Corpus Christi 2021

05 Jun 2021 Old News & Events at Roebuck

Corpus Christi  Mark 14:12-16.22-26 Some time ago we had the extraordinary event of the visit to Ireland of the Relics of St Therese of Lisieux. It...

St. Patrick's Day

17 Mar 2021 Old News & Events at Roebuck

Happy St. Patrick's Day   …Before dawn I used to arouse myself to prayer in snow and frost and rain… (Confessions) Like some other notable persons...

Corpus Christi 2021

St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day

 

Saint Patrick

…Before dawn I used to arouse myself to prayer in snow and frost and rain… (Confessions)

Like some other notable persons in the history of Ireland, Patrick was not a native by birth nor by descent. Indeed, he had no natural motive to love the country, since he had passed his youth there as a slave in cold and hunger. In later life he wrote of himself as an exile among aliens and barbarians.

But in those years of privation, he was saved from religious indifference; he learned patience, and through prayer came to the love of God. In retrospect he understood this period was a mark of divine mercy and protection.

After his escape, he knew he was being led along a way of wider significance than his personal holiness, and that his vocation was to bring the gospel to the land of his captivity. The overriding inspiration in leaving his kin and all he held dear and come among a foreign people to make them his own, was the love of God and a grateful desire to serve the divine Master; God, he said in a striking metaphor, had found him as a stone in the mire, had raised him aloft, and set him atop the wall. He felt he must return thanks for so great a favour.

In his life Patrick had to endure disappointment, humiliations, opposition and threats; he was always aware of his inadequacy and lack of education. Yet, one who could win over rulers and maintain good relations with both sides of warring factions needs wisdom and prudence together with an ease of manner among traits of character. With a single-minded pursuit of his aim, he was ready for any toil and to bear all difficulties and hardships.

Patrick's mission reminds us that we owe our faith and most cherished ideals to the labours of others, the care and example of parents and the dedication of teachers.

Our Christian calling has not been through influence or position in society. To bring Christ to the world God can choose weak and defective agents without obvious reason for self-confidence. We may catch an echo of Paul's thought on the role of preachers in Patrick's words: “...if I did or said anything, however small, according to God's good pleasure...let this be your conclusion, and let it be so thought that it was the gift of God.”