Mar 17, 2014

Reflections on St. Patrick's Day

A few things I've been thinking about....

St. Patrick is in the same category as St. Nicholas and St. Valentine, real people who have been reduced to cartoon-like effigies in order to celebrate a secular holiday. And to a history buff, that's a bit annoying.

However, who among us would even have heard of these saints without these holidays? So it's a mixed blessing.

Most people are happy not knowing anything about these saints. That's just how it is. Nothing wrong with having fun with friends.

St. Patrick's Day has become a day to celebrate all things Irish, which is not a bad thing at all. It's certainly good for Irish tourism, and it's a day to celebrate and pay tribute to one's Irish heritage.

The day encourages people to seek out who St. Patrick was, and with the internet today, so much information is accessible. Hopefully they'll be inspired by what they find. (You can even search this blog to find out more.)

St. Patrick's Breastplate (not written during his lifetime, but probably by someone who was influenced by his legacy.)

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.
I arise today
Through the strength of Christ's birth with his baptism,
Through the strength of his crucifixion with his burial,
Through the strength of his resurrection with his ascension,
Through the strength of his descent for the judgement of Doom.
I arise today
Through the strength of the love of Cherubim,
In obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In prayers of patriarchs,
In prediction of prophets,
In preaching of apostles,
In faith of confessors,
In innocence of holy virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.
I arise today
Through the strength of heaven:
Light of sun,
Radiance of moon,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of wind,
Depth of sea,
Stability of earth,
Firmness of rock.
I arise today
Through God's strength to pilot me:
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me,
God's shield to protect me.
God's host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptations of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone and in multitude.
I summon today all these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel merciless power that may oppose my body and souls,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man's body and soul.
Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
so that there may come to me abundance of reward.
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone 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

Mar 11, 2014

A Celtic Voice Within a Traditional American Church

My editor put a link to this interview on my Facebook page. I thought you might like to hear it. It's an interview with Sally Howell Johnson, a minister in the UMC, which is the demonination I belong to. She's originally from Ohio, which is something else we have in common.