February 22, 2013

notam facio excellentiam tuam

What a striking thing it is--in this curious moment in the pilgrimage of the Church Militant--to celebrate today the feast of the Chair of Peter, knowing that by this time next week that chair will be empty, sede vacante, as they say.

Nevertheless, for now, for the next few days anyway, we (still) have a pope, and we look forward to a couple of the final 'lasts' of Benedict XVI: the last Sunday Angelus, the last Wednesday audience.

But I have to say, it was something perhaps more basic that struck me as I prayed through the liturgy this morning.

In the Office of Readings, Leo the Great comments on Matthew 16:18, in which Jesus responds to Peter's confession by proclaiming him the 'rock' on which Jesus will build his Church:

"And I, he said, say to you: as my Father revealed to you my divinity, so I make known to you your preeminence [excellentiam]: You are Peter..."

Peter's confession and subsequent vocation reveal a fundamental dynamic of the Christian vocation: by allowing the truth about Jesus Christ to be revealed to us, from him we can then receive the truth about our own identity and vocation in this life.

Only by confessing the truth of his Name do we hear our own spoken clearly. His humility reveals our dignity, his descent our ascent, our excellence in his being made, 'for a little while lower than the angels.' (Hebrews 2:7 RSV)


Louis M said...


A bit off-topic. This Sunday is my 4th meeting back with the OFS. It is my "decision meeting", if you will. May I trouble you by asking for a prayer that the good Lord may let me know clearly one way or the other? Thanks. It is deeply appreciated.
BTW, if I choose to return (I am, admittedly, leaning that way), I thank a capuchin priest (you), a reformed OFM priest, and 3 OFS's. :)

Louis M said...

Father (and everyone ;) ),

Tomorrow (Sunday) is my 4th meeting back to the OFS. It is decision day, for me (and for them, possibly). It is a wonderful fraternity (light years better than my previous one--gay "Masses", whatever those are; openly practicing gay "couple" running meetings, you name it). Please pray that I make the right decision (my wife and children really want me to choose yes). The only thing holding me back a bit is that I work 6 days/week and meeting weeks would make it 7 days away). The Minister, the Spiritual Assistant and the OFS friend helping me to make the transfer (he, too, is moving from our original fraternity, although to a different city) are all saintly men. Their influence and the influence of this blog (only surpassed by the influence of my wife and children) are what has gotten me to this point. Thank you (all) and may the Lord bless you and keep you (all).
-Lou (Louis)
PS The meeting starts at 1PM PT on Sunday with a Mass (something the old fraternity hadn't done in years

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