|St. Peter Gonzalez|
Peter Gonzalez grew up thinking everybody would always love him. He became a priest, but only because it was a way to get into the government. One Christmas, he rode into Castille, Spain on a horse with a parade, all dressed up in his finest clothes. All the people cheered for him. Either the horse got spooked or Peter spurred him to make him prance – either way, Peter went flying off the saddle and into a big pile of manure. He wasn’t hurt, but the people stopped cheering and started laughing at him. At that moment, Peter realized how quickly he could lose the respect of others. He withdrew to a monastery, and there he had a profound encounter with Jesus. After that, Peter never wanted to be famous. He turned down a job in King Ferdinand III’s court and preached to sailors and shepherds instead.
In our culture, there is a great deal of emphasis placed on appearances. If we listen to what we hear on television, read on the Internet, or see in magazines, we have to have a certain body shape, a certain kind of hair, a certain way of speaking in order to be rich and popular. Saint Peter Gonzalez learned the hard way that none of this matters. Today, ignore what the world says you “should” be. Keep the television off. Put away the magazines. Cover your mirrors with a piece of cloth or some waxed paper. Spend your day listening to what God created you to be.