Christ with me

Thursday, March 17, 2016

 Christ with me
St. Patrick (385-461)

Details of St. Patrick’s life are uncertain but it is believed that he was born somewhere in the area of Scotland/England/Wales.  At age 16 he and a large number of his father’s slaves and vassals were captured by the Irish and sold as slaves.  As a slave he converted to the Catholic faith, worked as a shepherd for six years and then escaped to France where he became educated and was consecrated a Bishop.  He felt a strong call to proclaim the Good News to the Irish. When an opportunity came to do this, his evangelistic style was to be humble and courageous. 
It is said that he had a dream vision in which he perceived that “all the children of Ireland from their mothers’ wombs were stretching out their hands” to him. He discerned the vision to be a call to do mission work in Ireland. He went to the west and north, where the faith had never been preached, obtained the protection of local kings and made numerous converts. In spite of opposition from the pagan druids, in a relatively short time, the whole of Ireland was imbued with the Christian Spirit and was sending missionaries out to other countries.  It is said that the Irish missionaries were greatly responsible for Christianizing Europe.
To celebrate St. Patrick, the Chicago River is dyed green- While this tradition had nothing to do with devotion to St. Patrick, (the greening happened as an accident with plumbers, trying to trace sources of illegal pollution discharged used a fluorescein dye) hopefully the greening of the Chicago river helps us all who celebrate this event to remember the waters of baptism

Reflection
May the green Chicago River cause us to remember the source of St. Patrick’s faith and be nourished by the waters of baptism which have flowed over us and which will be nourishing those coming into our family in the paschal season.

Christ shield me this day: Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I arise, Christ in the heart of every person who thinks of me, Christ in the eye that sees me, Christ in the ear that hears me”
The Breastplate of St. Patrick.”



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