MEDITATION ON THE PASSION OF OUR LORD: And Simon Peter Followed Jesus A Far Off

DUCCIO di Buoninsegna 
Christ before Annas and Peter Denying Jesus 
And Simon Peter followed Jesus a far off, and another disciple: and that disciple was known to the high Priest, & entered with Jesus into the high Priests court: but Peter stood at the gate without: Therefore the other disciple who was known to the high Priest went forth, & spake to the porter, & brought in Peter even into the Court of the high Priest, & being come in, the fire burning in the midst of the Court, and they sitting round about it, Peter was in the midst of them, & sat with the ministers at the fire, that he might see the end, and warm himself.
Consider first whether these flying Apostles went, being amazed with so great fury of the Soldiers, & now wavering and doubtful in their belief of the divinity of Christ. For who would believe, that God should ever suffer such things especially if, according to the received opinion of the Jews, he though that virtue should be rewarded with temporal goods. Behold Peter following far off, and loving more then the rest, took some courage unto him. so as he doubted not to thrust himself into the company of the Ministers, but yet fearfully and inconstantly, hoping that he should not be know.

Consider secondly the other Disciple, either Saint John as the common opinion is, the inseparable companion of Peter, or else some secret Christian, a rich Citizen, who by reason of some acquaintance with the high Priest, did enter into the house, whilst Peter, as a poor and unknown man stayed without doors. For poor men are not admitted to come into the houses of great men, and if at any time they are permitted, it is accounted a great favor to be placed amongst their slave. Be not thou delighted with such a Court, neither thrust they self into the company of wicked men: If necessity enforce thee, depart as soon as thou canst, least thy innocence be defiled with the familiarity of wicked men.

Consider thirdly, that Peter came not in directly, but through the favor of a friend; and of a woman. Seek thou therefore no honor by favor or by the love of women, nor yet by any vicious or fraudulent means, least, according to the example of Peter, thou mayest expect a most certain & assured downfall. Also if thou chance to get honor lawfully, and art entered into the Bishops Palace the direct way, do not join thyself with the wicked, nor follow their examples, but enter into thine own heart, and set our Lord always before thine eyes, who hath called thee to that estate. Desire these things of Christ, and pray unto him, and not to forsake thee for ever.

Fr. Francis Costerus S.J. 1616 


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