Saint Patrick is thought to have died on this day 1,557 years ago. He is remembered and celebrated for bringing Christianity to Ireland, and is counted as chief amongst the early Irish Saints, like Brigid, Ciarán, Brendan, Columba, Canice, Mobhí, and Laisrén.
We remember these saints of old, because we kept their stories alive by retelling them, dedicating feast days, churches, and towns to their memories. These early saints, like most of us, were probably far from perfect, and each had their own pilgrimage contemplating and interpreting God, often revealed to them in solitude, stillness, and silence.
Rituals and prayers honoring the saints who have gone before us, and retelling of their stories, helps to keep them alive in our hearts – most importantly the everyday saints, our families, and our friends. I’m sure that they watch over us, and share our hopes, sadness, and joys. I ask for their blessings on all sorts of events and endeavors, whether special or ordinary.
I recently read Irish teacher and poet, John O’Donohue’s book To Bless the Space Between Us. During this season of Lent, here is his blessing For Presence.
Awaken to the mystery of being here
and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.
Have joy and peace in the temple of your senses.
Receive encouragement when new frontiers beckon.
Respond to the call of your gift and the courage to
follow its path.
Let the flame of anger free you of all falsity.
May warmth of heart keep your presence aflame.
May anxiety never linger about you.
May your outer dignity mirror an inner dignity of
Take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek
Be consoled in the secret symmetry of your soul.
May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven
around the heart of wonder.
Appointed readings for today: Jeremiah 11:18-20, Psalm 7:6-11, John 7:37-52