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Acts 10:25-26. On Peter’s arrival Cornelius met him, and falling at his feet, worshiped him. But Peter made him get up, saying, “Stand up; I am only a mortal.”
I was taught to have very high expectations for myself, and basically, that has served me well. When I don’t allow myself to make mistakes, however, it has not. Sometimes I need to remind myself of my humanity.
Peter’s experience with Cornelius is one that few of us have. I think the more common experience is giving ourselves a break when it comes to recognizing that we are, in the end, limited, fallible, mortal—human—and do not need to hold ourselves to the standards of being worshiped by others.
Sometimes I hold myself to impossible standards. It is probably better to aim for high standards than not, but we should also be careful to give ourselves a break when we need it.
Remember, after all, that the words above are Peter’s, and Peter is about the best example in the Bible of the reality of what it is to be limited and fallible. Still, he keeps going, listening for what God would have him do, and responding to the best of his ability. But Peter is only a mortal, after all, and he has his limits.
We don’t need to be too hard on ourselves for how God has made us, which is mortal. It is enough.
Today the Church remembers Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, and Theologian, 430.