be my disciple.”
Then comes the glorious promise of a hundredfold in this world and eternal life in the next.
What had St. Peter left?—a few fishing-nets.
He had nothing else, yet what a glorious destiny was reserved to him,—to shed his blood for Christ!
About three weeks after his arrival at the Novitiate, he writes to his mother:—
In my meditation yesterday I considered how our blessed Lord left his dear mother, whom he had obeyed and comforted for thirty years, that he might do the will of his eternal Father.
I thought of how much Mary, that most amiable mother who loved her Son not only as the “blessed fruit of her womb,” but also as her Creator and Redeemer,—I thought how that most tender mother must have suffered on parting with such a son. Is there not much comfort in this consideration?
For how can it be that a God who, to save sinners, left a mother like Mary, will not console and bless those mothers who, in imitation of his own dear mother, resign their children to “do the will of their Father in heaven,” and to follow Jesus in preaching salvation to the nations?
But it is unnecessary for me to write thus; for I am sure that you have resigned your Isaac cheerfully, and do not begrudge to God your first-born whom he has demanded from you for a while, to return to you, if we serve him faithfully, for eternity.
A month later he writes:—
You will this month, the first time for twenty-one years, pass your Thanksgiving day without me. Thank God on that day that he has dealt so mercifully with us all; and that, instead of calling me out of the world to expiate my sins in eternal torments, he has sweetly called me from it to the society of his dear Son, to be one with him as he is one with the Father.
And so you will not have to mourn, as will some of your dearest friends, by a desolate hearthside, but you will rejoice that “whereas your son was dead, now he lives,” —as he was once dead in sin, now he lives in Christ.
The three months allowed me in which to get tired of the religious life have expired, and still I am here.
O my dear mother, you must give up all hopes of my ever returning to the world, for I am assured that “neither life, nor death, nor any created thing” shall separate me from Jesus Christ.
Since I have been in this paradise, not only have I not had a moment of unhappiness, but not even of sadness.
Those little fits of melancholy and sadness which even the happiest are wont to have in the world have not once troubled