S e n t i r e C u m E c c l e s i a

"To keep ourselves right in all things, we ought to hold fast to this principle: What seems to me to be white, I will believe to be black if the hierarchical Church thus determines it. For we believe that between Christ our Lord, the Bridegroom, and the Church, His Spouse, there is the one same Spirit who governs and guides us for the salvation of our souls..." - Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius [365]

Monday, February 20, 2006

God Uses People...

I remember a story shared by a participant in one of the Christian Life Programs I have attended. She said that her "conversion story" began through a prodding of a friend. That she was just invited to attend the program and once she did, her whole life changed. She became more aware of the God who loves her and who continues to do so despite her many failures... through her friend.

Her story is more often than not a reflection of our own stories of conversion and change. We were made to see the greater reality of God's love in the midst of our sinfulness through persons... sometimes close to us, yet sometimes total strangers.

This is the story of Peter the Apostle, the First Pope of the Church. Peter was an ordinary man of his time -- a laborer (a fisherman by trade), uneducated, and perhaps powerless. In short, a "nobody" in his community. Yet, he was chosen by Christ to head and lead His Church here on earth. Through the leadership of Peter and of his succesors, the Catholic Faith reached all the four corners of the world. God used Peter to bring to mankind the saving love of Christ and of His Church.

So, let us therefore pray for all those persons -- dear to us and total strangers -- who in one way or the other became God's instruments for our conversion and change. Let us thank the Lord for them, that through them, we have seen the light of God. Let us also pray for Peter's succesor, the Pope, that he may continue to be God's instrument of love, reconciliation, and peace to the whole of humanity.

The Catholic Church celebrates on this date (22 February) the Chair of St. Peter, the first pope. This feast brings to mind the mission of teacher and pastor conferred by Christ on Peter, and continued in an unbroken line down to the present Pope, Benedict XVI. We celebrate the unity of the Church, founded upon the Apostle, and renew our assent to the Magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, extended both to truths which are solemnly defined ex cathedra, and to all the acts of the ordinary magisterium (Daily Roman Missal).


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