Understanding Peter’s humanity was a liberating insight for me. For if God calls each of us individually, he calls us with both our gifts and our failings. And it is in our failings, and in the parts of our lives that embarrass us, that we are often drawn closest to God.
For all these reasons, I ended up choosing Peter as my vow name. I wanted to remind myself of the way God loves us.
Everyone needs to be reminded of this: it is difficult to accept that God loves us as we are, with our limitations, as well as our tendencies to sin. Certainly God is constantly calling us to conversion, to turn from any sinful behavior. And certainly God asks us to cast off anything that keeps us from following him more closely. At the same time, God is always inviting us to follow him, with a full and forgiving knowledge of our human nature.
In a passage written by one of the General Congregations of the Society of Jesus, there is a surprising definition of a Jesuit. “What is it to be a Jesuit? It is to know that one is a sinner, yet called to be a companion of Jesus.” This is what it means to be a Christian. Being a Christian means being a “loved sinner.”
But you come along and say it is there, when we have brought our weaknesses before you, that we are most mighty.