Saturday, March 17, 2007

St. Patrick: The Original Irish-Catholic And Dangerous

St. Patrick who was brought to Ireland as a teenager, found himself a stranger in a strange land. He managed to escape, but had dreams that summoned him back to Ireland. He seemed to hear "the Voice of the Irish" calling him to what would be his lifelong mission for God: the conversion of the Irish. Patrick gave his entire life for this cause. He was a devout man of prayer with a love for the Word of God. St. Patrick was also a contemporary of St. Augustine of Hippo, and like him dealt with Pelagian heresy. His Confession (as well as his life) is heavily influenced by St. Paul. As truly as St. Paul was the Apostle to the Gentiles, St. Patrick was Ireland’s Apostle.

Here is a prayer from his Confession:
"For this sun which we now see rises each day for us at his command, yet it will never reign, nor will its splendor last forever. On the contrary, all who worship it today will be doomed to dreadful punishment. But we who believe and adore the true sun that is Christ, who will never die, nor ‘will those who have done his will’ but ‘abide forever, just as Christ himself will abide for all eternity’: who reigns with God the Father all-powerful, and with the Holy Spirit before time began, and now and through all ages of ages. Amen."

This is a very special St. Patrick’s Day for me this year because, although I have always been Irish, this is the first St. Patrick’s Day where I have also been Catholic! I have always been drawn to St. Patrick and when I came into the Church last Easter Vigil, I chose Patrick as my confirmation name.

So on this Feast of St. Patrick, I raise a pint to St. Patrick, Pope Benedict XVI, and to You!

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