Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wednesday of the Third Week in Lent

On the Cause of the Conversion of St. Peter.


St. Peter was restored to grace because our dear Jesus turned his divine countenance towards him and looked him in the face; called to his recollection the prediction he had uttered, opened his eyes to discern his fault, and touched his heart to weep and do penance. The look that Jesus cast on him was an arrow of divine love, which pierced his soul and drew from his eyes fountains of tears. It was a ray of light and grace which showed to him the love, tenderness, and preference that his Lord had borne for him, the charitable counsel he had given him, the blessings he had received from him, and the solemn protestations he had made of never abandoning him. Then a full sense of his ingratitude, infidelity, treachery, and perfidy, broke up the depths of his repentant heart, and he wept bitterly.


Alas, St. Peter denied his Lord and Master on only one occasion and never ceased weeping for his offence during his life. How often have you not betrayed him? How often have you not renounced him through fear, human respect, passion, malice, and coldness, knowing all the time what you were doing? How often has he not spoken to you through his priests and revealed to you the enormity of your guilt? And, notwithstanding all, you neither weep nor do penance! He casts a look of tender compassion on you, but instead of weeping bitterly for your sins, you return to his enemies, where you deny him, strike, outrage, and spit upon him more cruelly than the Jews!

Resolution: In reparation for my own sins of denial of Jesus and those of others, I will contribute to the work of spreading the Gospel by giving alms in support of missionaries.

Prayer: Oh, ye heavens! be astonished at this ingratitude and perfidy! Oh, who will give to my eyes fountains of tears, to weep day and night for my sins and unfaithfulness ? Oh, sweet Jesus! cast on me a single look of thy mercy; it is all that I need to convert me. I desire to do penance all the rest of my life. It is the effect of thy grace. Ah ! do not permit me to abuse it as I have hitherto done.
By a Member of the Society of Jesus, edited and amended by J. Scott Bailey, C.Ss.R.

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