a past with all its bluff and brawn, his defects of quality had to be corrected. Well for Peter that he has a Divine Master who can teach him to obey, take his impetuous spirit, demand that he humbly submit to the yoke.”
What a great picture he paints of St. Peter. I think St. Peter is a great model for catechists. He had a heart full of zeal and excitement to follow the Master. His imperfection shows us that one isn’t “all or nothing” but a disciple in training and always being more and more conformed to Christ. We can all relate to that.
Fr. Dunney, when speaking of the intense days of Roman persecution under the Emperor Nero describes the suffering Church and it’s leader:“Think of St. Peter during these terrible days, living in the thick of trial, going about strengthening his flock. The Vicar of Christ was destined himself to “bear witness” and become a victim in the gruesome festival! His Divine Master had made his very clear- “Amen, Amen, I say to thee, when thou wast younger, thou didst gird thyself, and didst walk where thou wouldst. But when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee.” Ancient tradition describes the dire perils Peter faced, the pit of danger that yawned beneath his feet.”
St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles and inspiration of catechists…Pray for us.