SIMON, CALLED PETER:
In the Footsteps of a Man in Search of God
by Dom Mauro-Guissepe Lepori, O.Cist.
Translated by Matthew Sherry
(Ignatius Press, 2010, 133pp, $25.90. ISBN: 978-1-58617-271-8. Available from Freedom Publishing)
Ask anyone to name one of the twelve apostles and the first name likely to be cited would be that of Peter. This is probably because there are more references to him in the pages of the gospels than to any other apostle. This short monograph retells the life of St Peter as it has been handed down by the four evangelists from Peter's first encounter with Christ to soon after His ascension.
Dom Lepori recounts in chronological order the events in Peter's life, his retelling being grounded in the gospel accounts, albeit with a certain level of expansion. What strikes the reader is that in every story in which Peter is involved, Christ is also involved, thus underscoring the Christian belief that believers live in Christ and their lives must be centred on Christ.
As readers, we follow Simon as he lives out Jesus' call to leave every-thing and follow him from the shores of the Sea of Galilee: accompanying Christ on His mission of preaching and healing; being re-named Peter "the rock" after confessing Christ as the Messiah; witnessing Him being transfigured on Mt Tabor; sharing the last supper; denying Christ; and, meeting the risen Christ before rec-eiving the commission with the other apostles of preaching the gospel to all nations.
Central to this re-telling is the transformative power of Christ's love and forgiveness, even for one such as Peter who denied Christ. On the sur-face, this work is easy to read; how-ever, it demands slow, thoughtful and prayerful study, chapter by chapter, for the themes of the book to resonate with the reader. It is for this reason that it would serve as a useful basis for spiritual meditation.
Michael E. Daniel is a secondary school teacher in Melbourne.