Saturday 1st August 2015

Home » saints » Currently Reading:

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Peter, Pope

February 17, 2014 saints No Comments

By CAROLE BRESLIN

“You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church” (Matt. 16:18; Mark 8:27). As I was looking at a replica of the Vatican, whose architecture is in the shape of a key in a keyhole, I realized that Christ really did build His Church on St. Peter. Deep in the recesses of St. Peter’s Basilica are the relics of St. Peter. There is no other church in all of Christendom that can claim to be built on St. Peter.
There is little known about Peter’s early life except that he was born in Bethsaida, a small town near Lake Genesareth. More of his history, however, can be gained from the passages in Scripture that relate to him. We know that he was a fisherman. Peter’s brother, Andrew, came to Peter and told him, “We have found the Messiah!” Later when Peter was casting his nets into the sea, our Lord called him and renamed him Cephas or Peter, meaning rock (Matt. 4:18).
Surely our Lord knew that here was the man who would become the first Vicar of Christ.
It is interesting to note that Peter drops what he was doing and answers the call “at once” (Matt. 4:20). Soon after our Lord accompanies Peter to his home. (As a fisherman, he is a boat owner and he also has a home, so he must have made a reasonable living.) Upon entering, they learn that Peter’s mother-in-law is ill with fever. Our Lord cures her and immediately she gets up and prepares food for them. Thus we know that Peter was married.
In the Gospels that recount the calling of the twelve at the beginning of Christ’s ministry, the first man named is “Simon called Peter.” Peter’s prominence is also recognized in the Gospel accounts in the way Jesus is questioned. In the Bible, either “the disciples” ask Jesus to explain the parables or Peter asks (Matt. 14:22-31).
Most significantly, when Jesus asks the apostles, “Who do you say I am?” it is Peter who answers, “You are the Christ.” Then our Lord told Peter he will head His Church and that the gates of Hell will not prevail against it. When Jesus next foretells His Passion and Resurrection, Peter shows just how human he is. First of all, he does not seem to listen to the words spoken that Christ will rise again. Rather he asserts that this could not happen to Christ. To which Christ responds somewhat vehemently, “Get behind me, Satan!” (Matt. 16:23).
One minute Peter is exalted for proclaiming Christ and the next he is scolded for an apparent attempt to thwart the will of God the Father. Yet our Lord does not abandon him. Rather He seems to be training him by including him in several other marvelous events such as the curing of the daughter of Jairus and the Transfiguration.
In John 6, the chapter of the Eucharist, Jesus asks His disciples if they, too, will abandon Him. Peter responds as if speaking for all of the apostles with simplicity and frankness: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of everlasting life and we have come to believe and to know that you are the Christ, the Son of God” (John 6:69-70).
Peter is impulsive, passionate, and very much aware of his limitations. He recognizes that he does not always understand the point that Jesus is trying to make. It is Peter who asks Jesus to explain the parables and it is Peter who does not understand what Jesus is doing at the Last Supper when He washes the feet of the disciples.
When Peter declares that he will follow Christ, Jesus tells him he will deny Him three times. How this must have struck the heart of Peter! As St. Paul said, the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. After the Last Supper, this becomes all too apparent.
In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus asks the three apostles to pray with him but Peter, James, and John fall asleep three times — and thus Jesus falls three times. When the soldiers come to arrest Jesus, Peter cuts off the ear of one of them. Then Peter follows as they take Christ to the high priest.
After hearing the beating that Christ receives after His questioning, Peter then denies that he knows Christ, perhaps fearful that he too will receive such brutal treatment. When the cock crows, Peter leaves and weeps. Yet he does not despair as Judas does.
Three days later, on that first Easter Sunday morning, he runs to the tomb. Even though the youthful John arrives first, he waits for Peter, thus showing the primacy that Peter has among the apostles. Only after Peter enters the tomb does John go in.
Before our Lord ascends to Heaven, Peter and some apostles are fishing. When Peter learns that it is Jesus on the shore, he strips and leaps into the water so that he can get to Jesus all the more quickly. As they are eating the fish, Jesus questions Peter, “Do you love me?” three times. Peter answers three times; in the Greek there is much more meaning to the words used for love. Again Peter realizes the limits of the human heart and the great merciful love of God. Great sinners make great saints and Peter is a prime example.
Once our Lord ascends to Heaven, the apostles wait for the descent of the Holy Spirit. After that, Peter is a changed man, demonstrating the power of the gifts and the fruits of the Holy Spirit. His courage, fortitude, love, wisdom, and joy astound the Jewish leaders.
He is imprisoned and freed by angels. He meets with Paul and blesses his mission to the Gentiles. He is threatened, but this time does not deny Christ. He is finally crucified around AD 64 in Rome under the rule of Nero, who blamed the burning of Rome on the Christians. He asks that he not be crucified upright as Jesus had been because he is not worthy to die in the same manner. Thus, he is crucified upside down, as beautifully depicted in the painting by Caravaggio.
One of the books in the Catholic Lifetime Reading Plan by Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ, is Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz, recounting the time of Peter and Paul in Rome — great reading for the lenten season.
On February 22 the Church celebrates the Chair of St. Peter. The First Vatican Council at the end of the 19th century formally declared the infallibility of the Pope, much to the consternation of many European nations. For two thousand years the Church has stood on the rock and the gates of Hell have not prevailed against it.
Glory be to God. Amen.

+    +    +

(Carole Breslin home-schooled her four daughters and served as treasurer of the Michigan Catholic Home Educators for eight years. Mrs. Breslin’s articles have appeared in Homiletic & Pastoral Review and in the Marian Catechist Newsletter. For over ten years, she was national coordinator for the Marian Catechists, founded by Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ.)

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

Untitled 3

Pope FrancisAn Open Letter To His Holiness Pope Francis      Given the controversy and confusion surrounding the 2014 Synod on the Family, the staff of The Wanderer and its supporters thought it appropriate to address Pope Francis with an open letter . . .

Catholic Colleges Must Regain the Art of Temperate Drinking, Says Author

July 30, 2015, at 2:40 PM  |  By Justin Petrisek  | Catholic colleges need to be mindful of the moral and spiritual state of their students, said Dr. Michael Foley, associate professor of patristics at Baylor University, in an interview…Continue Reading

Last Catholic priest at US base in Antarctica leaves post

A Catholic priest who served at the U.S.-operated McMurdo Station in Antarctica was told he will have to leave his post due to declining attendance and budget cuts. Father Dan Doyle, who lives in Christchurch, New Zealand, would spend summers…Continue Reading

Jamestown Excavation Unearths Four Bodies and a Possible Catholic Reliquary

Could a mysterious box unearthed in historic Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in North America, point to a Catholic connection with the foundation of the United States of America? While Spanish and Portuguese exploration, settlement and conquest of…Continue Reading

Catholic officials, others react to Boy Scouts’ decision to allow openly gay leaders

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The top leaders of the National Catholic Committee on Scouting have made an uneasy peace with the Boy Scouts of America’s decision July 27 to allow openly gay troop leaders and employees to serve in their ranks…Continue Reading

The Remnant REALLY? . . . Is This How We Support Fellow Catholics Battling A Cause We Should All Be Behind?

Planned Parenthood Hires PR Firm to Run Damage Control After It’s Exposed Selling Aborted Babies

The Planed Parenthood abortion business is so desperate to put out the public relations fires that have developed in the wake of it being caught numerous times selling the body parts of aborted babies that it has hired a top…Continue Reading

More than Half of Young Catholic Families Are Latino Despite Recent Decline

More than half of young Catholic families (53 percent) identify themselves as Latino or Hispanic compared with 32 percent of all Catholics, according to a recent survey. Could the presence of Hispanic families in the Catholic Church indicate Latino congregational…Continue Reading

New York Catholic churches closing after decades of service

Parishioners in New York are losing their churches as the Catholic Archdiocese carries out an aggressive consolidation plan. The cuts are driven by declining membership, fiscal insolvency of churches, and fewer priests, according to church officials. While there are 2.8…Continue Reading

Kenyan President to Obama: You Will not Impose The ‘Gay Rights’ Agenda In Kenya

We need to speak frankly about these things” says President Kenyatta in response to Obama’s statement that Kenya must share the same values as the United States on sodomite rights issues. Kenyatta, at the press conference this morning in Kenya,…Continue Reading

Nancy Pelosi: Ignore Planned Parenthood Selling Aborted Babies, Investigate Pro-Lifers

nancyp

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi has no interest in digging deeper into the revelations that the Planned Parenthood abortion business is selling the body part of aborted babies Instead, she wants the Obama administration to investigate the pro-life activists who…Continue Reading

Carly Fiorina to Planned Parenthood: You Deny Ultrasounds to Show Women Life Within Them, but Use Ultrasounds to Preserve Organs of Their Dead Babies

Venezuela’s bishops caution against the adoption of no-fault divorce

The Venezuelan bishops last week warned that marriage and families in their nation will be weakened as a result of a court decision ruling that spouses can divorce without any evidence of wrongdoing on either’s part , Christian Telegraph reports…Continue Reading

Newsmax

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

12 Ways to Become a Committed Catholic Man

There is a Catholic “man-crisis.” Large numbers of men who were baptized Catholic have left the Church and the majority of those who remain are “Casual Catholic Men”, men who do not know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it. This large-scale failure of Catholic men to commit themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church has contributed to the accelerating…Continue Reading

Today . . .

US Bishops Respond to Planned Parenthood Videos

Washington, D.C., July 30, 2015 (ZENIT.org) Kathleen Naab The Center for Medical Progress released today its fourth video exposing Planned Parenthood’s use of fetal tissue, with the results of its investigation attracting growing national and international attention. On Wednesday, the chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities released a brief statement about the videos. Cardinal Seán O’Malley, archbishop of Boston, cited Pope Francis’ teaching on abortion and said that the heart of the…Continue Reading

BREAKING: Court blocks pro-life group from releasing some new fetal part footage

July 29, 15 (LifeSiteNews) – The California Superior Court has issued a narrow temporary restraining order preventing the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), a pro-life group, from releasing further undercover video footage taken of three top-level staff of StemExpress. CMP is the organization behind the series of three videos released over the past three weeks exposing the alleged harvesting and sale of body parts from aborted babies by Planned Parenthood – body parts that are…Continue Reading

4th video shows Planned Parenthood director negotiating fetal body parts

July 30, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Workers in a lab are seen sorting through body parts on a dish: a heart, stomach, kidney, and legs. And then a medical assistant suddenly announces: “It’s another boy!” This is just a little of the macabre and heart-wrenching footage in the newest undercover video showing alleged harvesting and sale of body parts from aborted babies by Planned Parenthood, released Thursday morning. The newest video also shows a Planned Parenthood…Continue Reading

Late Cardinal Played Key Role in Catholic Ed. in Lead-up to Ex corde Ecclesiae

July 29, 2015, at 12:10 PM  |  By Justin Petrisek  | Cardinal William Baum, one of the principal players in the formative years of Pope St. John Paul II’s constitution on Catholic higher education, Ex corde Ecclesiae, has passed away at the age of 88 after a long illness, according to Catholic News Service. He died on July 23 in Washington, D.C., at a residence run by the Little Sisters of the Poor. “Cardinal Baum…Continue Reading

A Book Review . . . An Excellent Guide To Answering Anti-Catholic Attacks

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY Five Anti-Catholic Myths: Slavery, Crusades, Inquisition, Galileo, Holocaust by Gerard M. Verschuuren (Angelico Press: 2015; 181 pages, $16.95 print edition). Available at http://angelicopress.com/. In this book the author sets out to investigate just how it has come about that anti-Catholic myths about particular topics have managed to become so deeply embedded…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “Homosexuality And The Church Crisis”

By BRIAN CLOWES Part 2 (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For electronic copies of previous articles on homosexual “marriage,” the special rights agenda and the role of homosexuality in the Church crisis, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + “Facts are stubborn things,…Continue Reading

Defend The Little Sisters Of The Poor — And American Liberty

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of CNSnews.com. Creators Syndicate distributes his column. All rights reserved.) + + + No group in the United States today is making a stronger stand for liberty than the Little Sisters of the Poor, an order of Catholic nuns dedicated to running nursing…Continue Reading

Aggressive Obama, Passive National GOP . . . Is Third-Party Option Starting To Look Better?

By DEXTER DUGGAN House Speaker John Boehner said the recently released sting video of a national Planned Parenthood official at lunch, munching away and chatting about how to “crush” unborn babies to harvest their organs for money, was “disgusting.” Republican Boehner finally seemed to have found his voice in a Washington where he usually blends…Continue Reading

Is This What Determines Our Position On Common Core?

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK The mail that we receive at First Teachers is overwhelmingly opposed to Common Core, the federal government’s effort to establish education standards for the country. Certain of our correspondents object to what they see as a liberal bias in Common Core’s curriculum, while others object to what they believe are confusing…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: In the wake of the latest Planned Parenthood scandal involving selling the body parts of aborted babies (see LifeNews.com to view the videos of interviews with Planned Parenthood officials), this is an opportune time to contact not only your legislators about ending taxpayer funding of this conglomerate that kills more than 330,000 babies a year, but also to…Continue Reading

Our Journey Through The Desert

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Nineteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: 1 Kings 19:4-8 Eph. 4:30-5:2 John 6:41-51 In the second reading today St. Paul instructs us to do nothing that will grieve the Holy Spirit. In his brief list of offenses that would grieve the Holy Spirit, St. Paul includes bitterness, fury, anger, reviling, shouting, and all malice.…Continue Reading

Obergefell V. Hodges . . . “To Sin By Silence . . . Makes Cowards Of Men”

By FR. PETER MITCHELL (Editor’s Note: Fr. Peter Mitchell is the pastor of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Greenville, Wis. He gave this homily on the 13th Sunday of Ordinary Time, June 28 — two days after the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Obergefell v. Hodges.) + + + “To sin by silence when they…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . Like Love, Assent To Faith Is A Matter Of The Will

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Reaction to my column last week titled “Where Is There Room to Disagree With Jesus? In Hell!” included the following note from a Facebook follower. Kim wrote, “Perhaps the question posed to you was not worded correctly. How about this onea. . . . Is there a line where Catholic teachings are not something Catholics…Continue Reading

An Apologetics Course . . . Why Is The Gospel Message Unique Among Religions?

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA Part 12 In this series of articles on apologetics, we have followed a logical sequence, moving from the simpler to the more complex. So, first we saw how it makes sense that truth is objective, and not subjective; that is, our minds do not create the truth, they learn it, discover it, and grasp it from…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Martha

By CAROLE BRESLIN A popular pilgrimage among the Catholics of southern France takes visitors to the Grotte de la Sainte-Baume, located in the hills of Provence about 20 miles east of the port of Marseilles. To reach this holy site, the driver must cover miles of winding, ascending roads to the foot of the mountain. Then the pilgrim ascends a…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Bridget

By CAROLE BRESLIN One of St. Teresa of Calcutta’s most quoted sayings would fit with this column’s saint, “God hasn’t called me to be successful. He has called me to be faithful.” What encouraging words for anyone seeking to do God’s will, knowing that the cross, the setbacks, and the obstacles are all part of working for the Kingdom of…Continue Reading