17 March 2015

The glory of Saint Patrick

In those places where the memorial of Saint Patrick is observed as a feast or a solemnity, the following Collect is prayed during the offering of the Holy Mass (in other places it may be used to conclude the universal prayer):
O God,
who chose the Bishop Saint Patrick
to preach your glory to the peoples of Ireland,
grant, through his merits and intercession,
that those who glory in the name of Christian
may never cease to proclaim your wondrous deeds to all.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
In too many places which will claim to celebrate the Apostle of Ireland today, the revelers will lose sight of what guided Saint Patrick and of what he bequeathed to the peoples of the Emerald Isle (if, indeed, they ever had sight of either in the first place).
What guided Saint Patrick? The glory of God, and his desire to make it known.
What did he bequeath to the peoples of Ireland? The name of Christian, which he gave to his converts when he baptized. This gift is his glory.
Today, in the midst of the season of Lent, is as good a day as any to ask these same two questions of ourselves. What guides my life? What do I wish to bequeath to those I meet? Our answers ought to be the same as those of Saint Patrick; we ought to be guided in all things by the glory of God and we should seek to bequeath to others the name of Christian.
If we live in this way, then we can rightly rejoice in the witness given by Saint Patrick. May he intercede for all whose today who will claim to rejoice in him and show them the wondrous deeds of Christ.

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