Happy Feast of St. Patrick!
In her introduction to our weekly Discover Hope News Notes, Sr. Kathryn Hermes invites us to take a journey to holiness: “This March and April we are inundated with holiness, celebrating saints who show us that the Lord bursts into human lives with a warmth that cannot be doubted and then through them impresses his love upon the future of the world.” She goes on to list St. Patrick (March 17), St. Joseph (March 19), John Paul II and John XXIII (to be canonized April 27). I will be doing something on my blog here to celebrate John Paul as a model communicator and evangelizer for us, but today I want to zoom in on St. Patrick.
I’ve always celebrated St. Patrick’s feast day in a special way, from the time I was a child when my Catholic school (in the Archdiocese of Boston) gave us the day off. My siblings and I would have our own “St. Patrick’s Day parade” around our house, making our own signs and banners, and rounding it out by dancing to Irish music–always hoping that my dad would come home while we were still dancing and take several of his daughters for a whirl.
But I got to know St. Patrick better when I attempted to “capture” him in a story for Saints Alive: The Gospel Witnessed. St. Patrick is like a 5th century St. Paul, and to me his Confessions read like a letter of St. Paul. The “St. Patrick’s Breastplate” may not have been written by St. Patrick himself, but certainly represents his spirit. There are a couple of lines that particularly struck me this morning as reminders of the depths of our call as communicators of Christ:
1) Invoking the Trinity upon arising in the morning — the Threeness and Oneness of the Trinity . An invocation which brings to mind the communion with God, Christ, and each other that we are all called to live and which is the ultimate goal of all our communication
2) Seeing Christ everywhere — above and behind, before and beyond. We are called to communicate Christ in all we are, say, and do; but we can only do this if we allow our vision to be transformed, if we are paying attention to the hidden presence of Christ in our everyday life.
3) The presence of Christ specifically in our communication: in those who hear our words, in those who think of and speak of us.
May the Lorica of St. Patrick transform our communication today into being more filled with the presence of Christ.