Of all the people this world has seen in the thousands of years, of all the mortal men and women who have walked on this globe, few have a life that resonate more with my heart than Saint Patrick. I never tire of his story, never tire of his example, and never tire of Saint Patrick’s Day, no matter how pagan people try to make it…because I know his example shines like a light in a lost and confused age.
His dedication to the goal- a vision years in preparation- are an example to me, since I too have been years in preparation for the next step. He did not fit the mold either, and although there were others before him who were successful, it is likely his passionate spirit, and his unique understanding, that separates him from Columba and the other equally great evangelists of his time in the area.
Patrick, like Saint Brendan, one of my other heroes of the faith, was a man with a story, woven by the constant need for reliance on God, in a way that would challenge anyone today. His writings reveal that he, like Brendan, possessed a Pentecostal-like fervor and insight many Catholics would rather not admit; it is in the lives and writings/stories of these two men that the Catholic church would do well to heed in this era of trouble filled with people drowning in feelings of hopelessness, confusion, and emptiness.
I celebrate Patrick, my predecessor and example, by trying to walk the walk Patrick walked…in the spirit. And if I ever get the chance that many have, I too will climb Croagh Patrick and the mountains he and Brendan climbed, going away to a lonely place to get direction.
So, when the morning wakes and the day begins, contemplate what our Brother Patrick would have been doing if he was alive today. I do not believe he would be in a pub eating corned beef, even lamb, and drinking green beer, because he had nothing to do with them. For those who are celebrating it that way, it is time you search for the real life story and writings of the man- you will be shocked by his witness. I can think of few with such a great witness…in the history of the world following the birth of Christ.