A rooster and key(s) are often present in sculptures and paintings of St. Peter. These symbols represent both the struggle and the glory of Peter’s life. These images resonate with me and after some reflection I have come to think of them as being on a continuum. Each day brings with it an opportunity to move forward in love towards God, to become more fully the person whom God is calling me into being. Or I back away through my thoughts, words or actions by denying God, self or others. Even in my moments of denial I know that God is there, ready to forgive and draw me in closer once again.
It is in the small daily choices that I move along the continuum.When I lend a helping hand, listen compassionately, share generously my skills, or find a common ground with another person I move closer to God and create a positive impact. In my impatience, anger, fear or indifference I trend towards the denial, my own version of Peter’s rooster.
It is in these moments of denial, I pray for a gut reaction or stirring of compassion which startles me and moves my denial towards love. I also pray for the humility to allow myself to be forgiven and loved into fully being. In our humanness we learn and grow It is in our humanness that we realize we are wired for connection with each other. May we all grow in our awareness of our connectedness and move towards our own keys which bring forth compassion, love and healing for us all.
Sr. Kimberly Porter, OSB