Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles

(This writer finds himself, these very days, on a Boston College-sponsored, ten-day pilgrimage, to various sites important to the life of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, that is, in Spain and Italy.  You are invited these next seven days to pray with the daily readings of the Church, in light of the graces with which these twenty pilgrims are praying, graces adapted from the four weeks of the Spiritual Exercises.)
 
GRACE: Lord, help me to become aware of and understand how my life is a pilgrimage and how I am invited to trust in God’s divine providence as a humble seeker after the fullness of truth. 
 
From today’s first reading:

On the very night before Herod was to bring him to trial,
Peter, secured by double chains,
was sleeping between two soldiers,
while outside the door guards kept watch on the prison. 

Peter, a simple, sometimes bullheaded fishmerman, denied even knowing the God-Man for whom he left his nets and sank in the very waters upon which both he and the Lord walked. Yet, Peter’s nonviolent and joyful message of the Good News of Jesus’ resurrection and the establishment of God’s reign was so convincing and so threatening that not only was he arrested and imprisoned but he was also guarded by an exceptionally numerous force. 
From today’s second reading:

And I [Paul] was rescued from the lion’s mouth.
The Lord will rescue me from every evil threat
and will bring me safe to his heavenly Kingdom.

Paul oversaw the persecution, arrest, and violent execution of many Christians. Yet, his own pilgrim journey led him to such a radical conversion that he had every confidence and trust in the One who effected his change of heart toward Truth.  Emboldened by the consoling graces of Faith, Hope, and Love, Paul was not deterred in confidently preaching the Good News he once sought to suppress.
Lord, give me renewed Faith, surer Hope, and heartfelt Love.  Help me to see my life — like the broken yet renewed lives of Peter and Paul — as an ongoing pilgrim journey to a deeper relationship with You.
June 29th, 2014