On the shore of the Sea of Galilee.
Simon, come and follow me,
join your life to mine and learn from me,
walking in my steps and yet at my side,
taking my yoke which is sweet and light.
And I tell you, from this relationship,
this intimacy that grows between you and I,
you will become a fisher of men,
catching them and drawing them to me.
I leave everything, Lord, to follow you.
But don’t you see I am a sinful man?
Do not worry about that,
the burden of your sinfulness
–as long as you turn to me
every time that you stumble and fall,
letting me touch and heal your heart.
For you are beloved,
beloved of the Father, and by me.
And you are also chosen;
if you only rely on me
you will be ceaselessly sustained.
Late at night during their travels,
when Christ has risen to pray,
and Peter lays silently, awake, not far away.
Lord, I see in you something tremendous,
something of breathtaking magnitude.
In your words and your preaching,
I sense the meaning of true authority,
something I only ever glimpsed before:
the outpouring of the inner Being,
which manifests its power
by its own inner fullness communicated,
not coercing or overpowering,
but simply touching, opening,
and gently transforming the heart.
In your actions there is something amazing,
the way that you cast away the evil spirits
and call forth in broken hearts and bodies
the health which, humanly, can’t be restored.
Never has any man spoke like you,
and never has anyone done all things
with the radiant beauty that I see in you,
as if this all flows from an endless Source.
Ah, yes, and that, my Lord,
is precisely what I sense in you,
in those times when you neither speak nor act,
as you do in this moment, silently praying.
These times are indeed, mysteriously,
those of the deepest and most intimate revelation.
In these moments of silence and prayer,
we, your disciples, remain “without”
while you live a Mystery ineffable.
But the waves of this Mystery overflow
like the ripples cast through water,
spreading far and wide…
yet without a single disturbance or noise.
What is it that I sense in these times?
This Mystery inaccessible—and yet!
And yet completely given—and inviting!
Ah, I feel, Lord Jesus, your heartbeat,
surging from the very heart of eternity.
I feel your breath inhaled and exhaled,
yet sweeping the wind of the Spirit
across the face of the whole earth…
and stirring in our hearts, awakening love.
At Ceasarea Philippi.
Simon, who do you say that I am?
Lord, I believe that you are the Anointed One,
the One whom we have long awaited…
yes, you are the very Son of God!
Blessed are you, Simon, son of John,
for this has not been revealed to you
by flesh and blood, nor by human wisdom,
but by my own Father at work in your heart.
What you have sensed in me, this Mystery,
has touched you and opened you to faith.
And now I say to you, Simon,
that you shall be called Peter—the Rock—
for I choose you to share in me, the Foundation,
the Stone on which my Church is built.
I give you the very keys of the kingdom,
so that what you bind here on earth
is bound also in heaven,
and what you loose here is loosed
also by my eternal Father.
You are to be a shepherd of my sheep,
a leader, guide, and support of my people,
and a center of unity for your own brothers,
who share with you in this shepherding task.
Yet, Peter, you must understand that you will be tested,
but I have prayed specifically for you,
so that when you rise again, my friend,
you may strengthen your brothers.
What, my Lord, is this testing of which you speak?
Simon Peter, you must know that I,
the Son of man, will be handed over:
to be rejected, mocked, and scourged by men,
and they will torture and crucify me in hate.
But I tell you: I will be raised up on the third day.
God forbid, my Lord!
This shall never happen to you.
Ah, Simon, my Rock, my chosen,
do not become a stumbling stone for me!
You are listening to Satan in this,
and all that I can say to him is this:
get behind me and don’t obstruct my path!
I must suffer and die, you understand?
It has been chosen by Love from eternity,
and you must come to understand this mystery.
You will indeed come to understand,
but first, my little one, you must learn
that you cannot stand on your own feet,
and that a rock is firm only on the Rock.
At the Last Supper.
Have I not prayed for you, Peter?
And did I not say that you will rise
and strengthen your brothers in my name?
This is a sign of my endless protection
for the sake of my Church which I love,
for the sake of the little ones
who are so precious and dear to my Heart.
And yet, Simon Peter, I must tell you,
that this very night you will turn from me,
denying three times that you know me.
No, Lord, this will not be the case!
I will stand by you even to the end,
even unto prison and to death.
It is not so, my dear one,
for you are to fall in your self-reliance,
to learn, through repentance,
the burning heart of my Love…
the Love that will sustain your heart,
knitting it together to my own.
You must learn that within your office,
and upholding it, is a mystery,
the mystery of my own holiness present,
ceaselessly at work, protecting,
and yet inviting you to conform yourself,
personally, to myself in fidelity and love.
You must learn, like my beloved disciple,
to lean against my breast in intimacy,
letting go of control and power,
and being dependent in littleness first of all.
Only in this childlike poverty and simplicity
can you be strong and faithful in paternity.