In the stories of Saint Patrick and the Apostle Paul, we are reminded to listen for the call to be in ministry and to go into all the world.
Deep peace to you in mid-March.
Very soon it will be Saint Patrick’s Day. March 17 was the day that Saint Patrick died many years ago. Patrick was British. He was captured by slave traders and taken to Ireland and he escaped back home to England. Some years later in a vision he heard the people of Ireland saying “Come over and help us.” He went to Ireland and by the end of his life, all the people of Ireland were Christians.
Like the apostle Paul, who saw in a vision the man of Macedonia saying “Come over and help us,” Patrick heard the voice of God and followed. Patrick is a great missionary of the church and as we celebrate the feast day of Saint Patrick and wear green, we remember our call to be in ministry to all the world.
The Celtic tradition growing out of the ministry of Saint Patrick and other leaders of the early Irish church gives to us a wonderful heritage, a heritage of care for God’s beautiful creation, a heritage of joy and depth, a heritage of the inclusion of all people. Women were a part of the early movement of Celts and were welcomed into full leadership of the church in Ireland.
This prayer is an example of the Celtic contribution to our way of life. “This day and this night, may I know, O God, the deep peace of the running wave, the deep peace of the flowing air, the deep peace of the quiet earth, the deep peace of the shining stars, the deep peace of the Son of peace.” How grateful we are for the deep peace that Christ gives us.
Saint Patrick’s breast plate is a beautiful prayer and in this prayer, Saint Patrick prays that Christ will be behind him and before him, to his right and to his left, above him and beneath him, within him and all around him wherever he goes. May this be our prayer on Saint Patrick’s Day this year. Amen.