“Simon, Simon behold Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail, and, once you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:31-32
Faith demands conversion. And conversion demands repentance. Repentance demands humility. And Humility demands change. This is the way of the Christian pilgrim.
This is the way of truth.
Jesus did not pick a perfect saint to be the first pope, he picked a broken sinner, so that all of us could relate to him. The Chair of Peter sits as a universal symbol of hope, a returning home, a reminder that all have fallen short of the glory of God. The Chair of Peter is not there to remind us of our sinfulness. The Chair of Peter is there to remind us that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. He didn’t wait for us to be well.
With Peter as the head and his chair the center, we are reminded of the great task that Jesus left him with- to care for the flock. Yes, the one who denied Jesus was the one who was chosen to run His church. This is our God. The God who forgives, restores and then puts us on His throne in high places.
But the scripture does not say I prayed for you so it is ok to keep on sinning. The scripture says I have prayed for you because I knew you would fail me. I knew you would sin.
But once you decide to be converted, turn from your sin; you are to come back and tell your story to your brethren.
You are their encouragement.
For those of us that have died in our transgressions and come back from the dead, our testimony is our lifeline, our importance and our mission. Those with stony hearts do not want to hear the truth, but those who are ready to die to self receive the life support they need.
All truth flows from Jesus and into the Chair of Peter. The scriptures, tradition, the Magisterium. God preserves these things in truth whether the Church is faithful or not. And with the strength and intercession of St. Peter, we pray for all those who have abandoned the church.
So many have succumbed to this culture of death and been swept away by Satan’s grasp
But for those of us who have come back to life through the death and resurrection of our Lord, it is our job to preach truth with great love as our Lord did. If you, like me, have turned back, it is your absolute duty to do so. I am only alive because of Him. Who am I to tell God what truth is? I cannot. I am here to explain His truth to others and be a servant of the one who saved me.
Brothers and sisters, do not waiver in the truth. Love, yes love, but do not compromise the truth. Jesus never did. From the woman caught in adultery to the tax collector, He preached the truth. You must repent, you must die to self and you must be born again in the truth of Christ.
There is no other way.
It is never too late to start over. It is never too late to repent. It is never too late to accept the love of God.
As I tell my children, do not wait until tomorrow for tomorrow is not promised to us. You are able to start again with God in every moment if you choose to do so.
Begin again, now.
I have tried to do life my own way and it has not worked out. I have agreed with the world and not your Holy Church. I have spoken slanderous words against you. I have squandered my inheritance, my faith and I am ready to return to you. My gentle God, forgive me for what I have done, the harm that I have caused by not accepting your truth and creating my own. Let me enter into relationship with you, and wrap me in your loving arms.
In Jesus Name,