1. What was the secret of Peter's miserable fall ? He was brave and generous, and loved Our Lord dearly. Yet, through human respect and fear, he denied all knowledge of Him. The season why he fell was that he trusted in himself and his natural qualities instead of in God. In the spiritual warfare natural courage and generosity avail not. He who does not rely upon God alone is sure to fall. When dangers are imminent he loses heart, and then all goes wrong.
2. St. Peter had not yet learned that natural impulse as a motive of action is sure to lead man astray. It never avails before God. Its excellence, whatever it may be, only avails in the things of this world, and even there it is a dangerous and untrustworthy motive. In things divine it is the road to ruin. We must exercise anti-impulsive effort if we are to be safe. We must do more ; we must turn our thoughts to God, and seek a divine impulse, an inspiration from Heaven, if we are to remain faithful and avoid frequent faults.
3. St. Peter had neglected prayer. Our Lord had expressly warned him to watch and pray, and he had allowed himself to sleep while Christ was suffering His sacred Agony. True, he was weary and his eyes were heavy, but still he could have made the attempt. It might have seemed
an unsatisfactory prayer, yet it would have saved Peter from his fall. He might have used vocal prayers and repeated the same words like Our Lord did. Learn from this that mere struggle against heaviness is very pleasing to God.
Source: The Sacred Passion of Jesus Christ - Short Meditations for Everyday in Lent,
by Richard F. Clarke, S.J. Imprimatur 1889