Today is the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul. I love this icon of Peter and Paul embracing. It makes me long for the day when The Church will indeed "breathe with both lungs" as Pope John Paul II prayed for so fervently.
Peter and Paul encompass both sides of the Christian walk. Saint Paul was literally "knocked off his horse" on the road to Damascus. He was on his way to Damascus to persecute and kill members of the early Church, when he was knocked over by a blinding light and spoken to by the Risen Christ.
Paul represents the intense conversion experiences that many have where God gives them the grace to turn their backs on lives of notorious sin and failing. The intensity of experiences like this strengthen and impart zeal for Christ.
Peter, on the other hand, is, seemingly, quite ordinary. He was a fisherman with an impulsive personality. He was publicly reprimanded by Christ. He was even called "Satan". He denied Christ three times, even after being warned ahead of time.
I can just sense, by reading scripture, how much Peter struggled. How many times he fell, over and over and over again, even while walking in the very Presence of Christ Himself! He "wept bitterly" for his sins. And Christ forgave him. Christ asked Him three times, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?" Jesus gave Peter the opportunity to repent and make direct amends for denying Him.
Let us pray for unity and for endurance to finish the race with Christ and His Church.