On a serious note, our Sisters were very aware today of praying for the Catholic Church in Ireland which has suffered so greatly this past year by the revelation of sexual abuse by some of the clergy. I was reminded of the great Saint Patrick who gave his life to preach the Gospel in that beautiful country. How we need to pray to him at this time for his help in bringing healing and renewed faith to the Irish people. In the Office of Readings today there is a passage from St. Patrick’s Confessions. (If you would like to read the entire passage click on http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/celtic/ctexts/p01.html)
Here is an excerpt:
I will tell briefly how most holy God frequently delivered me, from slavery, and from the twelve trials with which my soul was threatened, from man traps as well, and from things I am not able to put into words. I would not cause offence to readers, but I have God as witness who knew all things even before they happened, that, though I was a poor ignorant waif, still he gave me abundant warnings through divine prophecy...
Whence came the so great and so healthful gift of knowing or rather loving God, though I should lose homeland and family. And many gifts were offered to me with weeping and tears, and I offended them [the donors], and also went against the wishes of a good number of my elders; but guided by God, I neither agreed with them nor deferred to them, not by my own grace but by God who is victorious in me and withstands them all, so that I might come to the Irish people to preach the Gospel and endure insults from unbelievers; that I might hear scandal of my travels, and endure many persecutions to the extent of prison; and so that I might give up my free birthright for the advantage of others, and if I should be worthy, I am ready [to give] even m life without. hesitation; and most willingly for His name. And I choose to devote it to him even unto death, if God grant it to me.
St. Patrick pray for the people of Ireland, for the Church in Ireland, and for all of us.