First Fruits; A series of Short Meditations
By: Sister Mary Philip
"Simon, son of John, lovest thou Me more than these?" (St John. xxi.)
Saint Peter had thrice denied his Lord and Master during the Passion, and now Our Lord gives him an opportunity of making reparation. All during the public life, even to the very night of the Last Supper, Peter had boasted that whatever the other disciples did, he at least would be true to Our Lord. We know how he fell, and how at a look
from Our Lord he went out and wept
bitterly. Do I ever boast that I am safe from such and such a fault, that in that respect at least I have no cause for fear ? If so, let me learn a lesson from St Peter. If, unhappily, I should fall, let me strive to imitate his deep and heartfelt penitence, a sorrow which he
kept up all his life.
"Lovest thou Me?" I can imagine I hear
Our Lord addressing these words to me. "Lovest thou Me? Lovest thou Me sufficiently to sacrifice thyself for My sake ? Lovest thou Me when I ask thee to do some work for My sake which is naturally distasteful to thee ? Lovest thou Me in the person of My poor? Lovest thou My will above thine own ? Lovest thou Me sufficiently to follow Me, in whatsoever state of life I may call thee to? Answer Me My child, lovest thou Me?" What am I going to answer to this tender appeal of Our Lord ? Can I with truth say to Him : " Yea, Lord, Thou knowest all things, Thou knowest that I love Thee."
Our Lord said to St Peter, "Lovest thou Me more than these?" I can understand
these words as addressed to myself in two ways. First, Our Lord may say to me, "Thou sayest that thou lovest Me more than others do, but where are the proofs of thy love? Where shall I find in thee the charity of My apostles, the purity of My virgins, the zeal of My confessors, the fidelity of My martyrs? Love is proved by deeds."
Secondly, Our Lord may ask : " Lovest thou Me more than these—more than thy
pleasures, more than thy convenience, more than thy life itself?" Lord, what can I say to Thee? Indeed, indeed I do love Thee, but I cannot compare with Thy holy ones. Increase my love that with more and more truth I may be able to say to Thee, " Lord, Thou knowest all things, Thou knowest that I love Thee."