On the night before Christ’s crucifixion and death, St. Peter boldly denied his Lord. He cursed his accusers as he swore up and down that he had never even met Jesus.
Is man capable of a worse sin than Peter’s? Christ spent three years with Peter specially teaching him the faith. St. Peter witnessed firsthand Christ’s many miracles, and he knew with certainty that Jesus Christ was God-made-man.
And yet Peter was so proud that he couldn’t even acknowledge this same Lord. What a testament to man’s depravity.
And yet, even with this soul-crushing pride, we fast-forward a few short years to find St. Peter doing something unfathomable.
Facing his martyrdom by crucifixion, St. Peter calmly and kindly asked his executioners to crucify him upside down because he did not deem himself worthy to die in the same manner as Christ.
How can a man possibly muster such courage when only a few short years before he couldn’t so much as acknowledge his Lord?
Clearly, something divine was at play here. Peter was a proud and pitiful man, but he finally recognized his shortcomings. Peter knew that on his own he could only fail miserably, so he decided to stop trusting in himself, and instead placed all his hope in his God.
You and I can do the same, and our transformation will be equally astounding. Every man is a weak and miserable wretch on his own. It is only when we acknowledge this human weakness that we begin to rightly see God as the source of all goodness and strength.
Let us today pray to this great Saint Peter that we may learn from his example. We must decrease the ego within ourselves so that Christ may increase His virtues within us. When that happens, we’ll be amazed at the things God can accomplish through His poor creatures.