The impending celebration of the principal Patron of Ireland moves me to ask myself, first of all, and to reflect to all who truly love Christ a simple, but what I consider, a deep question:[snip]
Apart from the functional liturgical remembrance of Patrick on Saturday 17 March 2007; apart from the civil and political and military parades in Dublin and elsewhere; apart from frivolous ways of displaying, explaining and drowning the shamrock, what is the importance of Patrick for our struggle to follow Christ in this twenty-first century? Has he anything to offer by way of example or inspiration? What does his own spiritual presence mean to his beloved Irish people?
That Good News could be briefly set out in this rough summary of Patrick's own words: "Through me, unlettered rustic though I be, the offer is made to you all, my dearest Irish people, of this priceless opportunity; to be made one with the God of my Lord and teacher, Jesus of Nazareth, God of compassion and love, who brings healing and holiness and joy and peace of mind to all. The God of my Lord and teacher is the only God, who loves all children and women and men without exception. Let nothing and no one ever separate you from Him, no matter how noble or patriotic or profitable the excuse! Because my dearest Irish people, His love, is everything."Amen! And wonderfully put! I hope more people reflect on this as we remember this great evangelist and saint today.
And take a moment today to pray the famous "Breastplate" of St. Patrick:
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me,[Well, do pray the whole thing!]
Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right,
Christ on my left, Christ in breadth, Christ in length,
Christ in height, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.
I arise today through a mighty strength, the invocation of the
Trinity, through belief in the Threeness, through confession of the
Oneness of the Creator of creation.
Salvation is of the Lord. Salvation is of the Lord.
Salvation is of Christ. May Thy Salvation, O Lord, be ever with us.